All The Steps To Learn And Master
The Fretboard Of Guitar And Bass
First, Define Your Goal
So you want to "learn the fretboard" of your guitar or bass. OK, let's see together exactly what that means:
1. Absolute Fretboard Knowledge Your bottom line is:
To know each and every note on the fretboard,
immediately, naturally and effortlessly,
just like you know the open strings.
2. Two-way Knowledge
One way is from position to note — you see (or think of) any position on the fretboard and immediately know which note it is.
The other way is from a note to its position — you see (or think of) any note and immediately know where to play it on the fretboard.
These are two different aspects — two sides of the coin — and you want to be equally skilled in both directions.
3. No Thinking And No Hesitation
As long as you need to think, "What is this note?", or "Where is G# ?", you are wasting time, energy, and concentration which should be focused on playing and enjoying the music. Mistakes, hesitations, frustration, etc, will be inevitable. Therefore your goal is to know and use the whole fretboard without having to think about it and without any hesitation.
Some effort is necessary to develop the skill, but the goal is to know the fretboard (and use that knowledge) without effort or strain.
5. Know flats and sharps equally well
Because the same note can be called, for example, either C# or Db, it is important that you know it both ways equally well.
Your goal, plain and simple, is to know every note at every position, immediately and effortlessly, using either flats or sharps, just like you know the open strings of your bass or guitar.