Welcome to Beginner Guitar in Depth!
If you'e starting to play guitar, then you are at a fortunate, though risky turning point.
Fortunate, because you've formed no bad habits, and, if shown in the right direction, you will learn very quickly! But the greatest advantage of all is that you don't think you know everything and have nothing to learn...
Risky, because there is lots and lots of information on playing guitar out there -way too much, actually, and sadly most is of questionable quality- and it's very easy getting lost in that jungle, and end up starting in a way that may not be the most efficient. This could later cost you painful years of correcting ingrained habits in how you understand music, and music through the guitar; muscular habits; etc.
So it's very important doing things right from the very start! You don't have any time to lose, right?
Yet, most guitarists never do learn the damn thing. Whether out of laziness or lack of system, and with a heck of a lot of excuses to back them up, they just never get down to it.
If you follow these 9 steps and apply them consistently, you will be miles ahead of most in no time at all... Check them out!
There is a lot to say about the fretboard. Truly mastering it is no mean feat. But you will never do it if you don't start with a system that makes sense. So I've put together these 9 basic steps to learn the guitar fretboard that will change your status from total beginner to beginner-with-a-future in just a few days. Enjoy!
1. STOP FEELING CONFUSED ABOUT IT... Just do it!
2. Understand that when divided in half, a string produces the same note, but an octave higher.
3. Understand that there are only 12 possible tones on a guitar. They repeat in lower and higher registers, but a C is a C whether high or low.
4. Link tip 2 and tip 3 together: The octave is subdivided into 12 steps. Each is represented on the guitar by a fret. If you keep counting after 12, 13 will be the same as 1, but higher.
5. Understand the "distance" between the strings (the fancy word is intervallic relationship. Each pair of adjacent strings is separated by a perfect fourth, except for the 3rd and 4th strings. If you have problems understanding intervals, go back to that, and come back then ;-)
6. Learn how a major scale is played on any single string. For now it does not matter if it sounds good. Just focus on where the notes are.
7. Say the names of the notes out loud as you play the major scales we've just discussed.
8. Sing everything you play. This will engage your sense of hearing at a far deeper level. It will help you grasp the fretboard from an intuitive point of view.
9. Visualize all of what you have learnt in your mind's eye. Form a clear mental picture of it, and picture yourself going over all the steps. Practice this for 5 minutes a day, until the image is clear and sharp.