Guitar Fretboard Secrets
4.2 (16 ratings)
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Guitar Fretboard Secrets

Easily visualize all notes on the entire guitar fretboard in 30 days
4.2 (16 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
214 students enrolled
Created by John Chamley
Last updated 4/2017
Price: $55
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Articles
  • 14 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

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What Will I Learn?
  • Easily identify and play notes and chords over the entire fretboard.
  • Move scales and chords around to all positions.
  • Put your finger on the right note anywhere on the fretboard.
View Curriculum
  • Know how to play basic chords in open position.
  • Know (or be willing to learn) a couple of major scales and their note names in open position (review section included).
  • Be ready to invest regular practice and study of the course material.


I'm going to show you how to remember every note on the guitar fretboard so that you can easily find notes, chords and scales in any position without wasting valuable time.

The Problem:

If you are anything like I was, you might get a headache just thinking about remembering all of those notes.  But in this course I’ll show you how to make it easy to remember them and make it fun too!

The Solution:

If you can find your way around your own neighborhood to the convenience store, library, and school or wherever, you can actually get to know the fretboard in the same way.  Places have meaning to us, so if we attach meaning to fretboard locations then it’s easy to remember.  I’ll show you how. 

The Benefits:

In terms of importance, learning the fretboard thoroughly should be one of your highest priorities. I learned classical guitar from 8 years old and became very comfortable reading and playing notes in the first position. But as I ventured up the fretboard I must have accumulated hours of wasted time over the years hunting for notes instead of practicing.

Whether you read music or not, spending time now to develop this one skill can save you many hours over your playing life.  That’s time that you can use to advance your playing skills or to do other things.

The methods:

Every week you probably travel from home to work or school. With the downloadable audio files you can use that travel time to increase your fretboard knowledge.

I n the videos you can travel around the fretboard too. You'll learn patterns and relationships found in other good courses, but also learn unique landmark fret locations that have a story to them.

Simple exercises on or away from the guitar let you measure and develop this valuable skill. These methods worked for me and I’ve successfully used them to teach my private students.

They can work for you too!  Let me show you how.

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone wanting to know the shortcuts to visualizing notes on the entire fretboard.
  • Anyone who wants to easily find and play chords and scales along the entire fretboard.
  • Players with basic music reading skills (although it's not required), who want to easily find and read notes in all positions.
  • Players who've found other fretboard courses too complicated who now want to know the easy steps to mastering the entire fretboard.
  • This course is NOT for someone without basic knowledge. It builds on a foundation of some basic chords and scales.
  • This course is NOT focused on technique - it's about planting a mental roadmap of the fretboard in your mind.
Compare to Other Guitar Courses
Curriculum For This Course
35 Lectures
Let's review what you know to start building on that knowledge
6 Lectures 14:20

String numbers, fret numbers, finger numbers, top string, bottom string, up and down the fretboard. A quick review of which way is up!

Preview 02:10

Take the mystery out of scales and chords and make learning the fretboard easier

The one key scale to knowing the entire fretboard.

Oh G! Is that all there is to it?
This Phrase Lets You Map the Entire Fretboard
2 Lectures 08:42

Note pairs B-C and E-F have no sharps or flats between. After watching the video, start on each open string and play all of the natural notes calling out each note name. For example:  On the D (4th) string, the next natural note is E on the 2nd fret.  This is a whole tone interval in between, or a whole step higher. The next natural note going up the fretboard is F on the 3rd fret.  Between E and F is only one fret, or a half-step interval. Then the next note is G on the 5th fret. This is called a whole step, or a whole tone interval. Observe the positions of all the natural notes.  Then answer the following quiz to check your understanding.

Intervals: the key to success - let me show you why and how

Follow along to create a fretboard map using this special phrase.

Notes B-C and E-F (Big-Cats Eat-Fat) have no sharps or flats between. If you followed the recommendation in the last video you will have tried to play all of the natural notes on each string. It's a a good idea to do that and call out each note name as you play it.

Try this quiz to check your understanding.

Find Notes Along the Fretboard
3 questions
Relationships: the easy way to remember notes all over the fretboard
5 Lectures 14:46
Remember this one thing to know all notes across one fret for every string

Use this test to help you visualize the 7th and surrounding fret notes.  If you are unable to answer any questions, study the fret-board diagram then try again until you can answer easily.  Regular repetition will allow you to form a clear image of the fret-board.

Test your understanding of the last lecture in this next video

Kids and Pets: you'll understand after hearing this!

Use this self test to help you visualize the notes on and around the 10th fret. If you are not able to get the correct answers, study the fret-board note diagram, then try again.  Keep trying until you can answer and visualize each string easily.  This will soon become easy.

Call out answers before they are given in this self test of the last lecture

This is as easy as ABC, plus a review what you learned so far
Play open string notes - but in any position - it's easy
5 Lectures 12:02
Eeeeeeeee by gum!

B's are buzzing

Oh G! - again?

Doo dee doo D

A is for Always
Moving Up! Playing Chords up the fretboard
6 Lectures 23:21

Knowing how to connect the five CAGED chord shapes along the guitar neck is the first step to knowing how to play the same chord in five different positions.

What is CAGED and how do we use it?

Where are your roots? This is soooo useful

Test your understanding of root note chords

Chord Roots Quiz
5 questions

Four String CAGED Chords and the Other Roots

Chord Inversions Explained

Using only 3-string chords and looking for roots on the first three strings is an effective way to find chords along the fretboard. Use these three chord shapes to play the three major chord inversions.

Preview 05:30

A suspended chord is one where the 3rd is replaced by either a 4th or a 2nd. Using the chord tones together with the suspended notes makes interesting "noodling" to create a background. Based on the C chord in three different positions, try your hand at moving between the three positions to create some interesting sounds.

Using Suspended Chord Notes to Add Spice to Inversions
Practice Finding Notes & Hone Your Skills
2 Lectures 13:56
Find the notes - you've got 4 seconds per note

Find the notes - you've got 3 seconds per note
Learn these scales around CAGED chords to play in any key
5 Lectures 09:27

Here is an E scale played around the C-shape.

Use the CAGED Chord Scales chart (downloaded from the last lecture) to play along with the video.

Major Scale Around C-Shaped Chords

Here is an E scale played around the A-shape.

Use the CAGED Chord Scales chart to play along with the video.

Preview 01:52

Here is an E scale played around the G-shape.

Use the CAGED Chord Scales chart to play along with the video.

Major Scale Around G-Shaped Chords

Here is an E scale played around the D-shape.

Use the CAGED Chord Scales chart to play along with the video

Major Scale Around D-Shaped Chords

Here is an E scale played around the E-shape at the 12th fret.

Use the CAGED Chord Scales chart to play along with the video.

Major Scale Around E-Shaped Chords
Relative Notes and Chords
3 Lectures 11:47

Most songs are built on a chord progression.  Knowing how to move chord progression around to different positions can make your playing more interesting. Being able to play chords relative to one key you'll also be able to change keys using the same patterns.

Relative Root Notes

Playing 1, 4, 5 chords around the fretboard

Easily Transposing 1-4-5 chords to anywhere on the Fretboard
Bonus Section: Developing Technique to Use What You've Learned
1 Lecture 00:22
Bar Chord Exercises
About the Instructor
John Chamley
4.1 Average rating
27 Reviews
1,384 Students
2 Courses
Guitar Instructor, author of "Guitar in Real Time" books

After a long time away from playing I picked up the guitar again in 2000 to teach my kids.  That sparked a renewed interest in music and I worked hard to regain my roots in classical guitar and from my days playing with bands.  

Since 2000 I've taught at private music studios, given group classes and in-home lessons.  Although my Bachelor's is in Engineering I've taken private lessons with various top music professionals and have a Music Theory Certificate from Berklee College's Online Campus.  I'm currently developing the book series "Guitar in Real Time" based on experiences teaching over the last 15 years.

Music is a passion and I especially enjoy teaching young people who I try to have a positive influence on. This Udemy format is great because it forces me to work at presenting things in the best possible way for others to understand. I'm looking forward to sharing what I have to offer with others who are as passionate about this instrument as I am.