The Mental Fretboard Development

This exercise will help you develop a mental fretboard - it's not super easy - but really worth spending some time on it. Be aware that this might take a few weeks work before you notice it getting better - it's no quick fix, but as you work on it I think (hope!) you'll find your Playing What You Hear exercises getting easier and more confident.


Dr Justin prescribes 5 minutes a day of this, pause on your interval work (but continue on Play What You Hear) if you are pushed for time or add it in if you can. 

1. Close your eyes and imagine a fretboard in your mind, with your fingers on it.

2. Put your fingers on the guitar neck to form a R5 Major Scale, one octave. Move your fingers around but don't actually play the notes (use your strumming hand arm to mute the strings) and try to sync your mind and your hand.

3. Then start working on intervals, decide on one, imagine the sound and then move your fingers to the corresponding position. Imagine it in your musical mind, then play it and check how you going!

4. As it develops you could try playing 3 or 4 notes and checking that - eventually you want to be hearing whole melodies there and playing them.

Playing what you hear in your musical mind is the biggest deal you can have as a musician, it's not easy, it does take work, but can you imagine how fun it is to play things you can hear in your musical mind and express them?

Ear Training Grade 3