www.guitar-tutorial.net - The guitar tutorial based on the extended 3-note-per-string system

Some Guitar Philosopy

Before we start out with our systematic tour of the fretboard, I think it is very important to become a bit philosophical. In my opinion this is necessary since the guitar is a very special instrument in its own right, so I would like to make you aware of some of the unique properties that we have to deal with.

One of the fundamental differences that set the guitar apart from almost every other instrument is the fact that there is more than one way of playing a note. This is due to the fact that the guitar is not only a soloing instrument but also an accompanying instrument that is capable of playing cords. However, being able to play the same note at very different positions on the fretboard makes the guitar a very complex instrument. It is important that you understand this fact!

Let's compare the guitar to another very important instrument, namely the piano. The piano, although lacking a lot of articulation capabilities that the guitar definetely has, is pretty advantageous in terms of being able to play chords and single notes without the confusion of where to play a note on the keyboard. For every given note there is only one distinct key on the keyboard. So in terms of simple visualization of notes and harmonic relationships on the keyboard a pianist definetely has a big advantage.

One way of dealing with this problem as a guitarist is to simply ignore it and like a pianist play only one distinct scale pattern over the whole range of the fretboard and ignore all the other positions and patterns. While that is certainly doable it will definitely limit your ability to exploit all the possibilies that the guitar is offering. If you are willing to accept the complex challenge that the guitar is offering you can really do magic and set yourself apart from most of the players around.

You can make use of the fact that notes sound differently on different parts of the fretboard. You can use diffent techniques over the whole fretboard like hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides that you could not achieve any other way. Making use of the whole fretboard will give your playing a very unique-sounding voice. Moreover, it will help you avoid getting stuck in the box of only one or two positions and endlessly repeating yourself.

While most guitarist were led to believe that once they have mastered position playing they are completely done and can focus on just playing faster and faster, in reality position playing is just the beginning. Mastering the 7 positions of the diatonic scale or the 5 positions of the pentatonic scale per se is good but simply not enough if you want to become a better guitarist and understand the fretboard logic.

Position playing does just one thing: it makes you think that moving from note to note is basically something that involves skipping from string to string across the neck in a vertical motion.
But it completely ignores the fact that you can quite effectively move around the fretboard horizontally and achieve a very unique sound.

In this tutorial we will open up the fretboard for you in a way that allows you to move freely around based on the music you hear in you head.