WELCOME TO THE VERY FIRST INSTALLMENT OF THE NOW YOU SHRED GUITAR PRIMER!
LET'S TALK ABOUT BASICS!
If you want to master the guitar, it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL that you know all of the notes on the neck. I am always so amazed that folks who have been playing for years and still don't know them! Is that you? Well fear not! Here's an easy way to remember all the notes. First remember that the open strings are:
E A D G B E
Memorize this phrase: Ed Ate Dynamite, Good-Bye Ed, or whatever...
Now remember, on the guitar, a 1/2 step is 1 fret, a whole step is 2 frets.
1/2 steps are between E & F and B & C, everything else is a whole step. So if you start at open E play one fret higher, that's F, 2 frets above that, G, 2 frets above that A, etc...
1/2 steps are between E & F and B & C, everything else is a whole step. Look at the notes on the E string below. See that pattern?
Now apply the same pattern (starting on A) to the A string.
Apply the same pattern on all the strings, and here's what you get.
And what about aLl the "in between" notes?
The "in between" notes are either sharps OR flats, depending on the context. A Sharp (#) raises the note by one fret, a flat (b) lowers the note by one fret.
Here's the whole fretboard:
Part II: The 5 Shapes
Now let's memorize where all the E notes are, you will learn 5 shapes, here's the first one (below):
Here's the 2nd:
And finally, the 5th:
Here's all of 'em together:
MEMORIZE THE 5 SHAPES! Do it until you can play them drunk, tired and distracted. Also, try to imagine the shapes without playing them on the guitar! Check out the video below to see a demonstration of how to practice these.
Think you got it down? Practice playing the shapes to these the tracks below: