Print Fretboard Diagrams

1121 scale and chord patterns!
Any stringed instrument! Any tuning!

This app is recommended for screen widths 600px and higher.
major triad
minor triad
augmented triad
diminished triad
major 7th
dominant 7th
minor 7th
minor 7th (b5)
diminished 7th
major 6th
minor 6th
major 9th
dominant 9th
minor 9th
dominant 7 b9th
natural minor
major pentatonic
minor pentatonic
minor blues
diminished wh
diminished hw
harmonic major
harmonic minor
melodic minor
lydian augmented
lydian dominant
locrian #2
super locrian
phyrgian dominant
Hungarian minor

Instrument Settings

Common Instruments and Tunings

Page Layout

Diagram Options

Select Chord/Scale

Select Note Pattern
Select Note Pattern

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Notes on Version 3.1 Beta of the Fretboard Printer

No more Flash! This new fretboard diagram printer is a work in progress. If you find any bugs, please report them.

Description of the Scale and Chord Tone Fretboard Printer

The Scale and Chord Tone Fretboard Printer is a free fretboard generator for any stringed instrument. I designed it for my bass students and for you to use.

This free scale and chord generator allows you to view and print out the fretboard notes or fingerboard charts to most any scale, chord, or arpeggio on any stringed instrument in any tuning. The default tuning displays a bass fretboard, but don't be fooled. It supports all stringed instruments — like guitar, bass guitar, violin, cello, mandolin — for any number of strings in any standard tuning, dropped tuning or alternate tuning you can think of. It's a very powerful fretboard diagramming application...

Some things you can do with the scale and chord tone diagram printer:

  • Generate guitar scales or bass scales on the fretboard.
  • View and print scales for drop-D tuning on a guitar or bass fretboard.
  • Display the notes to guitar chords on the fret board.
  • Find your own guitar chord voicings by assembling the arpeggio notes of chords in various ways.
  • Print out all the guitar notes on the guitar fretboard or bass notes on the bass fretboard.
  • Create printable blank fretboard diagrams for any number of strings in any shape or size.
  • Create and print scales for violin, cello, double bass and other fretless string instruments.
  • Show the notes of natural harmonics on the guitar, bass guitar or any other stringed instrument.
  • Generate diagrams for almost all scales and chords from the vast scale and chord dictionary.
  • Make left-handed guitar fretboard diagrams.

I tried to make the scale diagrams and chord diagrams as simple and neat as possible. Most musicians can't afford those color ink cartridges so all diagrams are in printer-friendly greyscale.

The way the fretboard charts are displayed can be changed in a number of ways including the number of frets, starting fret, the width and height of the fretboard, etc. It is very customizable.

Play around with the program; you should figure out how it works pretty easily. Good luck memorizing all of your scales, modes and chord tones!

If you have questions about using the program, help for the Scale and Chord Tone Fretboard Printer follows...

Using the Scale and Chord Tone Fretboard Printer

The fretboard printer is laid out with a piece of paper for printing at the top and a user interface at the bottom. Using the controls you can make just about any note diagram you want.

I'll explain each tab and what the various controls, options, and settings do.

The Instrument Tab

On this tab you can set the number of strings and tuning note for each string for your diagram. Many of the most popular and common tunings for popular instruments are already listed under the presets. You can also quickly create a custom instrument for any number of strings in any tuning.

Instrument Presets

To select from the preset tunings, first choose an instrument. A list of preset instruments from which to choose will drop down. Click an instrument to select it.

Here is a table of instruments for which you'll find presets:

Preset Instruments
4-string bass5-string bass6-string bass
6-string guitar7-string guitaracoustic guitar
6-string lute8-string luteoud
double bass

Once you've selected an instrument, if you don't want the standard tuning it loaded, click to select a new tuning. A menu of preset tunings for that instrument will drop down. Click to select a tuning.

Custom Tuning

A lot of people are using non-standard tunings. One reason I created this software was to help people properly learn scales and chords in alternate tunings. Since scale and chord books can't be printed for every possible tuning, many people end up not learning their instrument when they use these altered tunings.

You can easily create a custom instrument by simply typing in the tuning note for each string seperated by commas. For example, if you type in E,A,D,G# and click set, you will create a 4-string instrument tuned from lowest-pitched string to highest E,A,D,G#. You can use any number of valid notes (natural, single sharp, or flat) you like: A, A#, Bb, B, C, C#, Db, D, D#, Eb, E, F, F#, Gb, G, G#, and Ab.

When you click the set button a new diagram is generated with the new tuning and correct number of strings. It is also saved on your computer into your own personal list of custom tunings. To access these saved custom tunings, select custom from the instrument menu, then click to select the custom tuning saved in memory.

Save as Default Tuning

If you have a preferred tuning, you can set it as your default tuning for each time you return to the fretboard diagram generator. When you have the tuning you want, click the save button. It will be stored as your default tuning on this computer.

The Fretboard Diagram Settings Tab

Note: most of these can be adjusted with a scale or chord diagrammed on the page. But, some adjustments (like number of frets and starting fret) will overwrite the existing diagram.

Number of Frets and Starting Fret

On the diagram tab you can adjust the fretboard layout in a number of different ways.

To adjust the number of positions or frets displayed, select the number of frets you want to display from the drop-down menu.

To select the starting position or fret of the note chart, select from the drop-down list of position numbers.

Note: each time you adjust the number of frets or starting position, you will overwrite the diagram.

Save as Default Diagram Settings

When you click the save button you will save all current diagram settings found on the diagram tab as your default display. That includes the fretboard width and height, note size, whether the chart is fretless, shows scale degrees, etc. (See below.) Each time you click save it will overwrite the previous settings and apply the current ones.

Fretboard Layout Adjustments

Diagram Height - Increase or decrease the height of your fretboard diagram.
Diagram Width - Increase or decrease the width of your fretboard diagram.
Note Size - Increase or decrease the size of the notes on the fretboard.

Show All Notes - You can view all the notes on the fretboard by clicking show all. To toggle between sharps and flats, just click show all again.
Clear - You can clear all the notes from the note diagram by clicking this button.

There are several toogle switches for fretboard adjustments:

Fretless - select between a fretted or a fretless note diagram.
Left-Handed - switches between a right-handed and left-handed fretboard diagram.
Show Fret Markers - shows the fret position markers on the fretboard.
Fret Numbers - show or hide the fret numbers at the bottom of the fret map
Scale Degrees - toggle between the notes on the fretboard written as letter names (C, D, Eb, F,...) or scale degrees (R,2,b3,4,...)

Page Settings Tab

On this tab you can toggle between landscape view and portrait view. Your fret board chart will print out precisely as it is displayed. You may need to adjust the size of your diagram to fit the page.

The page orientation will aslo be saved as part of your default settings set on the diagram tab.

Scale Settings Tab

On this tab of the interface you can select scales to display on the fretboard chart. You can display one scale at a time.

Overwrite Diagram - when enabled selecting a scale diagram will overwrite the notes of any selected chord diagram under the chord settings tab. If not enabled the scale you select will be combined with the selected chord.

Select Root Note - choose a root note for the scale diagram you want to generate.

Select Scale - choose a scale or mode to show on the fret board.

Here is a list of currently available scale diagrams from which to choose:

Scale Charts
major scaleionian mode
dorian modephrygian mode
lydian modemixolydian mode
aeolian modenatural minor scale
locrian modemajor pentatonic scale
minor pentatonic scaleminor blues scale
diminished wh scalediminished hw scale
wholetone scaleharmonic major scale
harmonic minor scalemelodic minor scale
chromatic scalelydian augmented scale
lydian dominant scaleHindu scale
locrian #2 scale (locrian natural 2)super locrian scale
phrgian dominant scaleHungarian minor scale
Arabic scalemore to come...

Chord Settings Tab

On this tab you can select a chord / arpeggio diagram.

Overwrite Diagram - when enabled selecting a chord diagram will overwrite the notes of any selected scale diagram under the scale settings tab. If not enabled the chord you select will be combined with the selected scale.

Select Root Note - choose a root note for the chord diagram you want to generate.

Select Chord - choose a chord / arpeggio to display on the fretboard.

Here is a list of currently available chord diagrams from which to choose:

Chord/Arpeggio Charts
major triadminor triad
augmented triaddiminished triad
major 7th chorddominant 7th chord
minor 7th chordminor 7th (b5) chord
diminished 7th chordmajor 6th chord
minor 6th chordmajor 9th chord
dominant 9th chordminor 9th chord
more to come...

Harmonics Settings Tab

On the harmonics settings tab you can choose to display or hide the natural harmonics on the fretboard. The harmonics will overlap any chord or scale diagrams already drawn on the fretboard.

To toggle the harmonics view between sharps and flats, click show all again.

Print Tab

On the print tab you can print out your fretboard diagram.

Click the print button and your page will go to your printer exactly as it is shown on the page. If you've used version 1.0 make note that the program now adjusts automatically to your printer settings. Don't adjust your printer settings for landscape.

Fretboard Printer FAQ

Is the fretboard note printer available in an offline format? Can I download it?

No. The fretboard printer is for online use only at It won't work offline.

Can I put the fretboard diagram printer on my website?

No. Why not just post a link pointing to this tool? The internet doesn't need duplicate content. Plus, I did all the work! :)

When will you add more scales and chords?

I'll add them as I have time. I bet if you really know the scales and chords already posted, you probably don't need any other scale and chord diagrams. :)

Eventually I will add some more unusual scales and chords.

Fretboard Diagram Printer Summary

I hope you enjoy the Fretboard Diagram Printer and find it useful! You can learn a lot from studying the note charts of the scales and chords. Most of all, don't forget these are patterns of sound, not "finger patterns". Always listen to what you are playing. Music isn't about how many geometric shapes your fingers can zip through at 200 bpm. Find music on the fretboard!

You might check out my bass lessons and music theory lessons (even if you're not a bass player!). I'm adding more lessons all the time.