The Well-Understood Fretboard, Vol. 1

How to visualize all the major scale fingerings, arpeggios, triads and inversions in any key.

Michael Valeanu


No matter what genre of music you play or what kind of guitar you like to use, I’m sure you know that mastering this instrument requires a deep knowledge of the fretboard. All the players we love have acquired the ability to know instantly where the things they want to play exist on the guitar — the same way you don’t think of all the letters you’re saying while you talk.

Learning tunes, licks and transcriptions are great ways to gain vocabulary and technical facilities, but they’re even more valuable if you’re able to understand what you play. This ability lets you use and expand upon licks, lines and chords — to really make them your own. The guitar is a very “visual” instrument but, unlike the piano, understanding how the fretboard works can be a little tricky.

This course will give you the tools to understand and visualize instantly all the basic elements that exist within any major scale or major key: the scale fingerings, the triads and their inversions, the seventh chords and their inversions, as well as their corresponding arpeggios.

I’ve designed this course so that you don’t need theoretical musical knowledge — don’t panic! Any elements of basic theory will be instantly illustrated on the guitar. To embrace this material, you’ll be visualizing melodic and harmonic material at the same time. Eventually, you’ll be able to juggle all those elements as easily as possible.

82 minutes across 18 parts

Introduction Free
Major Scale DNA
Visual Reference Points
Fingerings of the Major Scale
What is a Triad?
Triad Inversions
Inversions and Basic Chord Shapes
Connecting the Dots 1
Triad Arpeggios
Arpeggios Within Each Position
Wide Arpeggio Fingerings
Major Scale 7th Chords
What is a Drop 2 chord?
Drop 2's and their Inversions
Chords Along and Across the Fretboard
Connecting the Dots 2
7th Chord Arpeggios
Connecting the Dots 3

About Michael Valeanu

Guitarist Michael Valeanu has an extensive musical background, including studies at the Nadia and Lili Boulanger Conservatory in Paris and the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. He has performed at many of the top New York City jazz clubs, along with festivals all over the United States, Europe and Japan.

Michael tours internationally with vocalist Cyrille Aimee, and he co-produced/co-arranged her two albums “Let’s Get Lost” and “It’s A Good Day.”

Michael released his debut album “Tea Time” in 2012. In 2015, he released his second album, “Hard to Cook,” and was a finalist in the Wes Montgomery International Jazz Guitar Competition. He was born in Paris and lives in New York. Find more at

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