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How to put what's in my head, on the fretboard?

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(@abluenote)
Active Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

Hey guys, I'm new here... I've been playing guitar for about 10 years. Started with classical guitar, then acoustic fingerstyle and these days it's mostly electric.

I still have a hard time when I have a musical idea in my head and I try to put it down on guitar.

Most of the times it's decent enough, but it's not what I had imagined. If I could sing, I'd sing the part and then listen back to it and transpose it on guitar.

Do you have any particular tips or methods that you use to achieve this?

How do you take a complete musical idea from your head, to the fretboard?

Thanks


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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 8306
 

learn the fretboard.


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(@abluenote)
Active Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

learn the fretboard.

Descriptive advice.Thanks for taking the time to contribute.


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(@doremifa)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 91
 

Well, I would break it down into blocks, and one block at a time, find the notes on the fretboard and write it down. It may be a pain now but it will get easier as you do this more and more... There's no magic trick, just a ton of patience and dedication to the music. :)

Download a bunch of cheat sheets and posters: http://stevesmusiclist.com/


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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5366
 

learn the fretboard.

Descriptive advice.Thanks for taking the time to contribute.

It's not a flippant comment. If you don't know where to find that sound on the fretboard, or can't hear if the note you're playing is the same/ higher/ lower than the note you want, or don't know how to get to the sound you want when the note you're playing isn't what's in your head, then you're going to find it very difficult.

Start with a well-tuned guitar and listen to the sound it makes - too many students just want to dive in to playng stuff.

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@doremifa)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 91
 

Start with a well-tuned guitar and listen to the sound it makes - too many students just want to dive in to playng stuff.

This... +1

Not that I'm any good (yet) but once I learnt to be patient and realize it takes so much hard work... I actually progressed faster. What really helps with the fretboard is practicing those 5 note shapes (pentatonic) in the majors/minors... it will really help... It's a pain but very well worth it. Just 15 minutes a day and within a month or two you will be so comfortable with the fretboard...

Download a bunch of cheat sheets and posters: http://stevesmusiclist.com/


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(@fleaaaaaa)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 680
 

Simple guide -

Learn a scale -
Pentatonic - major or minor whichever

Think of an idea in that scale (the first one to start you off could be up a major scale)
If you chose major most tunes people come up with are major so its a good start.
Think of a tune you know well - say Baa baa black sheep or any melody you like.
Work it out bit by bit.
Vocalising it can help you - but I know you said you don't sing.

Familiarity with what notes go where is key to being a good ear musician and being able to get those ideas onto your guitar.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@kkayser)
Active Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 10
 

I do alot of recording and I am not sure that they ever come out exactly the way I want them to, but this is what writing and expressing yourself is all about. I tend to listen to alot of types song writers, and muscians so I ask myself questions like "what would, Randy Rhoades, do here?" , the final product really will resemble your original idea, after practice and more practice. I think songwriting for me is a combination of listening as well as playing. Remember the basics, don't forget theory. and bouncing ideas of other muscians is priceless. I don't think that even the best song writers ever write there master piece. it's that "far muse" that is the drive that keeps them going. So, after all the BS, I guess I am saying...you're on your own on this one. lol. .


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(@fleaaaaaa)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 680
 

Ear training is a hard on to teach, but no, he's not on his own. Some people are initially better at it than others - singing (sorry man) really does help, and if you have a tune in your head you should find it on the guitar with a little work and - if you know a good amount of scales you will know what it belongs to. Don't give up!

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 8306
 

learn the fretboard.

Descriptive advice.Thanks for taking the time to contribute.
it's all i know to say about your question. learn the fretboard. start improvising. it's not super easy, it's some work, but it's not all that hard, and it'll solve your problem. if you focus on those two things for a month, you'll be able to tackle your problem pretty easily.


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(@big-lar)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 165
 

Learning the fretboard will help. Here is what helped me really "get it".

http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Fretboard-Workbook-Barrett-Tagliarino/dp/0634049011/


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(@abluenote)
Active Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

Simple guide -

Learn a scale -
Pentatonic - major or minor whichever

Think of an idea in that scale (the first one to start you off could be up a major scale)
If you chose major most tunes people come up with are major so its a good start.
Think of a tune you know well - say Baa baa black sheep or any melody you like.
Work it out bit by bit.
Vocalising it can help you - but I know you said you don't sing.

Familiarity with what notes go where is key to being a good ear musician and being able to get those ideas onto your guitar.

Thanks for the input. I appreciate it. I know my scales... I could learn them better I guess, I forget some modes.

This is mostly a real-time problem. If I manage to record the melody or idea, I can then go back and transpose it on guitar and other instruments without problems. The problems start when I'm imagining a song part and I have a guitar in my hands. There are some things that go down well, but other aspects appear "unimaginative" when they are played - but sounded awesome in my head.

Is there anything else other than fretboard knowledge/ note location, that can help me?

Thanks again.


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(@fleaaaaaa)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 680
 

That looks good! I normally like MI books, I don't know if I need this one - what does it cover ?

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@big-lar)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 165
 

It is all about learning the fretboard. It takes a systematic approach to it, and bases it on the various patterns that the result from the standard tuning system of the guitar.

If you already know the fretboard, it probably won't help to much. When I was where abluenote was, it really helped me. It told me, among other things, why the guitar worked the way it does, and with that foundation, it provided me with a system to help me figure out the fretboard that wasn't just rote memorization of each note in each position.


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(@abluenote)
Active Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

a system to help me figure out the fretboard that wasn't just rote memorization of each note in each position.

That's a good point. I'll look for this book. Many thanks again!


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