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The Ultimate Fretboard Guide

By Andrew Koblick

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Table of Contents

1. The 5 Basic Chord Forms 2. The Major scales of the 5 Basic Chord Forms 3. Linking the 5 Major Chord Forms 4. Fleshing out the Skeleton 5. The Modes

3 The 5 Major Chord Forms: The guitar when tuned to standard (this is the most basic) tuning: E (Thickest String) A D G B E (Thinnest String) Can be covered by knowing the 5 Basic chord Patterns: The Chord Patterns are laid out to Spell C-A-G-E-D These chords can all be played in the open position: Open position refers to a chord played on the far left (for right handed guitar) portion of the fretboard. Here are the diagrams for these Chords: Basic Major Chords Major Chords C 6 5 4 3 2 1 ______o___o |_|_|_|_o_| |_|_o_|_|_| |_o_|_|_|_| |_|_|_|_|_| |_|_|_|_|_| A 6 5 4 3 2 1 __o_______o |_|_|_|_|_| |_|_o_o_o_| |_|_|_|_|_| |_|_|_|_|_| |_|_|_|_|_| G 6 5 4 3 2 1 ____o_o_o__ |_|_|_|_|_| |_o_|_|_|_| o_|_|_|_|_o |_|_|_|_|_| |_|_|_|_|_| E 6 5 4 3 2 1 o_______o_o |_|_|_o_|_| |_o_o_|_|_| |_|_|_|_|_| |_|_|_|_|_| |_|_|_|_|_| D 6 5 4 3 2 1 x___o______ |_|_|_|_|_| |_|_|_o_|_o |_|_|_|_o_| |_|_|_|_|_| |_|_|_|_|_| .

4 C Major A Major G Major .

5 E Major D Major These are the Chord Forms that will out line the Fretboard. Now Lets put them together on the Fretboard for the Key of C .

6 At the Open Fret We see the C Form Position and the A Form Position (Note the A form is usally a Bar Chord) At the 8th Fret we See the G Form Position and the E Form Position And Finally at the 10th Fret the D Position All of these are C Major Chords .

Remember there are only 5 chord Forms to remember Lets talk about how the chords link together. You guessed it. There are 5 basic Major Scale Forms NOTES: .7 It is very important that you learn these chord Forms and Positions. KEY OF C – C Major Chord The C Position has the third finger on the Root (A string 3rd Fret) The A Position has the First finger on the Root (A string 3rd Fret) The A Position has three notes in the fifth fret played with the THIRD Finger The G Position has three notes in the fifth fret played with the FIRST Finger The G Position plays the 8th Fret with the 4th Finger (Root) The E Position plays the 8th Fret with the 1st Finger (Barred) The E Position plays the 10th Fret with the 4th Finger (On the D String) The D Position plays the 10th Fret with the 1st Finger (On the D string) So you see each of the chord Positions has part of the other Chord Positions Now the only thing to do is to flesh out the skeleton with scales.

Think Spacially. 3. Note: Between each note is either a: • • Half step (One Fret) or Whole Step (Two Frets) Notice how above I placed the 3 and 4 closer together and the 7 and 8 Look at the piano graphic below notice the black keys You will notice there is no black key between the B and C and Between the E and F In the C Major Scale: C 1 D 2 E F 3 4 G 5 A 6 B C 7 8 I want you to visualize the Major Scale for a moment. 5 or the Do Mi Sol of each scale. The Major Scale: Do 1 Key of C: C Re 2 D Mi Fa 3 4 E F Sol 5 G La 6 A Ti Do 7 8 B C Note the 8=1 Just up an octave. . Think how the 3 and 4 are closer together.8 The Notes of the Scales By Now we already know where part of each scale is because Each chord is made up of the 1.

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: When discussing notes/sounds I will use “Scale” or “Chord” or “Note” When discussing position or fingering I will use “Form” or “Position” Read this a couple of times and make sure you understand.9 Now lets look at the 5 Major Scale forms: D Major (Ionian) *** That is sure a lot of notes you must be saying to yourself. This means the Notes in the D Scale played between the 7th and 10th fret. LETS GET STARTED ON SCALE POSITIONS . Lets break it down. So when I say play the D “Chord” in the G “Form” I mean the notes making The D chord played at the 10th Fret *** I will also say play the D “Scale” in the G “Position.

4..6 and 7 ( Re. Fa.10 The C ”Form” of the D Major “Scale” The first Thing to note is the C Chord Form.5 or Do Mi Sol of the scale) Now we just need to add the 2. Can you play a D Bar chord using the C Form Can you see the chord D F# A (1. La and Ti) Find the E Find the G Find the B Find the C# Now how do we finger the scale Starting on the A String: Put your first finger on the 2nd fret Put your second finger on the 3rd fret Put your Third finger on the 4th fret Put your Fourth finger on the 5th fret • • • • • • • • • The First note The Third note The Fifth note The Sixth note (D) is played with the 4th finger (5th fret) on the A string (F#) is played with the 3rd finger (4th fret) on the D string (A) is played with the 1st finger (2nd fret) on the G string (B) is played with the 3rd finger (4th fret) on the G string The Second note (E) is played with the 1st finger (2nd fret) on the D string The Fourth note (G) is played with the 4th finger (5th fret) on the D string The Seventh note (D) is played with the 1st finger (2nd fret) on the B string Which will bring us back to Do a deer….3. The Eighth note (D) is played with the 2nd finger ( 3rd fret) on the B string .

com . You should feel pretty much in control of this after doing this simple exercise a few times. Simply tap each note (Forget using your picking hand!) 8 times up the scale Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Re Re Re Re Re Re Re Re Mi Mi Mi Mi Mi Mi Mi Mi Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa So So So So So So So So La La La La La La La La Ti Ti Ti Ti Ti Ti Ti Ti You get the idea. Now go back down the scale tapping 8 times each. Just follow this link: http://www.11 GREAT!! YOU KNOW THE D “SCALE” IN THE C “POSITION” NOW here is a great exercise to make you a Pro at this scale” Do this very slowly at first until you get it perfect.guitar5day. A great resource for exercises that will help you conquer the Fretboard is The Amazing Guitar Plan.

5. 6 and 7 ( Re. 3 or Do Sol Do Mi of the scale) Now we just need to add the 2. Can you play a D Bar chord using the A Form D A D F# Can you see the chord D A D F# (1.12 The A ”Form” of the D Major “Scale” The first Thing to note is the A Chord Form. 4. 1. Fa. La and Ti) Find the E Find the G Find the B Find the C# Now how do we finger the scale Starting on the A String: Put your First finger on the 5th fret Put your Second finger on the 6th fret Put your Third finger on the 7th fret Put your Fourth finger on the 8th fret • • • • • • • • The First note The Third note The Fifth note The Sixth note (D) is played with the 2nd finger (5th fret) on the A string (F#) is played with the 1st finger (4th fret) on the D string (A) is played with the 4th finger (7th fret) on the D string (B) is played with the 1st finger (4th fret) on the G string The Second note (E) is played with the 4th finger (7th fret) on the A string The Fourth note (G) is played with the 2nd finger (5th fret) on the D string The Seventh note (D) is played with the 3rd finger (6th fret) on the G string Which will bring us back to Do a deer…. The Eighth note (D) is played with the 4th finger ( 7th fret) on the G string • ..

13 NOTES _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ .

14 The G ”Form” of the D Major “Scale” The first Thing to note is the G Chord Form. La and Ti) Find the E Find the G Find the B Find the C# Now how do we finger the scale Starting on the E String: Put your First finger on the 5th fret Put your Second finger on the 6th fret Put your Third finger on the 7th fret Put your Fourth finger on the 8th fret • • • • • • • • • • The First note (D) is played with the 4th finger (10th fret) on the E string The Second note (E) is played with the 1st finger (7th fret) on the A string The Third note (F#) is played with the 3rd finger (9th fret) on the A string The Fourth note (G) is played with the 4th finger (10th fret) on the A string The Fifth note (A) is played with the 1st finger (7th fret) on the D string The Sixth note (B) is played with the 3rd finger (9th fret) on the D string ***Note: This is different*** To play the next note you will slide your hand down one fret to the 6th Fret The Seventh note (C#) is played with the 1st finger (6th fret) on the G string Which will bring us back to Do a deer….. 3. Can you play a D Bar chord using the G Form? D F# A D Can you see the chord D F# A D (1. Fa. or Do Mi Sol Do of the scale) Now we just need to add the 2. 4. 1. 5. 6 and 7 ( Re. The Eighth note (D) is played with the 2nd finger ( 7th fret) on the G string • WOW!! We have covered 3 of the 5 Major Forms/Positions!!! .

or Do Sol Do Mi of the scale) Now we just need to add the 2. When you learn the Basic Blues scale or Pentatonic Minor the notes are part of the E Position. 1.E.15 Remember C-A-G. Fa.D. 6 and 7 ( Re. 4. The E ”Form” of the D Major “Scale” The E Form is probably the form most people start with. La and Ti) Find the E Find the F# (The first F3 is not used in the chord) Find the G Find the B Find the C# Now how do we finger the scale? Starting on the E String: Put your First finger on the 9th fret Put your Second finger on the 10th fret Put your Third finger on the 11th fret Put your Fourth finger on the 12th fret Continued on next page . 5. The first Thing to note is the E Chord Form. Can you play a D Bar chord using the E Form? D A D F# Can you see the chord D A D F# (1. 3.

We are almost Finished!! We have covered 4 of the 5 Major Forms/Positions!!! NOTES_________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ . The Eighth note (D) is played with the 2nd finger ( 10th fret) on the High E string This Form is probably the most popular.16 The E ”Form” of the D Major “Scale” continued • • • • • • • • • • • The First note The Third note The Fourth note The Fifth note The Sixth note (D) is played with the 2nd finger (10th fret) on the E string (F#) is played with the 1st finger (9th fret) on the A string (G) is played with the 2nd finger (10th fret) on the A string (A) is played with the 4th finger (12th fret) on the A string (B) is played with the 1st finger (9th fret) on the D string The Second note (E) is played with the 4th finger (12th fret) on the E string The Seventh note (C#) is played with the 3rd finger (6th fret) on the D string Which will bring us back to Do a deer….. The Eighth note (D) is played with the 4th finger ( 12th fret) on the D string Now Lets Look at the second Octave: The First note (D) is played with the 4th finger ( 12th fret) on the D string • • • • • • • • • (8th note of 1st Octave) The Second note (E) is played with the 1st finger (9th fret) on the G string The Third note The Fourth note The Fifth note The Sixth note (F#) is played with the 3rd finger (11th fret) on the G string (G) is played with the 4th finger (12th fret) on the G string (A) is played with the 2nd finger (10th fret) on the B string (B) is played with the 4th finger (12th fret) on the B string The Seventh note (C#) is played with the 1st finger (9th fret) on the High E string Which will bring us back to Do a deer…. Also E-D-C-A-G isn’t a word. Then Why didn’t you teach this one first? I don’t like to teach this one first because so many people only learn this form and get stuck and never progress..

You have done it!! If you study these 5 Forms and scale Positions you will have complete access To the Fret Board. Notice the F# A and D are part of the C Form Also • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The First note The Third note The Fourth note The Fifth note The Sixth note (D) is played with the 2nd finger ( 12th fret) on the D string (F#) is played with the 1st finger (11th fret) on the G string (G) is played with the 2nd finger (12th fret) on the G string (A) is played with the 4th finger (14th fret) on the G string (B) is played with the 1st finger (12th fret) on the B string The Second note (E) is played with the 1st finger (14th fret) on the D string Now you shift up 1 Fret The Seventh note (C#) is played with the 3rd finger (14th fret) on the B string Which will bring us back to Do a deer….E. .D.. The D ”Form” of the D Major “Scale” The D Form is probably the least used form but the D Form really holds the key to connecting the entire fret board together. The Eighth note (D) is played with the 2nd finger ( 15th fret) on the B string And You can add the first three notes of the next octave: The Second note (E) is played with the 1st finger (12th fret) on the High E string The Third note The Fourth note (F#) is played with the 3rd finger (14th fret) on the High E String (G) is played with the 4th finger (15th fret) on the High E String.17 Remember C-A-G.

3 Whole steps plus one half step (7 frets) La 6 .Major 4th .Octave 6 Whole steps (12 Frets) . An example the Dorian mode: Re Mi Fa So La ti Do Re 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 2 Lets take the Key of C CDEFGABc DEFGABCD The Dorian mode (Key of C) So what does that Do? (Stay with me here) Well the next step in understanding modes is to know the relationship of each note to the Tonic or first note. The simplest description of modes would be the scales inside the major scale. Let me demonstrate: The major scale has 8 notes Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 (or 1) To play a mode you simply play from a number to the same number an octave higher.Major 5th .Major 6th .18 The Modes: I.2 Whole steps plus one half step (5 frets) So 5 .5 Whole steps plus one half step (11 frets) Do 8 .Major 7th .2 Whole steps (4 frets) Fa 4 .Major 2nd . Instruction What are modes? You hear a lot of talk about Modes in music and they seem mysterious at first but once you learn what they are and how to use them they add a whole level of texture to your music.1 Whole step (2 frets) Mi 3 .Tonic Re 2 .4 Whole steps plus one half step (9 frets) Ti 7 . In the major scale it goes like this: Do 1 .Major 3rd .

A half step is 1 fret Key of C C D E F G A B C Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do Whole Whole 1/2 Whole Whole Whole 1/2 If you have access to a Piano note the White and black keys the black keys are in sets of 2two and threes. Now MODES: The names of the modes: Ionian From 1 to 1 AKA Major Dorian From 2 to 2 Phrygian From 3 to 3 Lydian From 4 to 4 Mixolydian From 5 to 5 Aeolian From 6 to 6 AKA Natural Minor Locrian From 7 to 7 Note: Ionian.19 The relationship between the notes is also important: Remember a whole step is 2 frets. Phrygian and Aeolian are Minor because the 3rd is minor Locrian is Diminished minor .Scarey! because the 3rd is minor and the 5th is diminished . Lydian and Mixolydian are Major Modes because the 3rd is major Dorian.

20 In the key of C: Ionian: Dorian: Phrygian: Lydian: Comments C · D · E · F · G · A · B · C Major D·E·F·G·A·B·C·D E·F·G·A·B·C·D·E F·G·A·B·C·D·E·F Minor 3rd .Major 6th Flat 2nd Sharp 4th Flat 7th Natural Minor Diminished 5th Mixolydian: G · A · B · C · D · E · F · G Aeolian: Locrian: A·B·C·D·E·F·G·A B·C·D·E·F·G·A·B When to use different modes Ionian: Sweet Pop sound Dorian: Latin sound Phrygian: More Latin Sound Lydian: Major Jazz Mixolydian: Major Blues Aeolian: Minor sound (sad) Locrian: Mysterious NOTES More Resources Next Page: .

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