How to find the notes on the guitar fretboard?
Musical notes represent sounds of definite pitch. When we perform, we are constantly searching for sounds and notes, there fore, we need to learn how to find them on the guitar fretboard.
We generally will not remember, with precision, where they are, by solely memorising, visually the position, or by using any form of logic. You will remember where to find a sound, better said a combination of notes, as no note comes alone, by identifying the sound previous to its location on the guitar fretboard.
Once you are able to sing what you want to play, you will be ready to find the sound on the guitar. All groups of sounds, phrases, melodies, passages, are generally in a specific tonal centre. This means, that the note you are looking for, will be one, of more or less, seven notes to choose from.
Why sing before you play?
At the Creative Guitar School, I will teach you where to find the notes by learning the scale patterns, but above all, how to find the desired note effectively, by recognising its pitch, and singing it before you play it on the guitar fretboard.
Further more, the pitch on the guitar fretboard can increase in different directions. If you first understand that the sound you are looking for, is going up or down in pitch, then you will not be confused, by which direction you take on the guitar, to find this increase of pitch.
In our first lesson, of all beginners guitar courses, we learn all the notes of the C scale, on all strings. We learn them quickly, by singing and naming them in tempo. We quickly identify the distance between notes, and understand the concept of semi tones and tones.
I strongly urge all students, to repeat this exercise daily, in tempo, to get quickly acquainted with the sound, and as a consequence the notes on the guitar fretboard.
When you practice guitar, please keep in mind that all exercises must be repeated daily, to ensure you can properly memorise the task. However, repetition can sometimes be tiring. Do not worry, I am there for you, to give you new weekly challenges, and to modify any exercise, so you may maintain your constant interest in your daily practice routine .
Why do we learn chords on the guitar?
Not all musical instruments can play chords, however, it is presumed that beginner students, first must learn to play chords on the guitar.
A chord is only part of the tools we can use, to create the accompaniment for a song. A song has tempo, groove, melody, background lines, bass lines, harmony and sections. We need to learn all the basic tools, required to play a song from the beginning to the end. A song is really a melody, the vocal line, and all the rest are tools, to help that vocal line come alive.
Chords can be used to define the groove of a song. A drummer defines the groove with sounds that are not specific lyrical pitches, a bass defines the groove by playing melodic lines in the low register, that define the chords.
As a guitarist, when you play a chord, you define the groove of the song, with more than one note at a time, and since the difference in between chords, create changes in intensity, we get a sort of flow, a forward motion in our playing.
However, we also need to learn to play melodies, the vocal line, which is what the song is about. At the Creative Guitar School, you will learn how to play chords, create your own rhythms and especially, learn how to play the melody of the song, and create variations, to keep the flow going.
The melody, the vocal part with no lyrics, is the essence of a song. You need to master how to play melodies immediately, to avoid frustration, and to avoid getting stuck, in what to do on the guitar.
How to create strumming patterns?
At the Creative Guitar School, l I teach you how to develop your own strumming patterns. For such, you only need to know the ingredients of the patterns which are:
- the subdivisions of the beat,
- how to identify a groove and
- reproduce it.
You will be surprised on how quick you are able to create your own powerful grooves and strumming patterns. This is must for all your musical productions.
However, you need constant practice in your daily routine to achieve the musical goal with satisfaction. You must strive to always play in tempo, as such will reduce the time you will take to learn. It helps focus and reduces unnecessary, never ending repetitions. The more you play in tempo, the quicker you will learn .
When should I start concentrating on technique?
In the initial stages of your learning, you must be able to identify:
- melodic values,
- rhythmic patterns,
- understand song structure,
- maintain a tempo, ect.
Once you are efficient in the basic musical knowledge, then you will be ready to develop speed, accuracy and guitar technique to help you further your expression.
Technique, may come naturally, by completing the exercises and learning of all songs. However, as a teacher, I will quickly identify your learning obstacles, which we all have, and I will give exercises to overcome specific technical difficulties.
In order to improve your technique, you must practice at the slowest speed possible, anticipating position change and sound. You must try to avoid, to place your finger in any position, if you are not sure of the sound you are looking for. Please, have first, the sound you want to reproduce, in your mind, sing it, and then place your finger where you believe that sound is. If you do not have the sound in your head, you will not remember where to find it again.
This obstacle may be overcome by reading, but reading may block our capability of hearing the sound. When we read, we follow placement and tempo instructions, and in the early stages of our guitar learning, we will not hear the sound until we have played it. The process of learning can be daunting and very frustrating.
I already know my scales, what is next?
Scales are groups of 7 notes that identify a tonal centre, the resting point of a song. The scale is a tool we use to make melodies, to create bass lines, to improvise, to create variations of chords, to create fill . In other words learn the scale and start playing . The scale will give the location knowledge, where the sounds are, that you are looking for on the guitar.
You will need to learn how to create melodies, bass lines, melodic harmonic groove. At the Creative Guitar School I will teach you how to have never ending fun, with this beautiful instrument in all styles of music, either if it is jazz, rock, blues, funk, flamenco .
Please remember that all students at all levels regularly must compose and record their song at my Recording Studio.
I would like to invite you all to my upcoming concerts in Melbourne and beyond.