Question: What is the easiest way to memorize the fretboard and scales?

Tom Hess's Answer: Two effective ways to memorize the fretboard on guitar are learning the actual note names in isolation and connecting together scale patterns / chord inversions.

To quickly memorize the note names on the fretboard, dissect the fretboard into segments of 4 frets each. Next, beginning with note “A”, find every “A” on the fretboard that occurs within the first four frets on all 6 strings. Continue this way by finding B flat, B, C, and so on until you have found every note name. Next, move to the next segment of the fretboard (frets five through eight). Use this as part of your guitar practice routine, and repeat it across the entire fretboard. For an added challenge, set your metronome to a very slow speed (at first) and play each note to the beat.

The best way to memorize scales on guitar is to learn 3 note per string scale patterns for the common modes and practice them in isolation AND as part of guitar solo / improvisation training (this also applies for the modes of pentatonic scales). These patterns are closely connected on guitar, and it will only take a short period of time before you will be able to use them to play up and down the fretboard.

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