One of the best pieces of advice I received from a former instructor during my developing years was, "You need to know every note on the fingerboard." This seemed like a daunting task to say the least. But this instructor was right on! It's incredibly helpful to know the names of every fret on every string. So let's look at what it takes to accomplish this task. Open Strings To start, you must know the open strings of the guitar. From strings 6 (lowest) to 1 (highest) the notes are as follows: E, A, D, G, B, E. By memorizing these notes you now have a home base to work from for figuring out the remaining notes. Musical Alphabet and Natural Half-Steps The musical alphabet is made up of 7 notes: A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. When you reach G you wrap back around to A. The distance between each pair of adjacent notes is fixed. For example the distance between A and B is a whole-step and on the guitar a whole-step is 2 frets. There are two pairs of notes that are a h
Welcome to the start of a new series entitled the "Practice Toolbox." Every great carpenter has a toolbox stocked with tools that are necessary to get the job done. We as musicians need to have a toolbox filled with the necessary items to practice effectively and efficiently. In the posts to follow I will suggest some of the tools I use and how to effectively use them in a practice session. To start, we need a place to put all of our tools. If you haven't already done so, pick a place that will become your practice space. This is where you'll keep all of your tools. Having a centralized practice space will help to minimize excuses and maximize productivity. The space doesn't have to be large or fancy; it could simply be a corner in your bedroom. Try to pick a space that will have few distractions. When you step into your space you want to get into practice mode and the more distractions the harder it is to get into that practice mode. Here are a few pract
I've had a few people request a written version of my tune Adventures of Superball . So, for those who are interested, you can download a copy here . There are two versions one for guitar and one for mandolin. This tune is on my latest CD, Open Spaces . You can purchase the track, Adventures of Superball and the rest of the CD below. Have fun with it!