memorizing

Discussion in 'SWS Questions' started by rikbrooks, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. rikbrooks

    rikbrooks Guest

    I'm having a hard time deciding why I should memorize the fretboard. I mean, If I'm playing the key of A then I know that one of the boxes is 4th string 5th fret, the A is 4th string 7th fret and the other two notes are beside those on the 3rd string. If I know where the A pentatonic scale is I know where that box is. Then there is another box starting on the last two notes of the first and second strings of that scale. Now I have two boxes. Another is over on the 5th and 6th strings but they start two frets up from the pentatonic scale.

    Am I missing something? If I know where each pentatonic scale is then I automatically have the boxes for it.
     
  2. wgabree

    wgabree Blues Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1
    Well, the idea behind SWS is "Soloing Without Scales" - it doesn't assume you know or require you to know any scales. 

    The way to know where to play is to know the root note in each "blues box" and then find the root note on the fretboard to play in the key of choice.

    Knowing the notes enables you to play in the right key with the "blues boxes".  But if you don't know them, then it takes longer to find your boxes while you count your musical alphabet or figure it out through octaves.

    All that said, if you really want to master the guitar quickly, learning some theory like all the notes on the fretboard is a big shortcut.

    But, it is one of those things that until you know it, you don't realize how useful it is.

    :cool:
     
  3. MikeS

    MikeS Moderator... Another Man In Black.
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,470
    Likes Received:
    2,429
    Rik,
    I was like you for the longest time (well, I knew I should know the notes, but I was doing ok without it). Now nearly two years down the road I'm seeing how much easier many things would be if I knew the fret board.
    It long boring work, but it will be worth it in the long run.
     
  4. rikbrooks

    rikbrooks Guest

    Good enough. I'll keep working on it
     
  5. Marv

    Marv I play 'err' guitar.

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    728
    Likes Received:
    568
    Of course, everything Griff and the other guys here have said is true.  Memorizing the fingerboard lets you immediately jump to anywhere appropriate on the neck and start to play in the right key.

    I'm new to soloing and asking the same questions as you. It seems as long as you know where any root note is on the fingerboard, which you clearly do, you can start playing in the blues box associated with that location and then easily play either up or down the blues box connection pattern from there.  And that should sound pretty darned good. 

    When you consider the dots on the fingerboard generally make it easy to shift an octave from your original starting note and do it all over again, you can certainly play all over the place, just not necessarily start your solo all over the place.

    Is that giving up a lot?  I don't know.  Someone might be really hard pressed to know you weren't a master of the fingerboard if you leverage the known location of just seven root notes (14 counting the octave shift) and the blues box connection pattern.

    Me?  I think I'm gonna put some little colored dots and/or some little diagonal stripes on one of my fingerboards to help me follow the root notes (and, thus, the blues box locations) and get on with trying to play.  ;)

    A thought... Before you start memorizing the fingerboard, if you think you're going to want to try an alternate tuning and stick with it, now might be the time.  ::)
     
  6. rikbrooks

    rikbrooks Guest

    Oh shucks, I ain't got nothin' better to do with five minutes a day. I'll just do five minutes before I get to do a lesson and then at the end I play with a few backing tracks just for fun.

    I mean, this is just for fun, I don't accept 'rules'.

    But suggestions, now I'm all ears for those.
     
  7. Thatman

    Thatman Playin' for the fun of it.

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,460
    Likes Received:
    442
    Must admit that I had lapsed on doing the note learning exercise in my start up, after having read the above I'll have to make more effort.  :-[
     
  8. giayank

    giayank Just another day in paradise

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,093
    Likes Received:
    567
    I learned the fret board at the same time I was learning the pentatonic and blues scales. Moving from box to box on the root notes helped me to memorize where the notes were on the fretboard. Although this might be a harder way to actually learn it was a one step process for me while I was warming up and practicing  scales.
     
  9. rikbrooks

    rikbrooks Guest

    Same here. I learned the blues scale in the key of Am (fifth fret). Of course G is two frets down. A major is 3 frets down. Bm is two fret up and Bb minor is just one up.

    and so forth.

    Then I learned the SECOND scale for AM. That gave me another box. So now for any key I automatically have two boxes. Then I learned the box for the 5th and 6th strings for any key, they are just two frets below the key in question.

    So now I can find three boxes for any key really quick.
     
  10. Cyberthrasher_706

    Cyberthrasher_706 Blues Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Think of it like this. You're playing along in your familiar A scale but decide you want to add some flavor to the solo by playing some stuff in the key of D real quick when the D chord comes (or E for that matter). By KNOWING where the D or E notes are, you can hurry up and go to them to do a little 4 note lick, and you have your choice of any sounding of that note available on the fretboard because you took the time to learn where the other ones are and not just the ones next to your A scale on the 5th fret.
     
  11. MikeS

    MikeS Moderator... Another Man In Black.
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,470
    Likes Received:
    2,429
    Perfect point Cyber.
     
  12. Lame_Pinkey

    Lame_Pinkey Guest

    ...or by knowing where all your E's or D's are you could whiz  (whiz ?  :-? ) up to them - or when the IV or V comes along AND... more importantly if you also know the notes that are contained in the pent. scale for E & D AND know where they are as well you can pull off some licks in that key plus they may all be notes of the Pent. scale but not necessarily all in one tidy little box located within 3 frets of each other, know what I mean ?
    Its why you see people like Jimi, EC, BB & my man Ritchie playing all over the neck but they are still playing within the key & playing notes within a certain scale ...just not in one easy, little box., does that make any sense ? Hard to get it out in text sometimes.

    LP
     
  13. Ray_UK

    Ray_UK Blues Newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Like all the 'shapes' are just one big shape if you know all the notes for the key & where they are?
     
  14. Cyberthrasher_706

    Cyberthrasher_706 Blues Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think what LP is referring to is the fact that all the notes of a given scale are just that, notes that fit together in a tidy shape. But, there's no rule you have to play that note as it lies in that box.

    For example: if you're playing an A scale, there's no rule that says you HAVE to play the D on the 5th string 5th Fret. You can play any D on the fretboard and you will still be playing that same scale.
     
  15. Ray_UK

    Ray_UK Blues Newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Cool, thanks Allen.. I think that's where I was going with it :)
     
  16. Cyberthrasher_706

    Cyberthrasher_706 Blues Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you want to get really cool about where all of this leads to (which LP hinted at I think)....

    Once you can hear the chord changes and know where all the notes are, you can play your choice of boxes 1 - 5 for the A chord as normal, then when the D comes around go play in the key of D, and then the same when the E chord comes and then back to A. That's something that Griff labels as "Top level soloing" or something like that. Basically it's what the cream of the crop do. Something that's impossible if you don't know where the notes lie on the fretboard.

    But, for now you can do that by using the 4 note SWS boxes instead of the full scales and really pull out some killer stuff at the chord changes.
     
  17. Ray_UK

    Ray_UK Blues Newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm just getting into SWS, I like it a lot already!
     
  18. Cyberthrasher_706

    Cyberthrasher_706 Blues Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah, I don't think he mentions the above in there. But, I think one of the solos operates on that method.
     
  19. giayank

    giayank Just another day in paradise

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,093
    Likes Received:
    567
    SWS is fun . Griff shows us an easy way to play in a certain key by using the blues boxes and how we can move to different frets to get different voiceings. He then tells us how important it is to know where the notes are on the fret board.I think what he is trying to teach me is to not think about what I'm playing once I get started but to feel it. The thinking comes first knowing where to start the solo and how to then move around with the boxes.