This is How I Learned the Neck (3 LEVELS)

If you have a hard time understanding the layout of notes and patterns on the guitar neck, then you are definitely going to want to try this. These ideas are a collection of what I was first taught about how the notes work on guitar and how they are laid out across the neck. The ideas I'm about to share were my first exposure to neck training when I was initially learning guitar. And, they work great!

To really learn your neck, all it takes is just a few minutes each day using a few proven methods and you will begin to get in your own routine down.

The examples I have here will go a long way in helping you reach up to a whole new level of neck awareness. Plus you'll get your fingers to be able to respond much better (and much faster) to all of the notes on the neck.

This training routine has to do with building a better "mind muscle connection" with where all of the notes are on the guitar fingerboard.

The system works by taking your fret-board knowledge through the components of;
  • phrase re-location
  • multi-location music reading comprehension
  • single tone tracking capability (all over the guitar)


I’m going to show you the method that I went through to learn the guitar neck. And, it’s going to be a lot easier than it might seem, because you may have been doing everything you think you’re supposed to do, and yet you’re not seeing much of a result.

That’s because there’s probably a few factors that are missing in how you’re studying the guitar neck.

Now, I say this all the time, but our fingers react to how our mind trains them.

If you’re not training your fingers with the correct commands, (to go to the correct places), and if your mind has never been trained how and where notes are located on the guitar, then you’re going to feel like there’s a gap between how you’re hearing ideas in your mind and how your fingers will end up producing visualized results on the guitar’s fingerboard.

The first thing I did to learn the guitar neck is I had a teacher when I was just starting out, who had me begin working on the range of the fingerboard in 3 areas (or what he called fret regions).

Every week my teacher would give me a new short melody line... And, he wanted me to play that melody in three areas of the neck.

As you probably know, most guitar books (that you buy) start the training in the first position, but what you play in that area is going to also be available up through the 5th to 10th as well as up higher in the 10th to the 15th Frets.

Only thing is, you need to realize that the higher you move up the neck will also mean that your octave range could also become affected.

So, let me show you a way that you can use to take a phrase from the first five frets, up into 5th position region, and then move it up higher into the 10th position as well...

1st Position Melody:

5th Position Melody: 

10th Position Melody:

The next thing that happened to me (that really affected my learning of the guitar neck), was I had a teacher who introduced me to the world of Jazz Guitar.

That teacher was very serious about all of his students learning to read music. In fact, he used to have an adage he’d often say,

Guitar Players Play Guitar, but Musicians Read Music.”

He was a very serious guitar teacher about learning to read all over the neck. And, I know why. It’s because when a guitar player learns to read music, they learn the location of every note on the neck and they also become extremely proficient at understanding how rhythm operates.

As an example of how he used to get me to read down melody lines, I want to run through a short melody with you.

We’ll approach it exactly how my old teacher used to. And, that means, first we’ll learn the notes, then we’ll understand the rhythm, then move it into one other location using the exact same pitches, finally he’d want me to re-write the melody up an octave and also play it up in the new octave.

Melody - Octave Range 1:
Learn to read the following melody. Play it in two different neck regions.

Melody - Octave Range 2:
Learn to read the following melody. Play it in the correct range.

The third thing that I did (to learn the neck) is an exercise that I took from an article I’d read (in a guitar magazine - I used to buy), that magazine was called, “Guitar for the Practicing Musician.”

The article talked about a multiple note layout concept on the neck that worked in a way where you would start from the lowest pitch of a particular note name, and then you’d take that note and move it vertically (string by string), playing the same note (but through different octaves), until you reached the highest pitch for that note on the neck.

The exercise was all based upon the idea of where you were supposed to play all of the notes quickly using a metronome if possible.

However, playing the exercise fast required a lot of practice.

I felt it was a great exercise that I started doing and kept doing for around a month and it was incredibly helpful for nailing down the notes all over the guitar fingerboard. Plus it really helped me get to know note names.

Let me demonstrate this exercise for you using the note of “F.”

Note Tracking Exercise:



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