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  • FRETBOARD WIZARD – I’m struggling!

    Posted by Cadgirl on April 7, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    I am having ‘real time’ struggles with figuring out the chords to songs in Fretboard Wizard. I have been doing ok with the figuring out what Key a song is in, but once I get to the chords…. Its hit or miss. Mostly, miss. I’ll listen to those songs over and over and I’ll still getting the chords wrong. GRRRRR. I’m just venting, If someone has any suggestions to this course i’ll welcome them.

    Cadgirl replied 3 years, 1 month ago 12 Members · 25 Replies
  • 25 Replies
  • Michael_D

    Member
    April 7, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    I feel your pain. I have worked through the course several times and I still struggle in this area. I can get the key of the song fairly well but the chords are a different matter. I fully intend to persevere and continue to practice until I get it down.

    • Cadgirl

      Member
      April 7, 2021 at 1:36 pm

      Thanks @Michael_D , I wasn’t going to post because I thought maybe I was the only one who struggled with this. I mean, It was explained so well in the videos that I didn’t think i’d have a problem. The first song wasn’t too bad. I’ll get this, it just will take me some studying (and heavy listening). I am going to pull up some songs that I know and listen to them and try to place the key and chords. In the meantime I’m taking a couple days off from the Wizard before I toss my computer out the window. 🙂

  • JackM

    Member
    April 7, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    It’s been awhile since I’ve done FW, but I remember this section was challenge. A tactic I found helpful was not going for the full chords initially. Once I ID’d the key, I stayed on the Low E and A strings and played the roots starting with the I-IV-V. If the song took me below the IV it was probably the III, sometimes the II. If the song took me above the V it almost always the VI. Focusing on the root of the chords helped me improve my score a lot.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by  JackM.
    • Cadgirl

      Member
      April 7, 2021 at 1:38 pm

      Hey @JackM that sounds like a very good idea. I’ll give it a try. Like I was just telling Michael_D, i’m going to practice on a few songs that I know before going back and tackling the Wizard. Thanks again.

    • Sharon_T

      Member
      April 7, 2021 at 6:39 pm

      Good approach

    • darcelle

      Member
      April 9, 2021 at 3:53 am

      👍😁 . . . That’s my way of liking a comment.

  • Maydog

    Member
    April 7, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    @JackM has a good method here. At the FW level, you’re pretty much going to have 7 chords to choose from once you know the key. Of those 7, 2 are rarely used: the 2m and the 7dim. That leaves 5 chords to choose from. Of the 5, there are 3 chords that are almost always used: the 1M, 4M, and 5M. If you need a chord other than the 1, 4, or 5, that leaves either the 3m or 6m as JackM stated. So for example if the key is D Major, the 1-7 chords are: D, Em F#m, G, A, Bm, C#dim. Dropping the 2 and 7 leaves you with D, F#m, G, A, Bm. The D, G, and A are almost always used, if you need another chord, try the Bm, then the F#m. (I realize I’m basically restating what JackM said, but maybe reading it from 2 different people will help.)

    * M=Major, m=minor

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by  Maydog.
    • Cadgirl

      Member
      April 7, 2021 at 2:19 pm

      Thanks @Maydog , Sometimes saying the same thing but differently is a big help. I’m going to give this a try. I am very happy I took the course. I am learning a lot from it. It was just when I went into the real world questions I started freezing up.

    • Sharon_T

      Member
      April 7, 2021 at 6:38 pm

      This is a great suggestion

    • PamB

      Member
      April 8, 2021 at 12:22 pm

      Well that was a light bulb moment for me! Helpful information. Thank you Maydog.

    • darcelle

      Member
      April 9, 2021 at 3:54 am

      👍😁

  • jimp

    Member
    April 7, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    I struggled with this as well. Truthfully I stopped the fretboard course last year after being so discouraged. Between the fretboard class and trying to keep up with my daily lesson, it started to become less enjoyable. I plan to restart this spring and focus only on fretboard for the 6 week lesson. Perhaps my mistake was not reaching out for help. Sounds like some great tips have been provided here! Good luck. Jim

    • Cadgirl

      Member
      April 7, 2021 at 3:46 pm

      @Jim peterson , I have been pulling my hair out for the past few days over this. I am so glad that I put a comment on this page. I swear….. I think finally get it. Go over the above comments. They are all good. JackM spells it out real simple. Good luck and retake the course. It’s a great course.

  • Sharon_T

    Member
    April 7, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    I also struggled with the chord change identification. I find it particularly hard when there are other instruments with competing prominence. I have been through FW 3 times now and even though that particular section hasn’t really gotten any easier, I do find my ear has gotten better overall.

  • Bill_Brown

    Member
    April 7, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    Hey @Cadgirl , Don’t forget that once you have the key, then you should also look at the 3rd and 5th degree of that key’s scale, considering the 1,4&5 chords of those degrees. Play those chords with the tunes you’re trying to figure out – I liked to do it using E & A shaped barre chords (up and down the neck) to find melodies that worked. Using the low E to find chords is good, but sometimes you need to use the high E as well. Good luck!

    • Cadgirl

      Member
      April 8, 2021 at 4:18 am

      Thanks @Bill_Brown , I started using an A shaped chord, that was helpful. I’m going to read through the “How to find the chords by ear” again and then use all the suggestions everyone has given me. I think i’ll do a lot better this time around.

  • Cadgirl

    Member
    April 8, 2021 at 4:11 am

    Thanks @MommaTAC , When the song started and it’s a bunch of banjos, guitars, bells and whistles, I thought you have to be kidding. I went through the course twice and took notes (thank God). But, to hear the transitions was tough. As long as I can get the Key, that’s the main thing. I think I just started getting so frustrated.

    • Sharon_T

      Member
      April 8, 2021 at 8:52 am

      Yep – those pesky banjos really can take over a room 😂

  • gwynne

    Member
    April 8, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    I gave upon FW a while back. I had the same problem you are having. But after reading the comments here I feel like I need to just take the course by itself and not worry about the daily challenges. Thanks for asking the question!!

    • Cadgirl

      Member
      April 9, 2021 at 3:08 am

      @gwynne , I agree, the Fretboard Wizard demands full concentration. I was doing the daily challenges but I would spend most of my time with the FW course. I think once I get a full understanding I’ll do ok (i hope). I think the enrollment is coming up again too.

  • Bruiser70

    Member
    April 12, 2021 at 11:33 am

    This can be frustrating to be sure. Early on in my journey or should I say adventure, an experienced player told me to not be distracted by other instruments and focus in on the bass. When the bass changes, that’s the next chord change. That has helped me but don’t know if it will help others. I have a license plate for the front of my car that says “my favorite numbers are 1,4,5 and sometimes 2”

    • Cadgirl

      Member
      April 13, 2021 at 3:59 am

      @Bruiser70 , love the license plate idea. It actually is started to make more sense. I went over a couple of the exercises yesterday. I’m actually almost done with the Fretboard Wizard. I have the real time exercises to do yet. I wanted to practice on some songs before I did them. Thanks

  • Michael Fair

    Member
    April 12, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    Hey @Cadgirl , don’t feel alone. You can see the pattern emerging on the replies; everyone struggles. One of the things that makes it a challenge is that there isn’t always one answer. There are parts of the song where either a major or minor chord in the key will work.

    A really fun experiment is to take a very simple melody, like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in a known key (G, for example), and try different chord progressions. All major, which means use only G, C, D. Then all minor, which means use only Am, Bm, and Em, and then a combination. You’ll be hugely surprised. They all work, but they change the nature of the song. All major is bright and simple. All minor makes it kind of a dirge. Mixing it up makes it seem more sophisticated. Playing through a minor chord between major chords (so common), doesn’t make it sad, as the all minor chords choice does, but makes it sound more nuanced.

    The more you do, the better you will get. It really takes doing it a lot and sticking with it. When I watch TV I have the guitar there, and every time a song comes on, I figure out the key and then the chords, so I do it multiple times day.

    • Cadgirl

      Member
      April 13, 2021 at 4:02 am

      That is a great idea @Michael Fair about figuring out tv tunes. I have one of my guitars in the living room. So it would be easy to pick up at any time. I have to get back to the Fretboard Wizard before I lose it. Do you know if it’s a 6month program or do I get it for the year?

  • Cadgirl

    Member
    April 13, 2021 at 9:23 am

    I wanted to thank everyone for all the suggestions and ideas of what to try for figuring out the chords to the 5 songs. I just finished that portion of the program. It took me an hour to do the test! I only got 60% but I actually think I did great. The best was just to follow the 1 4 5 degrees. Then 2 3. I’m so relieved. I put down the wrong key on one of the songs so of course that was a big mess up. But I had the numbers correct , so I had a the right numbers so my transition to a different chord was correct. I’ll redo the test at a later time. Right now I’m taking a well deserved break!

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