Learn to jam on guitar with creativity and fluency.

Fretboard Foundation
is the fastest way to learn:

  • Guitar soloing
  • Jamming with others
  • Improvisation and playing by ear
  • Chord melody
  • Fretboard harmony and music theory

Hello! I’m Jason Grimes.

I wrote the Fretboard Foundation book, and I run this site.

Does any of this sound familiar?

“I wish I could play by ear and improvise. I need tabs and chord charts to play songs.”

“I know scale patterns but I can’t figure out how to link them together. How can I move up and down the fretboard?”

“I want to learn some music theory and finally master the fretboard, but I’m not sure where to begin.”

Or how about this?

“I’m new to guitar, but I’m frustrated with lame beginner lessons.”

“Do I really have to spend months practicing chords before I can play songs I actually like?”

“The F chord seems like a medieval torture device.”

Fretboard Foundation offers a better way to learn guitar.

What makes
Fretboard Foundation

Unlike traditional guitar methods, we’ll focus on:

  • Using your ears.
  • Playing music you love from the beginning.
  • Studying intervals more than notes and shapes.
  • Assembling a deep understanding of harmony from the simplest possible building blocks. 

Good enough to jam, right away

The Fretboard Foundation method gets you jamming along with music you enjoy within the first minutes of your very first lesson.

The object of this method is to learn to create music. To express yourself creatively on the guitar. To play by ear, and improvise guitar solos, and even to play chord melody, starting from the very beginning of your studies.

It’s possible for absolutely anyone to do this in a very simple form, right away. And then to gradually build upon that foundation, in order to have more fun and make ever better music. Motivated by your own joy and curiosity, rather than by a boring “no pain, no gain” teaching method that promises fun in some distant future.

Learn the most useful things first

Fretboard Foundation teaches things in a different order than other guitar methods. It’s based on the idea of triage: doing the most important things first to make the best of limited time and resources.

In the long run, it would be ideal to learn everything. But life is rarely ideal, and the length of our run is unknown. If life gets in the way in a few months and you need to take a long break from your guitar studies, will your efforts have been well spent? Making music you enjoy, building a foundation that will endure throughout your life? Or will that time be essentially lost, with nothing to show for it?

Right now, given the overwhelming amount there is to learn, how can you make the most progress in the shortest time? What’s the minimum you need to learn, and the fastest way to learn it?

Master the fundamentals of harmony

Once you’ve begun to develop your ear and your taste by creating real music you enjoy, we begin to introduce fundamental concepts of Western harmony and more advanced guitar skills into your practice.

Intervals, simplified triad chords, and practical scale constructions are the building blocks of tonal harmony, and they are introduced in an intuitive way from first principles.

These new elements are added in the simplest and most practical forms at first, in such a way that you can actually use them in your music, and begin to internalize them naturally. Then they are gradually expanded upon, as you achieve greater and greater fluency.

Enlightening for intermediate guitarists. Accessible for absolute beginners.

Learn it your way

Choose from a variety of materials to learn however works best for you.

The big book

The FREE 200+ page eBook provides practical building blocks for intermediate guitarists. A grimoire for guitar.

Free guitar lessons

Free video lessons and tutorial articles with useful guidance, tips, tricks, and miscellaneous clever things about playing guitar.

Software tools

A collection of free web applications for learning guitar, using multimodal memory techniques for faster skill acquisition and improved retention.

Self-paced courses

Online courses covering the building blocks of the Fretboard Foundation method. Step-by-step lessons completed at your own pace.

Webinar workshops

Group lesson workshops in a webinar format. Register for upcoming sessions, or watch recordings of past events.

Private lessons

Private, one-on-one guitar lessons are available with me over Zoom. If you’re near Raleigh, NC we can work together in person.