Absolute Fretboard Trainer
Once and for all, truly learn
the fretboard and play like
you never played before!
If you want to dramatically improve the way you
play guitar, bass, or other stringed instrument,
there's one thing that will
give you enormous benefits with very little efforts:
learning the fretboard of your instrument extremely well.
It's surprising how many guitar and bass players,
even after months and years of serious playing and study,
still don't really know their fretboard.
This is especially common among self-taught musicians.
What about you? Can you put a finger at random on
the fretboard and tell the name of that note
without thinking? In half a second or less?
Can you do that effortlessly,
anywhere on the fretboard?
If you can -- congratulations, you belong
to the elite among musicians.
And if you don't have this ability yet
but want to develop it, you can start today
itself and within a few weeks you can effectively
acquire the skill and bring your
playing to a higher level.
Here are some of the things that you will be able to do (or do better) after improving your fretboard skills:
- You will understand chords much better. No more "a finger here and a finger there...", but real notes - A, E, G, D....
- You will learn chords faster.
- You'll also be able to create and improvise any chords on the spot. If you know which notes make a chord (e.g. C major = C + E + G) then you can immediately play it in many different ways and places, all over the fretboard, according to your inspiration and creativity.
- Fretboard knowledge also means that you will know where to play any note without fumbling around.
- You will understand scales much better, and learn them faster.
Again, not just "a finger here and a finger there", but meaningful
sequences of notes.
- You will be able to use the scales you learn with carefree abandon.
- You will have an advantage and a frame of reference for improvisation.
- You will be better able to translate the notes in your mind into music.
- You will be able to read sheet music more easily.
- You won't need any more those "chord charts" or "fretboard charts". Rather, you'll have a master chart fixed in your mind and at the tips of your fingers.
- While improving our playing sometimes we get stuck and we don't know why. In many cases, learning the fretboard can get you out of a rut and running again.
- With a fluent knowledge of the fretboard you will better understand what others are playing. When you will see another guitarist or bassist playing, you will immediately know which notes they are playing, and make much more sense of it.
- It will also help you to observe, remember, and then use any good lick or riff that you notice when somebody else plays.
- How many wrong notes do you play because you're not sure about which note is where, or because it takes too long to figure out? Wanna stop that?
- Many self-taught musicians (but not only them!) have some gaps in their knowledge and skill. Learning the fretboard will directly take care of one major gap, and indirectly help with other weak spots.
- While performing, instead of worrying about getting lost or making mistakes, your mind will be free to focus on the music itself, and you will be able to express yourself better.
- Even the best players make mistakes, but a masterful knowledge of the fretboard helps to minimize and neutralize them. In other words, if you know the fretboard well, even after a mistake you will fall on your feet, not on your face.
You will know exactly what you're playing - notes, scales, chords, or whatever - and that will make everything easier.
- Because of your superior familiarity with the instrument,
you will be a lot more confident and relaxed when you play.
Knowing the fretboard "absolutely"
Many guitar and bass players can "figure out" a note on the fretboard by "counting" from the nut or another familiar note, but...
... are you satisfied with that?
See, if I ask you, "What note is the lowest string?" you'll probably reply "E !" immediately (unless you are a complete beginner). You just know it, you don't need to "think" about it, you don't need to "calculate" it from some other note. You just know it.
Now, would you like to know the whole fretboard just like that?
Difficult, you say?
Actually, no, it's not very difficult if you know how to do it...
So how do you do it?
AFT supports all stringed instruments like guitar, bass,
mandolin, banjo, etc. and left-handed players as well
Well, what you need is a METHOD. A complete, easy, effective and enjoyable method to take you from here to there, step by step. And here it is:
The Absolute Fretboard Method.
List of lessons in the
1. The Chromatic scale
2. SE1: The Shuttle
3. Fretboard Exercises
4. PACING pos-to-note
5. PACING note-to-pos
6. Q & A pos-to-note
7. Q & A note-to-pos
8. Drill design
9. Fret by fret
10. String by string
11. Area training I
12. Area training II
13. Special exercises
14. SE 2: The Comb
15: SE 3: Zigzag
16: SE 4: Criss-cross
Lesson are short
Each of them is
dedicated to a
or development stage.
First of all, let's define the goal of the method:
To know each and every note on the fretboard,
immediately, naturally, and effortlessly,
just like you know the open strings.
Secondly, notice that there are two "directions":
One is "position to note" i.e. when you see or think
of any fretboard position, you instantly know what note it is.
And the opposite direction, "note to position", means that
when you read or think of any note, you instantly
know where to play it on the fretboard. The AFT method
will train you equally well in both directions.
Third, "No Thinking And No Hesitation".
As long as you need to think, "What is this note?", or "Where is G# ?", you are wasting time, energy, and concentration which should be focused on playing and enjoying the music. Mistakes, hesitations, frustration, etc, will be inevitable. Therefore your goal is to know and use the whole fretboard without having to think about it and without any hesitation. The AFT course is designed
to achieve this type of knowledge.
In other words, while some effort is necessary to develop the skill,
the goal is to know the fretboard (and use that knowledge)
without effort or strain.
Fourth, you should know flats and sharps equally well.
This seems a minor detail, but it often happens that a musician
is much more familiar with a note as, say, "C#" rather than "Db".
The course will make sure that you are equally fluent and
comfortable with both.
This is a fretboard progress map that you will find in the Absolute Fretboard Trainer program for Windows (all versions from 98 to Windows 8).
The fretboard is blank - all white - because you have just started. (This is a guitar map, but the program supports both guitar and bass fretboards).
Go through the first lessons and start doing the interactive exercises:
rapid-fire Q&A, metronome-paced drills, special progressions.
After a few days the map may look, for example, like this:
What's happening? Every time you run a drill the program monitors your performance and continuously updates your progress map.
Green areas show where you're doing well; your response is fast and consistently correct. Red areas show where you're still making mistakes or responding too slowly. Then there is the whole range in between:
Each position on the fretboard|
is color-coded according to
your performance in the drills.
You can literally "get the whole picture"
of your skill at any moment at a glance.
Go on with the drills. Once or twice a day, launch the program, click on the next drill, and do your 10-minute session.
Note: There are various types of drill, interactive and not. While only interactive drills (Question and Answer) can be measured and monitored, all combine to build your skill quickly and effectively.
In this way, after a few more days the map will, for example, look like this:
Fret after fret, string after string, with flats and with sharps, keep going...
... until the whole map is a lush green! This is how you build your fretboard skills with the Absolute Fretboard Trainer software.
The learning curve for this program is remarkably flat.
See, you don't depend on a teacher, and you can practice at whatever time, place or intensity you choose. And how much better is this than any book, chart, or flash-card system?!
The program is productive and enjoyable from the moment you start.
It's as easy as browsing a web site.
In fact, the program does not even have a separate help system
- it's not needed! You'll understand when you use it.
It's flexible, too: You can learn guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo or any other fretboard instrument you want. You can display right- or left-handed fretboards, choose from various instrument sounds, set personal preferences, use any tuning, etc. It's a pleasure to use.
The best way to understand how the method
works is simply to try it out for yourself.
AFT during a position-to-note exercise for mandolin
The free version of AFT included in the
Musician Training Center suite will help you master
the first few frets of your instrument,
and if you like the results, the full version
of AFT Professional will help you master the
whole fretboard and at the same time
significantly improve your musical ear
and your reading skills with additional
Notice that you don't need to study music
theory or sight-reading to master the fretboard,
but you should at least be familiar with a
few basic concepts such as note names,
flats and sharps, the chromatic scale, the
division of the octave in 12 semitones, etc.
If you need it, the first lesson of the
program will bring you up to the mark with
these concepts. This will be the only "theory"
lesson -- all the rest is practice.
Fret by fret, string by string, you will go through the whole fretboard.
I think you may find this process fascinating, because the program will be constantly monitoring your progress and performance in every area of the fretboard, as well as showing your improvements on a series of "progress maps".
On these maps you can see where your strengths and weaknesses are, and with a single click you can tell the program to give you training where you need it most.
This is the main phase of the course. It will last a few weeks, with 10-15 minutes a day of practice a day. By the end of it you will have acquired a superior knowledge of the fretboard.
AFT's simple but effective interactive sight-reading training
The program will then offer you a few special exercises and some tips for the occasional follow-up session.
That will bring you to the end of the course, and your absolute fretboard knowledge will be pretty much cast in concrete.
From that moment, every time you pick up your instrument to play, you will enjoy the fruits of your work.
Try it out!
AFT is included in the Musician Training Center (MTC) program (Windows and Mac versions available). Install MTC, then click on [Courses] and double-click on "Absolute Fretboard Trainer" to start it. Everything else that you need to know, you'll find it in the course itself.
Download Musician Training Center for Windows or Mac OSX
If you have any question, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
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