Shapes OR Note Names?

  • Hey Emil!

    Thanks for the lesson! I'm trying to get to a pro level musicianship. I can think in numbers but I want to be able to take it to the next level and think in letters. Instead of thinking 3 2 1. I want to, with out thinking, know E D C (key C). Furthermore instead of just shapes I want to know my fretboard so well that I simply just know where these notes are. Is it possible to master the all twelve keys and the fretboard like this?


  • @brock.sirko
    Hi there!
    It's definitely possible to do!
    But I'd say that it's far more important to know the relationship between the notes and intervals instead of the actual note name. So instead of putting too much time into learning the note names in the key of Db for example, focus on learning the intervals and how they sound relative to a specific note - because that's what you're going to use when you're playing and listening. And it's the same for all keys.. I mean, a #5 note relative to the note C gives you a SOUND. When you play a #5 relative to the note Bb, it's the SAME sound, although it's another key. A great thing to do is to connect the sounds you hear from chords (and intervals) to an emotion. This minor third interval makes me "feel" like this etc... this b9 interval makes me "feel" like this... That will help you to "remember" different qualities of chords etc.

    For example - this is very important to learn: play a C note in the bass, and then just play any other note around that note.. it could be any note on the fretboard. You should be able to say what INTERVAL (not note name necessarily) that is relative to the C note. If you play a G note, you should be able to hear that it's the 5th of C. It's more important to know that it's the 5th, rather than knowing it's a G note, because when you're in any other key, you can use the same concept and hear the relationship. You never think about note names when you're improvising. You're thinking of the sound.. the choice of notes played on top of the chords played in the back ground.

    Let me know if I can help in any way! Thank you for being part of the ProGuitar website!
    Kind regards/Emil

  • Thanks Emil!

    I know what you're saying, I think it would be easier for me to explain in person. Do you do lessons at all? I don't know if I want regular lessons but maybe more of a consult to discuss a practice routine. Thanks!

  • @brock.sirko
    I currently don't teach individual lessons because of a busy schedule touring/working for ProGuitar/family and small kids :D So unfortunately right now I don't have the time, but you can always reach out to me here or instagram @proguitarofficial . Kind regards/Emil

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