In this video, I answer an email from a subscriber who asked how he could better memorize the notes on the fretboard.
This is something I’ve helped many students with in the past so I’ve decided include two of my favorite exercises which you can use to help you memorize the fretboard of your bass.
For the first exercise, you’ll need a tuner of some sort. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. I use a clip-on tuner in this lesson which costs about £20/$25, but this exercise works just as well with a tuning pedal or even a tuning app on your phone.
To complete this first exercises you need to pick a note at random (let’s say F), play each fret on your bass until you locate all the F’s on each string and then use the tuner to test your memory by playing all the frets that you think are the note of F.
This exercise is great if you’re a beginner or you haven’t spent much time learning your bass neck before because the tuner will tell you if you’re correct.
You can use this as part of your practice routine or perhaps even as a short warm up. And, the more you do it, the more you’ll reinforce the neck locations of the notes.
The second exercise is a little more advanced. It involves taking a song, bass line or riff that you know well and calling out the note names of each note as you play it.
I demonstrate this with a twelve-bar-blues pattern here but you can use anything you like. And again, you can use the tuner to check if you’re correct.
What I love about this second exercise is that, once you feel you’ve learned all the notes from the line you’re working with, you can change the key of the song and get a completely new challenge from the same material. In a different key, all the notes will change and this just provides you with even more practice material!
Try this exercise out and let me know what you think of it by leaving me a comment below!