Weekly Workout: Move It On Up

Posted by Scott Nygaard

Most methods for learning the fingerboard concentrate on learning notes in four-to-five-fret sections, running scales across the strings and learning how all the notes relate within those positions. Approaches like this (the C-A-G-E-D system being one of the most well known) are essential to learning the fingerboard, but it’s also helpful to learn how scales move up the fingerboard on each individual string. Doing this will help you connect the fingerboard positions you know so you can move up and down the neck more smoothly. 

Weekly Workout 2: Up the Neck
Click to enlarge.

This workout may look simple at first: just a C-major scale running from the nut up to the 12th fret on each string. (You’ll notice, however, that I’ve started the second-string scale on the root note [C] at the first fret, not the open string. I’ve done this to make sure you get the sound of the C-major scale in your ears.)

This workout consists of two exercises. The first six measures show the C-major scales on each string, and the second five measures consist of third intervals on adjacent strings moving up the fingerboard. You may have played these in some positions or on certain sets of strings, but getting a complete set under your hands will really help you learn the whole fingerboard. 

Excerpted from Acoustic Guitar, November 2012

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