Real Guitar Adventure for Grownups

How to Memorize Notes on the Guitar Fretboard

in Guitar Theory | 4 comments

Knowing the notes on the guitar fretboard are will help you in several different ways. It’ll help you with learning bar chords, learn songs, techniques, and generally get around the guitar fretboard more easily.

I’m going to show you several techniques for easily identifying the notes on the neck. Then I’ll give you an exercise to help you memorize them easily in just a few minutes a day.

In this lesson...

1. Learn Open Notes:


Eddie Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddie (low to high)

2. Musical Alphabet: A, B, C, D, E, F & G

  •  Two notes don’t have # (b and e)

  •  Sharp (#) - one fret higher

  •  Flat (b) -  one fret lower

3. Memorize notes on dots on lowest two strings

  • Frets 3, 5 and 7

  • G, A, B, C, D, E

4. Find the Octaves

  •       On strings 6 & 5—2 frets up; two strings over

  •       On strings 4 & 3—3 frets up; two strings over

5. Note Exercise - find the notes on all strings

I’ve created a download sheet to help you with this lesson including guitar neck diagram and some additional notes. Go ahead and download that here:

Tomas Michaud

Author - Tomas Michaud at Real Guitar Success
Tomas Michaud is an American born guitarist and music educator with a French Canadian heritage. He first developed the Starland Guitar System in 1982 when his 9 year old daughter asked him to teach her guitar. Since then he’s founded the Starland School of Music in the SF Bay Area, and

When he's not making guitar instruction videos or creating more music to record (currently 7 CDs including Beauty and Fire) he's riding his bike along the beach with his dog Marco Polo or traveling to interesting places with his lovely wife Pui.
Tomas Michaud


  1. These fret exercised are very useful. Thanks

    Frances Palstra

    April 7, 2018

    • Hi Frances, I’m glad you found them helpful. I still do them from time to time. – Tomas

      Tomas Michaud

      April 7, 2018

  2. What good is learning the names of the notes when playing lead?? I’m serious…

    Paul Potter

    January 16, 2019

    • Hi Paul,

      It’s a good question. It’s probably not the best place to spend your time now if you’re just interested in playing rock lead guitar. Probably better to spend your time on chords (so you can play with others), scale patterns and practicing soloing over background tracks. -Tomas

      Tomas Michaud

      January 18, 2019

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