Inlay Exercise

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Here’s a great way to really drum the fingerboard’s inlay system into your head! It’s an exercise we’ll simply call the “Inlay Exercise”. Here’s how to do it:

On the high E string play the open string then the E at the 12th fret. Go up to the first fret play that note and then play its octave at the 13th fret. Work your way all the way up the fretboard until you run out of frets. You can do this with the other strings for further practice. See the tablature example below:

Since the notes on the 12th fret and up mirror the notes on the lower end of the fretboard you only need to memorize 72 frets. That makes things a little easier, don’t you think?


  • If you have a 24 fret guitar, then you’ll have another octave at the 24th fret (usually marked by another double dot inlay).
  • Some guitar manufacturers sometimes use different fretboard inlays, but the dot inlay system discussed here is the most common.

The quiz below is manually graded, so you won’t get your test results right away. I will usually have it graded with 24 hours.