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LEARN THE FINGERBOARD! (90 min.

/day)

Exercise #1

Pick a tune, or the circle of 5ths. Play in tempo (as slowly as needed to be focused and accurate) and
play every root of every succesive chord on all 6 strings. For example, for a Gmaj7, play G on the third
fret of the A string, the 10th fret of the A string etc. etc. Play triplets (3 on 2) or eight notes, going back
on the last two strings. Play it ascending and descending. Then play the 5th of every chord. Then the
3rd, major and minor. Then the 7th. Do this religiously until you can visualize and hear the positions of
every chord on the fretboard. Every week do one interval, starting with the root, then the 5th, then the
2nd, then the 6th (up a fifth).

Exercise #2

This is a variation of Exercise #1. Again pick a tune, or the circle of 5ths (in tempo) and start by
playing a two note interval in 8th notes (1 chord per bar), for example root-5th, in one position of the
neck with which you are not very comfortable. Then play another interval, for example rooth-3rd in the
same position. The goal is to be able to immediately 'flash' visually and by finger-memory the correct
fret for the given interval. Proceed using triads 1-3-5, and then play 4-note arppeggios 1-4-5-7. Vary the
circle of 5ths as to include all chord types, major 7th, minor 7th, dominant 7, dimished, augmented,
minor-major 7th etc.

Exercise #3

Pick a tune, or the circle of 5ths. Play in tempo. Start with quarter notes, or quarter notes, and play only
ascending the scale until you reach the end of the fingerboard, and then come back down until you
reach the lowest note, then back up until you reach the highest note etc. This accomplishes three
purposes: 1st it forces you to be constantly aware of where the notes of each chord are all over the
fingerboard. 2nd it forces you to be constantly aware of what chord you are playing over and 3rd it
forces you to familiarize yourself with all the areas on the fretboard and to instantly see 'chord-boxes' in
the position you are playing.

Note : Beyond instrumental facility and becoming familiar with the fretboard the 2nd goal of all these
exercises is to strengthen the ear-mind-instrument connection. They also serve as ear training, if you do
them and simultaneously try to HEAR the pitch in your head before you play them, Singing while you
play through the exercises, and after you’ve developed sufficient visualization ability over the
fretboard. Remember, you must be able to hear it miliseconds before your play it while your mind
instantly translates what you hear into a visualization on the fretboard and the fingers execute it. That’s
the goal, and every part of that equation must be worked on in isolation, and then put back together
with all the others – which is improvisation.