Fingerboard charts - a basic orientation

Uncategorized Feb 04, 2022

Get your free fingerboard charts in A!

Keys to visualizing the fingerboard

Unfortunately, often fingerboard charts are too complex, and therefore underutilized. If we simply break down the information into bite sized pieces the tool then becomes useful.

Seeing all the cello half steps hurts the eyes. But limit the chart to Bb major in 1st position and much more meaning is revealed

Fingerboard charts have the potential to be a versatile tool for learning.

As we will see, we may represent fingerings, note names, or scale degrees, and by comparing these gather a more complete view of musical systems as a whole. For example, we can see the low octave of G Major on the violin represented graphically with fingerings in 1st position:


Alternately, we could map the note names. We can orient to the key by being aware of what fingers (or open strings!) are on the tonic, or home note, of the scale:


and lastly, scale degrees (numbering the scale). This approach is very useful for internalizing licks, arpeggios, and chord patterns:


Using these charts alongside some basic ear training exercises can help us relate to the fingerboard with more clarity and intention. We can take this a step further and map the arpeggio as well:

However, as always, it helps to simplify this, and in doing so, we are able to compare the arpeggio with the scale. In this example we see how the patterns interact in one octave:


If you haven't got the free fingerboard charts in A, be sure to grab yours here, and stay tuned for new books and resources coming soon!


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