Saturday, 21 December 2013

Confession #48 - Know Your CBA's !

If somebody asked you to recite the notes in the C major scale, without hesitation you'd be able reply:

C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C

However, if they asked you do do it backwards, odds are you'd be stumped!


Your probably wondering why you should be able to recite the alphabet backwards.  Learning the fretboard is one reason.

As a beginner you learned the names of the open strings and probably learned the names of the notes on the first 3 frets.  However, as you move beyond the 3rd fret, your note naming ability might be a bit shaky.  And the closer you get to the 12th fret, the more lost you feel.

But wait!  You already know the names of the notes at the 12th fret.  Remember those notes are the octave of the open strings.  If you can name the open strings, you can name the notes at the 12th fret.

If you can name the notes at the 12th fret and you know your CBA's, then you can easily name the notes before the 12th fret.  For example, the 12th fret of your sixth string is an E.  "Counting" backwards from E you get to D, which is a whole step before E (if you don't know why D is a whole step before E, see Confession #8 - Learn the Major Scale!), so moving a whole step (i.e. two frets) back from the 12th fret to the 10th fret you find a D.

How do you learn your CBA's?  Practice!

Use the major scale pattern in Confession #8 - Learn the Major Scale! and play up and down the scale, naming the notes as you play them (or better yet, sing them! See Confession #23 - Sing What You Play!).  Moving up the scale will be easy.  Moving down the scale will be hard at first but will quickly become easy.

Next Week's Confession - ???

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