The Big Six Essential Notes

Learn these six notes, and you’re well on your way to understanding the whole guitar fretboard!

View the full lesson at The Big Six Essential Notes | JustinGuitar

Just found this tool and I’m finding it suuuper useful (not associated with the makers in any way): FaChords Fretboard Trainer

You can configure it to only use the bottom two strings. In 10 minutes I feel like I’ve already got most of the notes down. Highly recommended.

EDIT: I’m on day 2 of using this and I honestly couldn’t think of a quicker way to learn the fretboard. You have a score, which essentially just tracks the number of notes you get right. I’ve just set myself the target of reaching 100 every day for a week (on the bottom 2 strings at least).


Btw considering that also the 8th fret might be useful as it is in both strings half a step from the 7th, I was thinking one could use the mnemonic “8 Cozy Flats” :slight_smile:

This is very useful! thanks for sharing.

To help memorize I’m using:

3 Grumpy Cats
5 Angry Dogs
7 Bad Eels

Keeping it consistent with a big gang of mean animals has been easiest for me

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Should i do this module after grade 3 ? Iam currently doing grade 2 and it doent make any sense .

Hi Manos,

Could you please elaborate why this doesn’t make sense for you? How did you get to grade 2 without learning where these notes are on the fingerboard?

I like 8CF from @armax . This helps as I get stuck there as well as on the 10th fret (the dusty end of the neck) so, ; - 10 Dusty Guitars ie D &G on the 10th “dusty” fret. 10 from the Engelbert classic song “Ten Guitars” {lol} :grin::metal:

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great idea Justin, just modified it for me …
3 Grumpy Cats
5 Angry Dogs
7 Big Elephants
10 Dodgy Geezers

matches the one I use for the strings … Every Angry Dog Goes Bad Eventually

love the course, many thanks.

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I practice this by rolling a dice and naming the notes on both strings which correspond to the number on the die.
Sometimes I use two dice. One for the fret and one for the string. has the option to change to a random note every 1-5 seconds

  • using garageband’s tuner as a check for my guess seems like a good setup!

The trickiest bit for me has been getting split mentally between picking between 5th & 6th strings to play the note and getting neither right in time XD

Knowing the notes on first five frets is part of Grade 2 which I knew I need to work on even though I had passed Grade 2. Started working up the Fret board learning just the main note positions as I can work flats and sharps from these.
I am using Justin’s App to test myself and it is working well for me.
Michael :notes:

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