Guitar Neck Basics

The fretboard of a guitar is the part of the guitar neck where the player presses down on the strings to change the pitch. It is a long, thin piece of wood that runs along the length of the neck and is divided into small sections by metal bars called frets. When the player presses down on a string behind a particular fret, the string is shortened and the pitch of the note played is raised. The fretboard is marked with dots or other markers to help the player locate specific positions, and it is important to learn the names and locations of the different notes on the fretboard to play melodies, chords, and scales on the guitar.

The fretboard theory for guitar is a way of understanding the layout and organization of the notes on the guitar neck. It is a system that helps guitarists learn the relationship between the notes on the fretboard, and it is essential for playing melodies, chords, and scales on the guitar.

The fretboard theory is based on the concept of intervals, which are the distances between two notes. The most common interval in Western music is the half-step, which is the distance between two adjacent frets on the guitar neck. Two half-steps make up a whole step, and the distance between the open string and the first fret is also a half-step.

The fretboard theory is organized around the concept of the chromatic scale, which is a sequence of 12 notes that includes all the natural notes (A, B, C, D, E, F, and G) as well as the sharps and flats. The chromatic scale is repeated in each octave, and each note is assigned a number based on its position in the scale.

The notes on the fretboard are arranged in a specific pattern, with each fret representing a different note in the chromatic scale. For example, the first fret on the E string is an F note, the second fret is an F# note, and so on. The pattern of notes on the fretboard is consistent across all six strings, but the notes are different because each string is tuned to a different pitch.

To understand the fretboard theory for guitar, it is important to learn the names and locations of the notes on the fretboard, as well as the intervals between them. This knowledge can help guitarists learn to play scales, chords, and melodies, and can also help them understand the relationship between different chords and keys in music. With practice and study, guitarists can become proficient at using the fretboard theory to create and play music on the guitar.

The CAGED system is a method for understanding the fretboard of a guitar and learning how to play chords and scales in different positions. The system is based on five basic chord shapes – C, A, G, E, and D – which can be moved up and down the fretboard to create chords in different keys and positions.

The CAGED system divides the guitar neck into five regions, each named after one of the five basic chord shapes. For example, the C shape is used to play the C chord, and it can also be moved up and down the fretboard to play other chords in the key of C, such as F and G.

To use the CAGED system, a guitarist first learns the five basic chord shapes and the names of the notes in each shape. Then, they can move each shape up and down the fretboard to play different chords in the same key. For example, to play the A chord using the C shape, a guitarist would move the C shape up to the fifth fret and play the notes in the shape that correspond to the A chord.

The CAGED system can also be used to play scales in different positions on the fretboard. By using the basic chord shapes as a guide, a guitarist can find the notes of a scale in each position and create different patterns and fingerings for playing the scale. This can be useful for creating different melodies and improvising over chords.

The CAGED system is a helpful tool for understanding the layout of the fretboard and learning how to play chords and scales in different positions. By using the five basic chord shapes and moving them up and down the fretboard, guitarists can quickly and easily play a wide range of chords and scales in different keys and positions.

Welcome to, where music meets inspiration!

When I was a kid, I’ll admit I wasn’t always thrilled about music. My parents made me take lessons starting at three and half and it felt like more or a chore at first. But as I grew older, I realized the value of practice and spent hours upon hours mastering different instruments and styles. I played in bands from middle school all the way to getting a degree in it at college and later touring all over the world by using it.

Fast forward to now, as a dad, I’m passing on my love of music to my own kiddos. Seeing their faces light up as they strum their first chords or hit the right notes on the piano brings me so much joy. And let’s be real, it’s pretty cute watching them sing their hearts out. Teaching my kids music has brought back memories of my own childhood, of the frustration of not getting a song right the first time and the thrill of finally nailing a difficult piece. But it’s also reminded me that music is more than just notes on a page or chords on an instrument. It’s a way of expressing ourselves, connecting with others, and bringing beauty into the world.

That’s why I’m so excited to share my collection of songs inspired from different seasons Ane experiences in my life. From folk to rock, pop to instrumental, I’m hoping there’s something for everyone on my website. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, I want to provide you with unique insights and perspectives on how music can influence us in this crazy journey we call life. So come join me on this adventure and let’s discover more of the power of music together! 

Stay in tune and keep on grooving, David Olson

ps. All my music is here

Ever since I was three and a half, my parents forced me to take music lessons. First it was the violin where they had me play at nursing homes, church recitals, and school events. Before I went through puberty, I played the trumpet in the local marching band and participated  in the Twin Cities Youth Symphony (GTCYS). Looking back, I’m not sure if my parents were trying to help me foster a love for music or just prevent me from having a social life.  Luckily in high school it all changed once I bought a guitar at a garage sale, and I was hooked. I was a guitarist in a variety of bands, church groups, and eventually went to the University of Northwestern St. Paul to study guitar.  It was never meant to be a career, just something I loved and was passionate about learning.  After college I started my own band and worked in a local church as a music director for around five years. I recorded and released two albums titled ‘Beloved’ in 2007 and a sophomore album titled ‘Change’ in 2008. After being a worship director at a large church in Eden Prairie and finishing my master degree at Bethel University, I somehow found myself in a talented group from the East Coast called ‘Sacred Road.’ At the time, it was an incredible experience performing, recording, & traveling with other amazing professional musicians through a record label. It opened a whole new world for me of songwriting, producing, and storytelling.
Once I was married and had kids life changed, and so did the priority of creating and performing music. Through a series of random events (and a lot of hard work), I found myself working for the last 15+ years in a flourishing career with my wife as a realtor/broker in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Florida. And more importantly, raising three beautiful daughters. It’s been a wonderful, wild, and all consuming experience that I could have never dreamed of and wouldn’t trade for anything. Now that my beautiful kiddos are past the ‘infant baby’ stage, I’m ready to dive into some new music ventures again and share some of the experiences and music I’ve been holding onto for the last couple years. Thanks for your patience and joining me in this next chapter of life. I hope to add a lot more original content, experiences, and songs in the future that will inspire and lift you up, no matter where you’re at in life! -David Olson

About me

After taking a break from writing and performing music for a couple years, I’m official back! Not because I’m trying to be cool, sell stuff, or impress anyone (I’m too old for that kind of thing and honesty, just don’t care). Instead, I’m just one of those creative ‘artsy’ people who loves writing, performing great music, and sharing good stories. It’s in my blood, it’s like medicine for my soul, and like an escape from some of the chaos of life. I write about what inspires and matters to me most. I create all this nerd music/video stuff from my home studio in my basement. I’m a husband and father of three beautiful kiddos. My day job is being a realtor here in Minnesota and I love it!
If you’re interested in having this 40+ year old dad guitarist guy named David perform at your next event? Reach out at