Fretboard Knowledge

Fretboard Fundamentals

4 Lessons Easy

About this course


The notes on a piano

The piano was invented way before the bass and the seemingly random order of notes on a bass is best explained by looking at the piano. The musical alphabet goes: A B C D E F G. No H or above. So the notes repeat themselves when you get to G.

  • There are 7 white notes (ABCDEFG) and 5 black ones (A#/Bb, C#/Db, D#/Eb, F#/Gb, G#/Ab).
  • So 12 notes in total: A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab.
  • Notice the E and F, and B and C do NOT have a black note in between them.
  • Every other white note does have a black note in between it and the next one.
  • A sharp (#) is when you go to the next highest (right on the piano) black note from a white note. A flat is when you go the next.

Let’s see how that helps us with the bass…..


Just the white notes on the bass

  • Every single B and C, and E and F are right next to each other on the very next fret.
  • Every other note has a gap of a fret. Look at the piano picture again. These ‘gaps’ are the sharps (#) and flats (b)…….


Now adding the sharp notes

  • Notes get higher when you go this way on a bass ———-> and a sharp is added when you go to the next highest fret.
  • It REALLY helps to learn the piano keyboard as it explains why B and E don’t have a sharp (B and C, and E and F have no black note between them.


And finally the flat (b) notes

  • Notes get lower in pitch when you go this way on a bass <———- and a flat is added when you go to the next lowest fret.
  • Same as before, when you go one note to the left you ‘flatten’ the note. C and F don’t have a black note left of it on a piano (check the diagram again) so that’s why you don’t see a flat there on the fretboard diagram.

Spend as much time as you need getting your head around all this and then use the exercises and patterns from the other lessons in this free course to memorise the notes. It really doesn’t take long at all to learn EVERY note on the fretboard.

Course Structure

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How To Find Notes On The Bass

All the best players know their way around the bass neck. This lesson will teach you how to find ANY note acroos the entire range of the bass fretboard. Prepare to make complete sense of your bass!

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Three Points On The Fretboard You Should Know

Learn three points across the fretboard you can use as anchor points to quickly identify surrounding notes.

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Joe Satriani Note Learning Exercise For Bass Guitar

Learn how to quickly find ANY note anywhere across the entire bass neck.

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Really Useful Octave Patterns

Octaves are used in bass lines all the time and also act as beacons to highlight notes all over the neck.