An interactive guitar fretboard memorization chart

A guitarist called Julian Rörig recently contacted me to say he’d developed an interactive version of my guitar fretboard visualization chart.

What Julian has done is enhance my PDF so that you can type note names into the fretboard and notation areas, and it then validates your entries to tell you whether they are correct. It’s a really great and powerful learning tool.

He has kindly agreed to make the interactive PDF available on this website—so here it is.

To download this interactive PDF, right-click and choose “Save Link As…” (Chrome), “Download Linked File As…” (Safari) or “Save target as” (Edge).

How the interactive guitar fretboard visualization chart works

First things first: the interactive features of the PDF only work in reader applications that support JavaScript, such as Adobe Reader (for both Windows and Mac). They do not work in Preview for Mac, or in browsers such as Chrome, Safari or Edge.

Once you’ve opened the chart in your chosen JavaScript-enabled PDF reader, the interactive fields appear in blue across the fretboard and underneath the notation area.

Start by typing a note value into one of the fields, and the text is initially displayed black.

Unlike most other fretboard learning tools, this one uses Helmholtz notation to help you learn which octave range each note is in, as well as its name. In this case the note is Middle C, which is written c’.

When you navigate to another field, your previous entry is validated—and if correct, the text turns green. You can navigate to a new field either by clicking there, or by pressing Tab to move to the next field or Shift-Tab to move to the previous one.

If you type a wrong note, it turns red.

If you type the correct note name, but in the wrong octave range, it turns orange (octave range… o-range—see what I did there?)

In this example we’re looking at the A below Middle C, and that must be written “a” in Helmholtz notation.

The # (pound/hash) character is converted to a musical ♯ (sharp).

And the letter b is converted into a musical ♭ (flat).

Enharmonic equivalents are recognized, so c♯’ or d♭’ can both be entered for the same note, for example.

You can of course use the chart to write out your favourite scales.

And test your knowledge of guitar notation.

Finally, it also recognizes German abbreviations—so for example “es” is converted to “e♭”, etc.

And that’s it. Many thanks to Julian Rörig for putting this awesome tool together—I hope you enjoy and find it useful!