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  • Fretboard Wizard Understanding Patterns

    Posted by MMMURRAY on March 4, 2024 at 2:10 pm

    Started the Fretboard Wizard and had no problem understanding the musical alphabet but when it came to the patterns I was lost in trying to understand what it was about. Can someone help with this? I don’t have any musical theory background.

    MMMURRAY replied 3 months ago 4 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Theedman22

    March 7, 2024 at 9:37 am

    Hi MMMurray, ok, lol, I’m going to make an attempt at this because I see that no one has responded yet, and I THINK I have a little understanding of it, and I’m sure others will make it clearer than I, but this is a start? πŸ™‚

    If you are talking about CAGED (patterns), since all 6 strings of the guitar contain the same 12 notes that make up the given notes (octave) on the strings, those identical notes are in different places on the fretboard (taking into account octaves). Since they are the same notes in different places (taking into account octaves) you can play chords and scales “all over the fretboard” by moving the shape of the chord or scale to a different place along the fretboard/neck, [and making up for the fact that you would have to represent the “nut” (end) of the fretboard with a finger across the strings (“bar”).]

    So you can take the “C” chord of the CAGED and move it down the neck (away from the nut) 1/2 measure (fret) and you will get C # (finger over where the “nut” would be = “bar”). And you can move it one more fret (a whole measure, now), and it becomes D. The shape will be the same shape as a C chord, but the chord will be a D because you moved the SHAPE down the neck, to a higher note. And so on. That’s a beginning? πŸ™‚ And that’s my understanding of what I think you are asking.


      March 8, 2024 at 10:40 am

      Thank you very much for responding. I’m following what you’re saying a bit but then I have no music training background. I understand that moving the same cord down the neck changes the note and sound but I’m not sure how to relate this to anything. Maybe I’m overthinking this and should just push on and hope the light goes on down the road. Anyway, I appreciate the response.

      • Theedman22

        March 8, 2024 at 11:38 am

        MMMurray, that’s excellent. Your concerns make sense. Your question is good. And yes, lol, you may be thinking too much πŸ˜‰ (“putting the cart before the horse”) depending on how long you have been playing (and I haven’t been playing long). (And I do understand thinking too much, and doing ALOT of homework. lol).

        There is a reason that I say this exercise may be akin to “putting the cart before the horse” in a way . In essence what this is teaching you, which is wonderful, but I think, a bit advanced, is showing you that you can play chords anywhere on the neck, so you are not “held down” to playing the C chord in that one position that you learned. If you are trying to play something that requires you to play higher up the neck (higher octave) and needed a chord, this allows you to play closer to where you are! It gives you “freedom of movement” on the neck and in the scales, since chords are in scales. πŸ™‚

        Man, I hope that makes some sense the way I wrote it. ==> Its a beautiful element of guitar, it gives FREEDOM in your playing, to play anywhere on the neck.

        Its also “above” where I am in my playing right now. lol

        By the way, how long have you been playing? I just started back, again, in December 2023. And P.S. this is new for me too. lol There are some great Youtube videos on it. Its such a neat thing, it introduces one to the WHOLE fretboard. But it may be awhile before I really get into it. lol

        I’m leaving the program today, canceling, so I may not be able to respond anymore, but I wish you the very best in your musical journey! This is a good program, but I’m not sure its geared for me, right now.
        My email is: [email protected] or 86-314-3130 if you’d like to reach out, and I’d be happy to hear from you, MMMurray. Take care.

        • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  Theedman22.
        • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  Theedman22.
        • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  Theedman22.
  • Carol-3M-Stillhand

    March 9, 2024 at 8:55 am

    @MMMURRAY sometimes it helps to compare and contrast to the piano keyboard… On a keyboard there is only one place or key to play each note. Guitars have multiple places to play the same note. Think of each of the 6 strings as a separate “keyboard”, but the notes of each string overlap those of the adjacent strings. This creates multiple spots across the fretboard where you could play the same note. (7 different spots for C in the first 12 frets.) That’s just one note. But there is some hope because these multiple “spots” occur in a repeating pattern on the fretboard. Once you learn the pattern it works with any note. Knowing that you can build a chord off of any note, once you learn the single note octave pattern you can play notes, scales, solos and chords all over the guitar neck with ease.

    I don’t know if this helps you or not, but keep studying and you will get it along the way. Fretboard Wizard is one of the best courses I’ve ever seen for guitar fretboard theory so you’re on the right track!!


      March 11, 2024 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks for the response. It was very helpful. I’ll keep moving along.

  • Bill_Brown

    March 9, 2024 at 9:05 am

    Hi @MMMURRAY , I believe you’re referring to the “octave patterns”, is that correct? Where you go from a note on one string and find the same note (different octave sometimes) on another string? Well, if that’s what you’re asking about, then what I’m going to say will have some relevance.

    In FW, Tony has us memorizing the number of frets and number of strings from one note to the next closest same note. For example, let’s say we have a note on the 6th (loE) string and we want to find that same note at the next closest location on the fretboard. FW says we have to go 2 frets toward the body of the guitar and go 2 strings toward the floor [to the 4th (D) string] to find that next closest same note.

    To me, that was a lot of memorization learning these “octave patterns” that way, and I struggled with it. Then, one day a fellow TAC member pointed out to me that all you have to do is remember the word “CAGED”! “Really?” I said. “Yes!” he said. And he gave me some examples which I’m happy to share. Let’s say we have a note on the A string. The next closest same note will be on the G string and from there, the next closest same note will be on the E strings (both lo & hi E), and from there on the D string and finally, from there on the B string. You’ll notice that we followed the order of the letters in the word “caged” with the exception of the letter C, we used the B string in it’s place because there is no C string. Other than that, these “octave patterns” follow the spelling of the word “caged” starting at any letter or string (just like the musical alphabet) and continue to the next letter in the word “caged” and you’ll know where the next same note is. Yes, you’ll still have to memorize the number of frets between the notes, but at least you’ll know what string that next closest same note is on.

    I hope this explanation can give you some clarity, and some realization that CAGED has more than one use or meaning in music.


      March 11, 2024 at 12:41 pm

      Bill, Thanks for responding. It help make things more clear. Hopefully I’ll be able to put it to some use in the future.

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