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How To Become A Great Guitarist

Jun 5, 2008
Want to become not just merely a good guitarist, but a great one, then you must master the guitar fret board. A guitar fret board is the flat section on the front of the neck of the guitar. You play guitar chords and select notes to play on the fret board. There are metal bars embedded across the board dividing it into several parts and these parts are called frets.

Yes, it may seem at first almost impossible, especially for the novice guitarist to know every single note on every single fret, however, if you want to be a great guitarist, it is critical to learn them all. It may be more difficult than learning the notes on the piano but with dogged determination, you can master all the notes and chords on the guitar fret board.

Some people suggest that you can practice the guitar mentally. Frederick Noad the author of "Solo Guitar Playing" suggest mental practice methods such as "Learning by Equivalent Notes", "Transfer of Position" and "Learning by Fret". You must keep memorizing the notes and positions until you know when to play the notes instinct even with eyes closed.

Position-to-note and note-to-position are also mental practice methods. This means that whenever you think of or see a position you must know exactly which notes are there. Similarly, whenever you see or think of a note, you must know exactly where to play it on the fret board.

You can also design yourself some memory games or download some that are available on the internet. These games usually use memory cards, which have on them either the fret numbers or the position, or both. You must look at each card and give the relevant information straight out from your memory.

For instance, if you pick up a card which says "Fret 3", you will have to say "G C F A# D G" out loud. Mnemonics are used for all sorts of learning include learning how to play the guitar. It is a very useful tool in helping you to master the guitar fret board.

Here is an example of Mnemonics - An Elephant was chasing an Ape with a Dog but tripped over a Gator out popped a Bird eating an Emu, helps you learn the open notes of fret 12 and 24. The capitalized letters in bold are the open notes. If you are witty enough, you could come up with your own mnemonics to make your learning the guitar fret board much more fun.

It is also critical to know your 'sharps' and 'flats' very well. C sharp and D flat is the same note, right? However, when you are playing away on your guitar, do you remember that? You must know how it is played, both ways, equally well. This will show that nothing can confuse you or make you hesitate while playing the guitar. This makes you an expert on the guitar fret board.

The guitar fret board has pearl markers strategically located which are embedded in the wood. Usually, these markers are laid in the exact same positions on every guitar. A standard guitar will have these markings on the third fret, the fifth and the ninth.

The twelfth fret has two markers because it is exactly one octave higher than the open string. The fifteenth fret again has a single marker. These markings are not only useful but important as well because they can guide you to find and play the right notes on the fret board more easily.

Mastering the guitar fret board is an extremely time consuming and tiring work. However, the effort is well worth it because once you mastered learning the guitar fret board because you will become an awesome guitarist. This is because most guitarists do not master the fret board and your guitar playing skills will be far ahead of them.

Motivate yourself by learning one fret a time and set a realistic time table when you will know every single note on the fret board. Simply mastering the guitar fret board will make you a much more proficient guitarist and who knows, you may one day become a great superstar guitarist.
About the Author
Chris Chew owns a music education website at Learn
How To Play Lead Guitar
Learn How To Play Drums
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