Frequently Asked Questions

Will Guitar Notes Master work on my computer?

If you have a PC running Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 then you should have no problems running Guitar Notes Master. The only requirement is the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. This is an application programming framework supplied by Microsoft, so it is quite likely that you already have it installed on your computer by another software application that uses it, or it may have been installed by Windows Update. If you don't already have it, then the installer will download and install it for you when you install Guitar Notes Master. However, for the smoothest installation process, we recommend installing the .NET Framework yourself before installing Guitar Notes Master. You can either do this using Window Update, or manually download it and install it from here:

Please note that Guitar Notes Master does not run on the Apple Mac, Linux PCs or Windows RT tablets. Android phone and tablet users should download Guitar Notes Master for Android from the Google Play Store.

Why should I buy Guitar Notes Master rather than another product?

There are plenty of software applications around that claim to help you to learn the locations of notes on the fretboard. However, we believe that there's a lot more to understanding the guitar fretboard than simply being able to quickly find a note on a given string. In fact, it is usually much more important to be able to find intervals, scales and chords from a given root, particularly when improvising. Of course, learning the fretboard notes is important, and Guitar Notes Master teaches a number of techniques to help you achieve this - techniques that build up your knowledge logically, rather than relying purely on repetitive memorisation. But whilst most other software fretboard tutors stop there, for Guitar Notes Master this is only the beginning, and sets the foundation for a complete course in understanding the guitar fretboard and the musical theory behind scales, arpeggios and chords as applied to the guitar.

Is Guitar Notes Master suitable for beginners?

Yes! Although Guitar Notes Master covers some pretty advanced topics, the lessons start from the very basics of learning the open strings and assume no prior knowledge of the guitar. The language is kept simple and musical terms introduced are explained fully, so you should have no trouble grasping the concepts even if you have limited knowledge of music theory already.

However, it is not intended as a complete guitar course as it doesn't cover other elements of guitar playing such as technique and rhythm. So, I would recommend using Guitar Notes Master in conjunction with a self-study course that covers these aspects of guitar playing, or alongside regular lessons from a guitar teacher. Using Guitar Notes Master in conjunction with regular lessons can help you to make the best use of expensive tutorial time as your teacher can concentrate on elements of technique and rhythm which are more difficult to teach yourself and not waste time on the theory elements which Guitar Notes Master can cover.

If you are looking for a self-study course to use in conjunction with Guitar Notes Master, then we suggest checking out the following three:

Learn and Master Guitar - a comprehensive DVD-based guitar course.
JamPlay - a video-based subscription guitar lessons site that features a good "Guitar Basics" section.
Jamorama - a downloadable course for beginners/intermediate and a good budget choice.

Do I really need to learn this stuff? Isn't theory kind of boring?

Yes, of course theory is boring! That's why I created Guitar Notes Master, to make learning guitar fretboard theory as easy, painless and even fun as it possibly can be.

As to whether you need to learn it, you need to ask yourself how good a guitarist you want to be. I'd be the first to admit that you can play some pretty cool sounding solos knowing only a couple of scale patterns, but as you advance you'll quickly find yourself stuck in a rut as you can only create the same old boring sounds and get stuck in one part of the fretboard whenever you need to improvise over a chord. And do you really want to have to reach for that chord dictionary every time a song sheet includes a chord that you're not familiar with?

The point is, however simple or complicated the styles of music you want to play, having a thorough grasp of fretboard theory gives you options. Whether you choose to use them is up to you, but how will you ever know if using a Phrygian mode would sound good in a particular song if you don't know what a Phrygian mode is? And how can you make your blues solo build up to screaming high register notes if you can only play the blues scale in the lower part of the fretboard? True creativity comes from having all of the options available for you to choose from, and you can only achieve this by gaining a thorough understanding of the musical theory behind the guitar fretboard.

I don't have a MIDI synthesizer. Can I still use MIDI playback?

Almost certainly. Microsoft have been supplying a software synthesizer with Windows for many years called the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth, and this works perfectly for MIDI playback from Guitar Notes Master.

Note that if you want to use another synthesizer you may need to switch it to General MIDI mode to use it with Guitar Notes Master if this is not it's default configuration.