The Basics of The Fretboard

In-depth learning pf the fretboard is an obvious goal for guitar players simply because it allows them to play faster.

It’ll do the same for you if you put your mind to it.

It’ll increase your mental ability of recalling notes.

Being able to find any note and really knowing the fretboard are two very different things.

If you cannot recall notes in nanosecond speed, how will you be able to keep up with high tempo songs?

But before you get down to learning the fretboard, here are a few basic things you need to know first.

Strings and tuning

The thinnest string is the 1st string and the thickest string is the 6th string. That’s how they are numbered. Tuning is given from the 6th to the 1st as in E-A-D-G-B-E. This is referred to as standard tuning.

The first seven letters of the alphabet are used to name notes.

But there are more than seven notes on a guitar so note names repeat themselves.

Fret numbering

Frets are the thin strips of metal found on the neck of the guitar. Each represents a semitone in the standard western system.

Fretting is the action of pressing down the string behind a fret.

The headstock or peghead is the part of the guitar with the pegs.

Frets are numbered from the headstock towards the body starting with 1.

Zero (0) is used to represent an open string – one played without fretting a note.

A normal 22-fret guitar contains 138 notes!

Fretboard movement

Guitar players move either up and down the fretboard or across the fretboard.

There are specific terms used to refer to the shift of fingers on the fretboard.

Fretboard note locations

Now this one’s the kicker.



A half step is the distance between two frets next to each other.

A whole step is two of those.

There are a couple of memorization techniques for the fretboard.

Find the one that suits you to be able to learn as fast as you can so that you can be playing the guitar like a pro in no time.