Learning the Notes of the Fretboard

Are you struggling to memorize the notes of the fretboard?

My best suggestion is to start by memorizing the C Major scale, then use octaves and your ears to expand your knowledge. The notes of the fretboard are named based on the C Major scale C,D,E,F,G,A,B. You can raise any note with a sharp # (one fret up), or lower any note with a flat b (one fret down).

Memorize the C Major scale starting from three different spots.
A-string at the 3rd fret
E-string at the 8th fret
A-string at the 15th fret

Then you can use octaves to fill in the rest of the blank spaces. An octave up can be found two frets up and two strings up. You can also find the octave up by counting 12 frets up on the same string. It has the same note name, but it is one octave higher in pitch. This works in the opposite way too (for octaves down).

You can figure out any note on the fretboard by using the C Major scale as a reference. After a while you won't need to think about it, because it will just be second nature. Give it time, and use this method when you need.


Beginners check out my Free eBook entitled Beginners Guide.  It also includes helpful information for beginners including stringing the bass, tuning, posture, technique, TAB, and the most important scales.

Fretboard Visualization
Beginner's Guide

Beginner's Guide

Do you already know most of this stuff, but want to expand your "box" scales to the whole fretboard?  Check out Fretboard Visualization Volume One for more advanced techniques and music theory.  Learn a step by step process to memorizing the whole fretboard and the Major Modes.  Take the next step to becoming a better bass player and musician. 

Fretboard Visualization
A Thought Process & Mode Theory for Bass Guitar