Can't Understand Your Neck? Just Start with This!

Are you feeling stumped at how to start learning your neck and you don’t seem to have a plan to get started... then you need this lesson! In it, I’m going to show you the first step in how to start learning your neck by establishing control over the unisons that link positions between the exact same tone... 

If you don't understand this "5-fret Unison" concept, then this lack of knowledge is preventing you from knowing the locations of all individual tones across the entire fretboard. 

Once you learn this process it will be the first step to making it possible to understand the note locations and then later, play chords and melody all over the entire range of the guitar.

If you’ve tried to study the guitar neck and you've tried to learn how notes move around, how chords sit on the neck and how scales are laid out on the neck, you probably have already noticed something. The guitar neck is only 5 frets long when judging pitch to pitch off of the same tone.

If you haven’t studied this, you need to do some work it. This principle is the key to completely organizing how the notes are located on guitar and how chords can be mapped out, as well as, how scales are established (so that you can learn how to do solos and play better rhythm guitar).

In this YouTube video (below), I’m going to start breaking all of this down for you, and as time goes on, I’ll be making more videos about learning the neck. 

So to make sure you don’t miss anything, obviously you have to subscribe but do me a favor and also turn on that notification bell so that you don’t miss any of the upcoming lessons on learning your neck.


We will begin by taking the note of “C” at the 5th string’s 3rd fret. Next, we'll go up along that 5th-string moving five frets higher. Then, jump over to the 6th string’s 8th fret.

What we have with that note relationship from third to eighth fret, is our 5-fret distance where we’ve located another tone of the exact same “C” pitch.

Now keep in mind, that’s the exact same pitch of "C" that we had previously played over at the 5th guitar string's, 3rd fret.

Next, I want you to follow along with me as we connect those notes using a short, simplistic “C Major” scale pattern.

Keep in mind that this is not a typical play through of a "C" Major scale performed from a "Tonic" note up to an "Octave." This layout is considered as a, "Unison" scale layout.

‘C’ Major - Unison Scale Pattern

Next, we'll create a "C" Major Unison Scale phrase.

‘C’ Major - Unison Scale Phrase:

Next, let’s change up some of the notes that are located between this 5-fret layout so that we can play through a “C” Minor scale phrase while still keeping the new Minor scale layout located in between those exact same “C” tone frets, on the 5th and 6th strings.

‘C’ Minor - Unison Scale Pattern:

Next, we'll create a "C" Minor Unison Scale phrase.

‘C’ Minor - Unison Scale Phrase:

At this point you’ve learned about connecting the neck between two of the same pitches (a Unison), across two strings using the two most popular scales in music.

Now, go back to a scenario where someone might have told you that you need to study 5 or 7 scale patterns for every scale across the entire guitar neck every day in order to learn the guitar scales across the fret-board.

What good is all of that in the early days of learning the neck, if you don’t even grasp the basic idea of how the guitar neck is only 5-frets pitch to pitch.

Obviously, down the road you can do all the long sessions that you want to practicing all of scales across every inch of the fingerboard in 5 or 7 different patterns.

If you don’t start with a good connection across this simple 5-fret region – do you really think that you’re going to have a solid grasp for those more involved full sized 7 tone scales across multiple positions? Probably not. It will most likely confuse you.

The next series of connecting exercises that we’re going to do, will take the “C” Major scale fragment from between those Unison tones and move it up the guitar neck from the 5th to 10th and then from the 8th to the 13th.

The next examples will show you how to transition that “C” Major scale along into new octave regions and in doing so, help you stretch your knowledge out across the guitar neck while evolving the study of this 5 fret /pitch to pitch principle.

Next, we'll take our "C Major" Unison scale up the neck into a group of higher octaves. This will help you better understand how easy this shape is to move around the fret-board.

‘C’ Major - 5th and 4th-string 
  • Unison Scale Pattern

‘C’ Major - 5th and 4th-string 
  • Unison Scale Phrase

‘C’ Major - 4th and 3rd-string 
  • Unison Scale Pattern

‘C’ Major - 4th and 3rd-string 
  • Unison Scale Phrase

‘C’ Major - 2nd and 1st-string 
  • Unison Scale Pattern

‘C’ Major - 2nd and 1st-string 
  • Unison Scale Phrase

Learning the notes, the scales, and all of your chords on the guitar can certainly start to feel like a pretty overwhelming task when you first get yourself going into a serious practice routine of learning your entire neck. the long and short of it is that it's going to take some time.

There is a lot to study when it comes down to learning the guitar fingerboard. But, if you learn the guitar neck in sections and you learn where and how simple patterns exist, and combine that with an understanding for how a few basic connection techniques can help get you started - the layout of the neck will slowly become a whole lot easier for you to understand.

Guys if you found this video /lesson helpful make sure you leave your comments and thumbs up below. 

And, if you’re looking for a step by step guitar program that puts real tested methods into a proven guitar course (not just random YouTube videos), it’s all available over at Creative Guitar

And, remember you don’t want to miss any of these guitar neck lesson videos in this series  (because I want to start covering how to really learn the neck using simple note segmenting concepts), turn on those notifications and subscribe to the YouTube channel.

All right guys we’ll be back here again real soon. Thanks for learning!

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