3 BLATANT SIGNS You STILL Don't Understand Your Neck!

It doesn’t matter whether you have mastered your guitar neck or not, the strength of your neck knowledge is not something that can be assessed by how well you play guitar, nor by how well you understand music...





In this video, I’m going to show you 3 specific things you can look for that will act as red flags to alert you to having guitar fingerboard weakness. These red flags will consist of guitar skill areas that you are going to want to correct.


Once you have them corrected, you'll notice a big change in your level of skill as a guitarist. For instance, something as simple as playing rhythm guitar or a simple melody (the right way!) can be challenging if you don’t have a strong enough ability for neck knowledge. Let’s dive in.




Today we’re talking about being in a position that a lot of guitar players get stuck in (and some guitar players will be be stuck here – for often – far too long of a time). What is it?  


It is being in the position of not understanding the guitar neck. If there’s one aspect about playing guitar that you don’t want to have… if there’s one place that you don’t want to be it’s at it's a place of not having a really good understanding when it comes to your guitar neck.


It is important to understand that playing that guitar well has a lot to do with having a very solid working knowledge about how the guitar’s fingerboard operates, how the notes sit on it, and how scale shapes work all over the neck. 


If you’re still at a place where any of these areas don’t exactly make sense, then you need to watch this video. In it, I’m going to cover THREE “Blatant Signs” that you still don’t understand your guitar neck. 


We'll also cover how to start down the path of improving upon these areas so that the mystery of the neck fades away and you have a far better sense of how to get the music in your mind out into the real world.






The first Blatant sign that you’ve got a neck understanding problem is if you only play music in one or two places on the fret-board. And, this can take hold in several different ways. 


The most common way that this issue presents itself tends to be when a guitarist will only be  “comfortable” with playing a musical idea in a certain region (a certain place) of the fret-board. 


Every guitar player is different. So your favorite zone on the neck might be the open position, or it might be at around the 5th fret. Wherever your “comfort-zone” is, what will happen from having that one comfortable area is that other areas will always feel far less satisfactory to play music in. 


You should also consider the music that you’re playing as well. This means if you’re going to play a rhythm guitar idea you might favor one particular region for playing in. Or, if you’re going to play a guitar solo, it can be very common to have a favored area for guitar licks as well.


Coming up next I’m going to discuss a few solutions that you can use to break away from playing guitar in only one neck area. But first, I want to tell you about a special promotional offer that I have for a collection of some of the most valuable handouts that I have here at my studio it’s my; Handouts Collection eBook.



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 my Tee-Spring store, I’ll send you free copies 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 CreativeGuitarStudio.com to let me know about either your donation or your Merchandise purchase and I’ll email you those digital handouts within 24 hrs.   




To help you be able to break away from playing in the same neck area all the time, I want to teach you a few solutions for rhythm guitar and for playing melody. Let’s begin with Rhythm Guitar!


Rhythm Guitar - Example 01).
A lot of rhythm guitar players get locked into using only the open position chords. For example, if we take the “G, C and D” Major chords, (from open position), and start training on them in a new location somewhere else on the neck, the benefit becomes all about learning a new reference point. For example try this…


The Chords of: "G, C and D" (Mid-neck Region):

Learning to play a melody in more than one region can be similar to rhythm guitar, but the approach to improving your neck knowledge for playing single-note lines is a little different. 


The improvement to single-note lines can still happen rather quickly when you work at changing the key of the melody.


Melody - Example 02). 

Let's say that you had a melody in the key of “G” 




If you were to work at transposing that melodic idea to another key it will force you to orchestrate the part in another location of the neck. So, here’s that same melody but transposed to the key of “Eb.” ...(take note of the new neck location).


Melody - Example 03). 

The melody transposed to the the key of “Eb”




The second most blatant sign that you don’t understand your guitar neck is when you are unsure whether an idea (a riff or solo shape that you’re playing) is based within Major or Minor. 


This can happen with either riffs or solos, but really the best way to tell if something that you’re playing is Major or Minor on the neck is by testing whether you can play a Major or a Minor chord, (over either the full measure or over a half- measure).


Example 04). This riff is presented to you.


Is the riff based in Major or in Minor?



To confirm the sound of major or minor - test playing either a major or a minor chord over each segment of the riff. If the first chord (that connects properly to the sound of the music), is Minor, then the other cool thing to realize is that the key would generally be Minor as well. 


The opposite of course would be true if the first, “better sounding chord” was a major. In that case, the key would generally then be a Major key.





The 3rd blatant sign that you still don’t understand your guitar neck is when the only notes that you know are on the open 6th and 5th strings, (and maybe one or two other places). Obviously, this is limiting for any player, so developing ways to expand your note knowledge is critical for becoming a better guitarist.


This is something that every guitar player needs to develop in order to get better at becoming familiar with knowing their notes on the fingerboard. The next example is an excellent exercise that will help you with achieving this.


Example 05). 

If you learn and understand the notes of a 5th-string root “C” major scale in 2nd position, and then you directly connect the same group of notes over to a 6th-string root “C” Major in 7th position, what then happens is you will develop an understanding for two fret-board locations that employ the exact same group of notes. 


Open Position:

 7th Position:

Doing this type of "Note Re-location" work is one of the best ways to better understand how notes can relate to more than only one fret-board area. 


Of course, you wouldn’t stop the note-learning there, because we can have several other fingerboard regions where those scale tones would exist.



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