How To Entirely Learn Your Neck Each Night (YEAR ROUND!)

If you want to get a solid, (and fast), understanding of the neck for your keys and your scales - and keep it going year round - you will definitely want to watch this video where I share exactly how to do it...

Be forewarned, there are no secret shortcuts or gimmicks to doing this. As a matter of fact, there are many practice hours that have to be done in order to get to a solid awareness level of the guitar neck.

You will have to ask yourself whether it is worth it for you to proceed with the time involved. That said, within the video are the major components of how I do this year round with my own private students.

Every guitar player wants to learn their fret-board! Why? Well, because knowing the guitar neck is critical to having musical success with using chords and melody.

Having good control over our guitar neck leads us to having better knowledge with our; scales, knowing our keys, and understanding notes on the neck. All of that information is also important to learning how neck knowledge leads us to seeing and applying patterns for playing melody in every region of the fingerboard.

If you’ve had trouble taking the concept of musical keys over to learning the neck, then this lesson is going to be very valuable to you!

In it, we’re going to study a system that will guide you from keys to melody plus get you better at knowing your guitar neck… So, let’s jump into how this works – right now.

The first thing we need to become familiar with is the circle of key signatures. In music we have keys that operate for us to be able to create music with; and the keys do this first as scales, (to produce melody), and secondly they operate as chords (to create harmony).

Keys are established as sharps and flats. There’s also one neutral key called the key of “C.” And, it has no sharps or flats. To begin learning the keys, get a copy of the “Circle.” And, post it up where you practice music.

Each evening that you practice this exercise, pick a new key.

NOTE: When you select a new key, always keep in mind that you can set-up the notes from the “Major” or from the “Minor” tonality. It’s up to you which one that you decide to use.

Once you’ve selected your key, the next step is to plot out the keys root notes on the guitar fingerboard within a 5-fret region.

Why five, frets? ...Well because five frets establishes an excellent playing range, it’s just enough fret-range to get you focused, but not enough to over-whelm you. Now, let me demonstrate how this works on guitar.

I’ve selected the note of “D” out of the key of “F.” And, I did this because later on (when I start building scales from the key of “F”), I’m going to use the “key of F” Minor tonality of “D Minor,”

fig. 1). Selecting key-note location

Major and Relative Minor:
If you don’t already understand that every Major scale has a related Minor scale then please realize that “D Minor” is the Minor tonality of the key of “F.”

Before starting to create scale layouts, map out a “5-fret” region using the “D” notes, on the guitar. I’ve established a range on the fingerboard from the 3rd fret to the 7th fret.

It is shown in the image given above marked as; (fig. 1).

Once you’ve selected your range along with the note that will act as your tonal center note, (in our case that’s the note of “D”), the next thing to do is start mapping out several scale layouts on the neck within this octave range.

Natural Note Overview:
It is good to begin by scanning through natural notes in the range prior to playing the selected key of study. This is an excellent way to understand exactly where all of the natural tones sit within your selected neck region.

NOTE: Keep in mind, once you start using the notes of the key, you’ll need to alter any sharp or flat tones that relate to the key you’re using for the exercise.

fig. 2). Organizing natural notes in a range

STAGE ONE: The Initial Pattern
It is time to build the first scale outline. For our exercise we will build a scale layout that is off of the 5th guitar string's 5th fret of “D” and carries along up to the “D” note on the 3rd fret of the second guitar string.

Remember, the “D Minor Scale” is what we’re constructing. This scale contains a “Bb” note.

fig. 3). Establishing the notes of a chosen key


I wanted to take a minute to let you know, that if you want to learn even more about scales and theory I have a great offer for you.

With any donation over $5, or any merchandise purchase from either my Tee-Spring, or my Zazzle store, I’ll send you a free copy of THREE of my most popular digital handouts.

One is called, “Harmonized Arpeggio Drills” (it’ll train you on developing your diatonic arpeggios).

Another one is my “Barre Chord” Handout which includes a page showing all the key signatures along with a chord progression that applies barre chords.

Plus, you’ll get my Notation Pack! It has 8 pages of important guitar worksheets for notating anything related to; music charts, guitar chord diagrams, and TAB.

As a BONUS, (from my "Over 40 and Still Can't Play a Scale" video), I'll also throw in a breakdown of all of the chords that are diatonic to the "F Major" scale.

As an EXTRA BONUS for my Phrygian Dominant video, I'll also throw in a breakdown featuring all of the chords that are diatonic to the Phrygian Dominant scale.

Just send me an email off of the contact page of to let me know about either your donation or your Merchandise purchase and I’ll email you those digital handouts within 24 hrs.    


STAGE TWO: The Secondary Pattern
Once you’ve organized a range on the neck using the scale you’ve selected, the next step in this exercise is going to be to organize another area within the 5-fret range to construct another pattern using the same notes, (in our case, those are the notes of “D” Minor).

I’m going to organize these tones from off of the “D” at the 5th fret of the fifth string, up to the “D” octave at the 3rd string on the 7th fret.

fig 4). Creating a secondary region note layout

STAGE THREE: Creating a "Whole Coverage" Pattern
Our final step will be to organize one more pattern that will join the notes across the entire span of our region in what we’ll call our “Whole Coverage.”

For this part of the exercise, we’ll play from one of two places on the neck for our “D” note starting point. We’ll either use the “D” at the 3rd string 7th fret. Or, we could also play our scale tones from off of the “D” at the 2nd string third fret.

fig. 5). Creating a "Whole Coverage" pattern

So, there you have it, a fantastic exercise for nailing down; the notes on the neck, and for really getting to know your keys, your Major and Minor Relative scales and how to format the notes within a 5-fret range on the guitar neck.

Before we wrap things up, I want to just add that it’s really important to jam on this stuff. So, be sure to spend time on getting inventive with these scale tones, create some melodies and some riffs as you plot the scale tones out on the guitar.

Plus, do your best to create melody with the scales. If you need jam-tracks, go and do a search on YouTube for, Key of "D Minor" backing tracks.

You’ll discover that dozens and dozens of jam-tracks are already posted to YouTube and they can be great for further development of learning your scale layouts.

This work is really helpful because through jam-tracks you’ll develop a solid ability for not just the notes on the neck, but also for developing improvising skill when it comes to using the scales within any musical situation.



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