Classical Guitar Instruction with Douglas Niedt
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Douglas Niedt's
Ultimate Fretboard Trainer

The Most In-Depth Fretboard Training Course
on the Planet. And it's FREE!

Picture of Douglas Niedt's Ultimate Fretboard Trainer

(Above is a screenshot. The functioning trainers are below)

It Is Time To Learn Your Fretboard Once And For All

Douglas Niedt's Ultimate Fretboard Trainer teaches you the notes' locations on the fretboard
AND
what they look like on the musical staff.


Douglas Niedt's Guitar Fretboard Literacy Project

The Ultimate Fretboard Trainer and the Ultimate Note Recognition Trainer
are parts of Douglas Niedt's Guitar Fretboard Literacy Project.

Yes, you can learn to play the guitar by only reading tablature or playing by ear. If your knowledge of the fretboard is weak, you can limp through. But when you confidently know the notes on your fretboard and know what they look like on the musical staff, your musical life will be far richer.

Fretboard Literacy will open the doors to your full development as a guitarist, musician, or artist. Learning the fretboard will enhance your ability to successfully explore countless music styles and provide a deeper understanding of the pieces you learn. You will learn songs more quickly, easily, and play them much better.

Learning the notes on the fretboard and what they look like on the musical staff is fun and rewarding. Fretboard Literacy will make you more confident in yourself and your musical abilities. It will help you make the most of the musical opportunities that come your way. Fretboard Literacy is also the first step toward complete musical literacy.

The Ultimate Fretboard Trainer


For Serious Guitarists Only

This course is only for guitarists who are serious about learning the notes on the fretboard. The Ultimate Fretboard Trainers (there are 32 of them) are not like other game-like apps. This course and the trainers focus on education. The course requires effort by the guitarist to learn reference points and understand spatial relationships.

The objective is to teach you the notes' locations on the fretboard by their letter name and recognize them on the musical staff.

THE COURSE IS FREE, and the software trainers are safe with no malware or advertisements, and work on any browser on your computer, iPad, or tablet. It doesn't matter if you are on Windows, Mac, or iOS. They are browser-based, so you must have an internet connection. However, do not attempt to use them on a phone. They are for larger screen displays only.

Prerequisites

If you do not meet the prerequisites below, go to the Ultimate Note Recognition Trainer first. The free Note Recognition course and trainers will quickly teach you to understand music notation and learn the names of the notes and their locations on the musical staff.

  1. You should know the musical alphabet (ABCDEFG) forward and backward (GFEDCBA).
  2. More specifically, you should know the primary letter names of the musical alphabet AND the sharps and flats. You must understand enharmonic spellings (two different musical spellings for the same note)—A#=Bb, C#=Db, D#=Eb, F#=Gb, and G#=Ab.

    Therefore ALL the notes would be A, A# or Bb, B, C, C# or Db, D, D# or Eb, E, F, F# or Gb, G, G# or Ab. Remember that there are no sharps or flats from B-C or E-F.
  3. You must know the notation of all the notes—what they look like on the music staff. Here are the natural notes:
All the natural notes on the guitar

And here are ALL the pitches, including the sharps and flats.

All the natural notes plus the sharps and flats on the guitar
  1. A good Internet connection.

Remember, if you are weak in your knowledge of the preceding, do not go on. First, master the Ultimate Note Recognition Trainers.

RECOMMENDED COURSE OF STUDY

The Ultimate Fretboard Trainer teaches you the notes' locations
on the fretboard based on SIX REFERENCE POINTS and concepts.

You will "Cross-Train"

You will learn the notes horizontally across each fret and vertically up and down each string.

You will combine both perspectives when you use the position, range, and unison/octave trainers.

Below is the complete course, but guitarists with more experience may feel comfortable skipping over the first few steps.

It is essential to engage in real-life learning. If possible, have your hands on your guitar as you proceed through the course. Read about the reference points described below and find them on your guitar. As you identify the notes in the trainers, play the notes on your guitar so that you can see and feel where they are on the fretboard, not just on the computer screen. This course is real-life learning, not a computer game.

1. Learn the names of the open strings. These serve as reference points to learn the notes from the open strings through the 5th fret.

First, use this fun mnemonic phase to learn them:

Mnemonic phrase to learn the open strings

WATCH ME DEMONSTRATE HOW TO USE REFERENCE POINT #1
The Names of the Open Strings:

NOW, MASTER THESE TRAINERS:

3. Use the beginners' tuning method to learn the notes' locations at the 5th fret. This reference point will help you learn the notes from frets 3-8.

Diagram of how to use guitar tuning as a reference

WATCH ME DEMONSTRATE HOW TO USE REFERENCE POINT #3
The beginners' method of tuning:

With these three reference points, you can master the notes from the open strings through the 5th fret.

MASTER THESE TRAINERS:

Fretboard Trainer for the 4th fret

Fretboard Trainer for the 5th fret

Fretboard Trainer for the 1st Position
(to master the notes from the open strings through the 4th fret).

Fretboard Trainer for the 2nd position
(to master the notes from the 2nd fret through the 5th fret).

Fretboard Trainer for the range of the open strings through the 5th fret

5. THE NOTES AT THE 10TH FRET. The 12th fret notes have the same letter names as the open strings. Remember the phrase "Eddie Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddie." The note names at the 10th fret are one letter backward in the alphabet from those at the 12th fret. This reference point will help you learn the notes from the 7th fret through the 11th fret.

Using the 10th fret as a reference

WATCH ME DEMONSTRATE HOW TO USE REFERENCE POINT #5
The notes at the 10th fret:

MASTER THESE TRAINERS:

Fretboard Trainer for the 7th fret

Fretboard Trainer for the 4th Position
(to master all the notes from the 4th fret through the 7th fret).

Congratulations, you have completed the course!

To supplement your study, here is a very useful color-coded reference chart of all the notes on
the guitar fretboard and the musical staff, from the open strings through the 12th fret.

Douglas Niedt's Ultimate Guitar Fretboard and Staff Chart

Download the print version of this chart.
(When you print it, be sure to set your printer to LANDSCAPE mode, not portrait.)

Download the webpage version of this chart.