3 Steps to TOTAL Fretboard Freedom (Works Every Time)

Want to get to the point of having total freedom across the fret-board then you'll need to start by avoiding the common mistakes that players make when training on guitar. Too often guitarists get stuck relying entirely upon the memorization of shapes, without ever learning about the intervals, chord tones, or the actual notes their playing... 

In this video, I’m going to show you the fastest way to understand your fret-board and I'll explain 3 steps that you need to take in order to make sure that you don’t get hung up on memorizing shapes (and nothing but shapes), along the way.


In this lesson I want to introduce you to a process for developing a much deeper understanding of anything that sits on your guitar neck - from scales to chords, or arpeggios.

This "Fretboard Freedom" idea is all based upon organizing notes on the guitar neck through; formulas, note names and patterns.

This lesson focuses on learning how the distances that relate to the type of; scale, arpeggio or chord pattern will only change slightly to produce other colors of harmony.

What we’re going to do is learn how to understand all of this with a simple one octave arpeggio... We’ll study the arpeggio as; intervals, along with the arppegios ‘formula,’ and we’ll also learn to view the shape as note names, as well as, fingering patterns.

Plus, as we go through the learning process, I’ll also discuss how this idea is used by guitar players to create melodies for song-writing or improvisation.

APPLICATION (Example 1):
Let’s start by learning how to play a 2-string (single octave) shape of an “A Major 7” arpeggio.

To understand our arpeggio guitar shape as a "Formula" we’re going to begin by plotting each note in relationship to the numeric interval layout of the arpeggio.

This means, you’ll need to understand that (from the root note), we have a formula of; major 3rd a perfect 5th and a major 7th to form the structure, of the arpeggio called, “Major 7.”

If we consider the actual note names from our root (located at our 5th fret of the 6th string), we get the notes of; “A, C#, E and G#.”

These notes are all from the key of “A Major.” And, once we know the formula as well as, the note names - this establishes a far better understanding of our “Neck Pattern.”

With the interval and note names behind us, we can view the patterns with greater understanding and clarity. We can better comprehend which notes at which areas of the layout would change to create other musical colors.

Plus, within that geometrical pattern of intervals and note names, we can start organizing different ways of structuring the notes across the fret-board.

I’d like to next show an example of one way to structure these notes, it’s called sequencing… and if you haven’t figured it out, this is the part of the process that’s used create melody for songs and solos.

Major 7th – Structured as; “1-3-5, 3-5-7.”

Now that you’ve had the chance to work through the process with that Major 7 arpeggio, let’s find out how easily the sound of Major can become Minor.

But first, before we jump into that direction, we need to learn a little bit about formulas. If you’re unaware, “Formulas,” are what’s used to generate musical sound quality differences.

The Formulas are used as a universal method for switching between different note groupings so that we can have notes behaving as Major, or Minor, or as Dominant or Diminished, or Augmented.

In diatonic harmony we have four chord formulas for Triads, another four that are used with 7th quality chords, and also, two primary scale formulas.

The scale formulas are thought of a neutral degrees for the Major Scale, they’re numbered as; 1 through 8.

When we want to change up the degrees to create Minor, all we need do is lower the; 3rd, 6th and 7th steps.

When it comes to chords and arpeggios, we’ve got four triads of Major, Minor, Augmented and Diminished.

There are also four 7th chord formulas of; Maj.7. Min.7, Dom. 7 and Min.7(b5).

When we create melodies, we can change the notes to reflect any formula to create any kind of “chord or arpeggio.”

APPLICATION (Example 2):
So, in wrapping things up - let’s convert our Major 7th arpeggio exercise, from the start of the video, over to a, “Minor 7th.”

Understand the interval relationships of the tones involved and how they differ from the Major outline.

Learn the specific note names that the formula generates as the layout is established off of a particular root (naming note /Tonic).

Apply the visual orientation of what you have organized onto the fretboard as a "Pattern." This patterned shape will be what your mind will rapidly recall when you set forward to apply the idea musically.

Finally, apply the pattern in some form of a musical manner so that it shifts from being a geometrical /physical shape on the guitar, to becoming a more musical concept.

Minor 7th – Structured as; “1-b3-5, b3-5-b7.”

Well, I hope that you enjoyed this idea of using formulas as a way to work toward total fret-board freedom... If you’d like to learn more about how to further develop your guitar playing - join my web-site as a free member and start taking a look at all of my “Guitar” Courses.

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If you’d like to learn more about topics like this one and many others, join my members site as a free member and start looking through my, “Guitar Courses.”

I’ve spent over 25 years working with hundreds of guitar students creating thousands of detailed step-by-step guitar lessons for both my website members and my private students.

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