Guitar Buddy - A Note Trainer

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I'm slowly learning to play guitar. Very slowly. Unfortunately, I keep getting distracted by programming projects, like RSS readers and guitar-learning apps. But at some point I came to understand that maybe it was important to know which notes are where on the guitar fretboard.

I read about some simple exercises that one can do with a guitar buddy to help develop this skill, but I don't have a guitar buddy. So I built, a virtual guitar buddy to help us learn a tiny bit of guitar theory without having another person around.

What is Guitar Buddy?

Guitar Buddy helps you to learn the location of notes on the guitar fretboard. It asks a series of 20 questions and measures your time to complete the exercise. If you get a question wrong, you'll get a time penalty, so it's better to be a little slow, but accurate rather than fast and sloppy. It tracks your best times for each difficulty level, so it's easy to see your progress as you improve.

Guitar Buddy asks two types of questions: Name-The-Notes and Find-The-Notes.

Name The Notes

A Name-the-Notes Question

In Name-The-Notes, Guitar Buddy highlights a set of notes on the guitar fretboard and you need to match which notes are in those positions. Click the buttons at the bottom of the screen to select assign a note. If you make a mistake, you can unset an option by clicking the note on the fretboard diagram. The note-selector buttons at the bottom of the screen are intentionally shuffled to make it more difficult to cheat by counting. Press Submit when you think you have it right.

Find The Notes

A Find-the-Notes Question

In Find-The-Notes, Guitar Buddy asks you to find all instances of a specific note on one or more highlighted strings. A selector button will appear on each note. Just click the button to select it, and click again to deselect it if you make a mistake. Be careful! Guitar Buddy covers a range of 13 notes, from the open strings down to the 12th fret. This means that sometimes a note will appear twice on the same string. If you don't choose both, you'll get the question wrong! Like with Name-The-Notes, press submit when you think you have it right.


Select Difficulty / Start Screen

There are four difficulties available. The Very Easy level asks questions about only the first (thickest) string. The Easy level asks about the first two strings. Medium asks about four strings, and Difficult asks about all six strings. The specific strings and frets it asks about are randomly selected with each question.


I've tested Guitar Buddy on a variety of platforms: Chrome on Windows, Firefox on Windows, Internet Explorer 9 on Windows, Safari on Mac OS X Mavericks, Android 4.4 KitKat Chrome. It seems to work in all of these places. Try it on your mobile device when you're on the go! All data is stored in your browser, so if you switch devices, your high scores won't carry over.


It's not polished up yet, but it works. If more people start to use the app, maybe I'll dress it up a little more. If you have any questions, ideas, problems, snide remarks, or other comments about Guitar Buddy, let me know! I'd love to hear from you. I can be reached at treaster [at] gmail [dot] com.