Quick Start Guide

Getting started with the Fretboard Master is easy! On the Game Setup panel, make selections for the following options:

  • Guitar Presets: Select from four standard guitars:
    • 6-String Guitar
    • 4-String Bass
    • 5-String Bass
    • 6-String Bass
    Guitar Presets are configured with standard tuning for the selected guitar. See Customize Guitar if you'd like to tune your guitar differently, add or remove strings, or if your are learning a stringed instrument other than a guitar.
  • Show Sharps/Flats As: Choose between using sharps or flats to refer to non-natural notes.
  • Difficulty Level: Choose a difficulty level. See Difficulty Levels for more information.
  • Question Type:
    • Name the Note: Identify the Note found at a given location on the fretboard. For more information, see Name the Note.
    • Find the Note: Identify the Fret and String number where a particular Note can be found. For more information, see Find the Note.
  • Game Mode:
    • Timed Game: The pressure is on! You have 100 seconds to answer 20 questions correctly. See Game Modes for more information.
    • Practice: Use this mode to get warmed-up. In Practice Mode, you have unlimited time to answer 20 questions. See Game Modes for details.

Click Start to begin!

Play Now!

Using the Fretboard Diagram

The fretboard diagram is a visual representation of your guitar's fretboard. It is designed to simulate the view you have of the fretboard as you look down on it from above while you play.

Left-handed Guitar: Select this option to display the fretboard as a left-handed player would see it, with the lower numbered frets on the right side instead of the left.

During Gameplay: Select Show Notes to display all of the notes on the fretboard. Select Show Frets to display the fret numbers above the fretboard.

How to Play the Game

There are two different ways to play:

  • Name the Note: The game will prompt you to identify the note found on a particular string and fret. A question mark will appear on the fretboard at that location. To answer, click the correct Note button.
  • Find the Note: The game will prompt you to find a Note on the fretboard. To answer, double-click the correct spot on the fretboard. Remember, depending upon the difficulty level you’ve selected, there may be more than one right answer! The game will tell you whether or not you’ve found the correct note. Then, check out the fretboard again to see a display of all possible answers for that question.
If you get really stuck, try using the Show Notes or Show Frets feature for help.

Game Modes

There are two different game modes you can choose from:

  • Timed Game: Correctly answer 20 questions in 100 seconds. If you give an incorrect answer, you must keep trying until you find the correct answer. Finish all 20 questions before time runs out to maximize your score. You win the game if you score 500 points or more. See Scoring for details.
  • Practice: Twenty question exercise sessions. No time limit. You have one chance to answer each question correctly. If you make an error, the correct answer will be displayed before you continue on to the next question. At the end of each session, take a moment to look at your score (the percentage you answered correctly) as well as the average time it took you to answer each question.

Difficulty Levels

Name the Note mode: The difficulty level controls the area of the fretboard from which your questions will be drawn:

  • Easy: First 5 frets
  • Medium: First 9 frets
  • Hard: First 14 frets
  • Master: Entire fretboard

Find the Note mode: The difficulty level controls how much of the fretboard is available for you to find a note. The higher the difficulty, the fewer correct options you will have.

  • Easy: Anywhere on the fretboard
  • Medium: Between frets 7 and 20
  • Hard: Between frets 12 and 20
  • Master: Between frets 9 and 20, BUT the game will also specify a particular string on which you must find the note

*In both modes, disabled areas on the fretboard are shaded.

Customize Guitar

Click the Customize button next to the fretboard to open the String Configuration window. Here, you can do the following:

  • Adjust tuning: Change the open note of a string.
  • Add a string: Click Add a String. The new string will always be added as the lowest string.
  • Remove a string: Click the red X next to the string you'd like to remove.

Click Apply Changes to update the fretboard once you’ve finished modifying your guitar.

Click Undo Changes to cancel your changes and reset the fretboard to the standard tuning for the guitar preset you selected.

Click Close Window to return to the main game window.


In Timed Game mode, your score is calculated as follows:

  • For each correct answer add 25 points
  • For each incorrect answer subtract 15 points
  • For each unused second remaining on the clock add 2 points
  • For each unanswered question subtract 10 points

You win the game if you score 500 points or more!

High Scores

The Fretboard Master now keeps a list of the all-time high scores. There is a top ten list for each guitar type, question type, and difficulty level combination. On the High Scores page, simply choose the game settings, from the drop-down lists, that you'd like to see the high score list for, and click the "Show" button.

To be eligible for the top ten list, you cannot have done any of the following:

  • Clicked on "Show Notes" during the game
  • Clicked on "Show Fret #s" during the game
  • Customized the guitar using the "Customize" button

Have fun and good luck cracking the top ten!

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