Learning how to memorize a guitar fret board is an essential part of learning how to play guitar. The guitar fret board is the neck of the guitar and where the frets divide the neck into the notes you play. Learning the guitar fret board is the best way to learn where the notes are located on your guitar and can improve your knowledge of the guitar as well as improve your playing style.
- Purchase a book of guitar scales. You can also find many guitar scales online at no charge. Add a fret board chart to your learning tools as well. There are a lot of scales, so having a book at your disposal will be useful as you begin learning scales. Since the same note can be played at many locations on your guitar fret board, a fret board chart will be useful too.
- Focus on the major scale to begin with. Rather than try to learn the notes of every major scale, learn the pattern of the scale and how to move the same pattern around the fret board of your guitar to play different keys. All scales work this way. Learning the patterns can greatly reduce the time it takes to learn the scale patterns.
Play a C major scale. This starts at the third fret on the fifth string of your guitar. Your guitar strings are numbered one through six, with the thinnest string being number one. Play the third fret (fifth string), then the fifth fret (fifth string). to play the first two notes of the C scale. Play the second, third and fifth frets on the fourth string next.
- Play the second, fourth and fifth frets on the third string. This completes a full C major scale.
Move the C major scale pattern around and notice how the notes change. If you start on the fifth fret of the fifth string instead of the third, you're starting on a D note instead of a C. This means, if you play the same pattern you played before, you'll play a D major scale instead of a C major scale.
- Refer to your major scales. Look at the notes that belong in the major key you're playing in. Say those notes to yourself as you play them, paying attention to where your fingers fall on the fret board. Once you have played this pattern in one position for a key, play it in the next positioning (beginning on the last note of the previous scale). Playing the scales in as many positions as you can while you recite the notes to yourself will not only teach you the notes, you'll be developing finger strength while you play scales.
- Master the major scale pattern, then begin learning patterns to other scales, such as the blues, minor and pentatonic scales. These are the important guitar scales. Playing them will help refine your ability to improvise in any key while you're learning the fret board. Scales, above all, are the most effective way to learn the notes on the fret board of your guitar.