Unlocking the guitar neck is my own method of creating a library of chords and scales easily. I came up with the idea back in the mid-90's, whilst at college.

It's main purpose is to encourage students to make their own chord/scale book, as opposed to buying a shiny one from the store, full of fancy pictures, that'll get shelved in a few weeks. 

The truth is, you cannot buy guitar progress, you have to earn it, by working steadily each day. This lesson is about showing you how, using music theory, you can unlock the guitar neck fully

Read on for the ultimate guide to unlocking the power of the Guitar Neck.. and the Dark Side of the Force... well... maybe just the Guitar Neck...  

The three main charts, Formula Chart, Chromatic Interval Chart, and Blank Guitar Neck Charts are needed to plot our resulting notes.
To make it easier, I've made a sheet with all three of these charts on too.

Unlocking The Guitar Neck
Download This Page
Download All Pages

Example: Let's look at how we can find where a Dminor chord can be made anywhere on the guitar neck....

1. Find the formula for Minor in the Chord/Scale Formula Chart = 1, b3, 5. 

2. Next, find those numbers in the Chromatic Interval Chart along the top line, 1 being where D is. This gives us the notes  D=1, F=b3, and A=5.  

3. Print off some Blank Guitar Necks to circle out the notes D, F, A on the guitar neck. If you've done it right it should look like this.

Now we've done this for Dminor, the same principle applies to every other minor chord. 

The minor formula works for all 12 keys. 

However, every chord and scale formula, major, dominant 7, etc... works for all 12 keys. 

Now do this for major, minor 7, etc..and then scales too!

See the Unlocking Chords and Unlocking Scales charts for a visual guide!


Print out blank guitar or bass necks, grab yourself some highlighters, and pretty soon, you will have acquired your very own chord/scale library.

I've seen students amass a huge volume of fretboard information in a matter of weeks.

Most importantly, because you've done it yourself, you will understand it better on a much deeper level.

Effectively, we're learning fretboard and music theory all in one go, understanding how chords and scales are formed, along with fingerboard harmony.  

You'll no longer be stumped when any chord or scale is needed to play a song, and song writing itself becomes a lot more fun. 

Get more free lessons and printable sheets on my Guitar Resources 1 | 2 pages.