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Check out what folks are saying about Fretboard Toolboxes ...

Hi Scott,
I recently purchased your Complete E-Book for the mandolin and am so thankful to have this tool as I set out to learn this instrument. I have played guitar for 30+ years and received a mandolin for Christmas...  So I'm off on a new adventure!  God bless you for creating a manual about music theory that doesn't make my head spin or my eyes glaze over with boredom!  I have always played by ear and can't read a note of music. But as I'm beginning with chords, notes, arpeggios in G major in your pamphlet I'm already seeing and understanding things that have eluded me for all,these years!
Your teaching skills definitely shine through your material... I so appreciate your thorough yet easy to understand explanations. Thank you for the many additional free resources you have provided on your site as well.. 
I know they are going to be helpful in my guitar knowledge/playing as well.
All the best!   And stay warm in Lawrence, Kansas!
Margaret M.

Fretboard Toolbox Original Mandolin Edition (1/2 of the current "Complete Mandolin Edition) review from Ted Eschliman at JazzMando!


Fretboard Toolbox Banjo Pic

Well, the e-book for uke has been a great investment. I feel like I'm in music university. I can't explain it other than "thank you for allowing me to "see" how to play music not just "hear" it." Fun with a capitol F.

Paul M.


​Yours is still the best and most helpful Music Theory site on the planet.

Norman B.


Hey Scott, Just wanted to let you know that, after using the Fretboard Toolbox resources for a few months, it's some of the best stuff out there! No other resource shows all possible chord shapes in one diagram, or the relationship between chords for a given key - and not to mention some of the most common scales! This has helped me immensely as I've been learning 60s songs with their fairly complex chord progressions. Thanks so much! 

Neil C.


Scott,  I've been playing piano for over ten years and don't suck.  However, that said, I am self-taught and there have always been gaps in my understanding of music theory etc.. After one week with the piano version of the Fretboard Toolbox, my playing has already seen a significant improvement - especially my understanding of chord theory and lead/solo abilities through the scales and outlines in this book. Being able to quickly transpose a song while we rehearse is a HUGE bonus - the capo guide is fire!  I've already recommended it to everyone in my band. No matter how long someone has been playing an instrument, there's room for increased understanding and improvement. This is most user friendly resource I have ever seen. Job well done!

It's as if I've been watching a 3-D movie for ten years, but was just now handed the glasses.



Hi Scott,  I purchased the Complete Ukulele Interactive version. I feel like I have been given the Roesetta Stone of music. It's important for my learning to understand the language and the organizational system of music, and the mathematical logic to it all. And when I'm in jams I'd hear the others say things like flat this or sharp that or whatever.. and when I asked what that meant, there was this null curriculum, 'oh, you don't have to know that!"
Frustrating. I've searched a lot on the web and watched a lot of YouTube theory videos, yours are definitely the best. 
I will contact you again about a lesson.

Thank you again,


I recently ordered the Complete Fretboard Toolbox, and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate this wonderful book! It's great to finally feel more of a connection to how the frets of my ukulele relate to different scales and chords. I love the lay out of the book and your clear explanations. Thanks again!


Scott -- I purchased the Fretboard-Toolbox for Mandolin and it is just what I need. I have been taking lessons to learn the Mandolin, while learning Music Theory. The instructor is very good, but it's hard to learn music theory in an ad hoc manner. The Fretboard-Toolbox puts it together in a methodical, logical manner. I really appreciate your work and the very reasonable price. Thank you, Chuck 


Well I just have to say, how informative your videos and books are.
I had purchased both the Guitar and the Mandolin "Fretboard Toolboxes".

I started to try and play a musical instrument at 70 years of age, but mostly with not much progress, 
then in April of this year I came across your web site.
My progress has been remarkable.
And all my improvement is mainly due to your presentations.
I will reach 75 years of age in a couple of weeks time and can at last say, I know how to play a musical instrument

Many thanks,
Keep up the good work.

Alex B. 


A great book and well worth the price. I've seen other similar books in the past for guitar but you mange to explain the layouts and how to put to use better than anything else I've seen.
Matt S. 
My Toolboxes showed up today, AWESOME looking books!  Can't wait to get home and give them a going over.  Thanks a heap for the great service.
Howdy Scott.
Thanks for the email. Your Fretboard Toolboxes are great and have been a 
welcome assistance to my music endeavours. I have recommended them to all of 
my musical friends.
John R.
I've been learning to play mandolin for about a year using books, videos and online help. The Fretboard Toolbox brings it all 
together and opens up so many possibilities for me. I thank you and my band mates thank you.
I. Mynah
Thanks Scott! You rock man! Love the Fretboard Toolbox books, videos, and supplemental documents! In December, I purchased the “Original Fretboard Toolbox For Mandolin” ebook, and “Original Fretboard Toolbox For Guitar” ebook. Today I just ordered “The Complete Fretboard Toolbox For Ukulele” ebook. I noticed that the Complete books are different in that they now have the blues info in them vs. the format that you had before, where the blues editions were stand alone.  Your material is VERY helpful to me in understanding the relationships between notes, chord progressions, and even have already begun in my eyes to teach the material for beginners like me in your videos. If you could somehow package a "Beginners Package", I think that you could charge for that also. Also, Skype lessons, and/or a website similar to something like Banjo Ben. The website that you have already is awesome, and I think that you have only touched the tip of the iceburg since your material is so helpful. Hope that helps you with ideas. And....yes....I recommend your site all the time!
Take care Scott,
Michael R.
Once again, I owe you such a debt of gratitude for yet ANOTHER breakthrough on my guitar playing!!! It seems that on an almost weekly(sometimes daily!!) basis, my Fretboard Toolboxes help me to organize info on the fretboard of my respective instruments in such a way that it allows me to play better than I ever thought I could!! My latest discovery (in a LONG line of em!) is the use of the b7 in my improvised solos!! I have been wearing out that lil "*" (blues)note for quite some time now, which has taken my playing (and my "mojo"!) to a whole new level...but this b7 discovery (largely because of your "newly revised" versions of the TB) has put the down right "voodoo" in my playin'!! So I now have both mojo and voodoo in my playin!! Lol! What more could a person ever want out of music!!!! I don't even recognize my own playin' anymore!!! It sounds like somebody else....that I've always wanted to sound like!!!! I actually have trouble sleepin at night because I am so excited about my greatly improved abilities to play...after sooo many years of searching for help..and finding very little that could address my particular needs and level. Wow!! I can NEVER thank you enough!! (Ps..pickin is all that has saved me from the teaching profession!!! Lol) God bless you, buddy! Hope you are well! Namaste, Ken 
Ken Wilson
Thanks again for taking the time to teach me more about the toolbox.  What a great tool for people trying to learn more than just memorizing songs and need to see things visually.  I will recommend this to anyone learning the guitar.
Josh H.
Hi Scott.  Just wanted to thank you again for the e-book.  Actually, I ordered it for my husband, who plays mandolin and he likes your method and videos so much that I think we'll be ordering print editions for guitar, ukulele and tenor banjo as soon as we return from a trip to Texas after next week. When I previewed the book at your website, I was so impressed with how much info is packed into one source.  I know it will be an invaluable source of music theory and I'm sure I will get much use from it.
BTW, I read on line a blurb from you three years ago about your starting up Fretboard Toolbox.  I'm amazed at how much music theory you offer in these books.  And I presume you do all this at night because you're a biology teacher in the day time?  How do you have time to do all this?  You have my utmost admiration.
Thanks again,
"The Fretboard Toolbox Mandolin Edition is a great visual reference, and way to learn theory, chord building, and soloing in a useful book format.  It's helpful for beginners learning the basics, all the way up to advanced players wanted to learn to create advanced chord voicings.  This is something that I am looking to turn my mandolin students onto, because I can see how it will help them advance more quickly by being able to visualize how theory applies to their fretboard in all the most commonly played keys."

Joe Pickett- Over 20 years of experience playing mandolin in bands, two-time Kansas Fiddling and Picking youth award winner, 1999 Kansas Fiddling and Picking mandolin champion, and 2000 RockyGrass mandolin winner, and teacher at the Americana Music Academy, in Lawrence, Kansas.
"Lately, whenever I sit down to play, I just have the Fretboard Toolbox out sitting on the couch or coffee table right next to me.  I refer to it every so often for a variety of things: 
Which note is it on the fretboard that I’m playing?  Of course, I can always figure it out without it, but it’s just easier with it…for example, if I’m on the 9th fret on the B string on my classical guitar that only has ONE fretboard marker, it takes me a while to calculate back up to the E or A string or back to open position where I know the notes like the back of my hand.  Easier just to look on the Toolbox.
Which note is giving a particular chord a distinctive sound…the Toolbox is particularly good for this because I can leave my left hand in place or maybe move a note or two around to see which one makes the chord “work”…then refer to the Toolbox.
In about a week, it has REALLY helped solidify some theory that I should have already known.  Because I’m a good faker, I can play a variety of extended chords and make it sound decent.  But I’m the reverse of a typical musician in that I’m not saying to myself, “hmm…a 7 sharp 9 would sound great here…how do I make that?”  Instead I’m thinking “that sounds good…what was it?” and I can figure it out with the Toolbox. 
    I have used it more than I thought I would.  It doesn’t have everything that I might want or use, necessarily, but the way it’s laid out, it makes it easy enough for me to picture it visually and figure it out for myself."
Will Katz- 26-year veteran guitar player 
“Even though I’ve been a musician for the past 25 years, there are things about music theory that I have discovered only recently.  If I had had a copy of the Fretboard Toolbox in my hands during my early and intermediate years of learning the guitar, I am certain that I’d be a much better player today.  One comes to understand how chords and keys all fit together and how to translate from recording to performance but it can be a LONG process.  The Fretboard Toolbox will help you “wrap your brain” around music theory and will guide you in making those complex musical connections that separate beginners from more serious musicians.”  
Mark Staab- 25-year veteran guitar player
"The Fretboard Toolbox Piano Edition would be a good addition to anyone who studies the piano. The visual observation and explanations make self study easier and faster. I would recommend this book to anyone who needs a boost to their study, especially for pop, rock and jazz tunes." 
Kody Willnauer- 10 year pianist and instructor
  "Both the Fretboard Toolbox Original Guitar and the Blues Guitar Editions are extremely impressive.  They are exceptionally clear guides with which to navigate through the labyrinth of patterns that make up scales and chords.  Everything I'd want to learn FIRST about this often murky subject is laid out in a way that seems to connect all the dots, and arm the student with the kinds of tools he/she can use right away."
"Specifically, the Blues Edition is very useful to anyone who wants to better understand the 'tonal' language of basic Blues. The materials cover all 12 keys, and demonstrate the unique combination of 'Major' and 'Minor' scale patterns that make up the melodic framework of Blues.  Best of all, it does this in a very visual, easy-to-grasp way.  Highly recommended."Michael Paull- composer/arranger, instrumentalist, and teacher at the Americana Music Academy, a roots-music preservation school in Lawrence, Kansas. 
  "The Fretboard Toolbox really makes it easy to see where and what to play for each key. It is especially useful in songwriting, providing you all the chords and scales you need in any given key to solo or write melodies with. I also like how it is all in convenient notebook form. I have experimented with the guitar, banjo, mandolin, and ukulele versions of the Fretboard Toolbox, and once you understand the method for one instrument, you can begin building chords, progressions, and solos within minutes!  I couldn't believe how easy it was to transfer my favorite guitar songs to ukulele (and mandolin) with the Fretboard Toolbox."
Trey Durkin- 10+ years guitar, bass, mandolin, and trumpet
  "At the time I was first shown the Fretboard Toolbox, I hadn't played the piano in a long time.  Formerly being able to read sheet music, I found that my note and key recognition had dramatically decreased.  The Fretboard Toolbox interested me because I could quickly see that players of many different ability levels could exploit its potential.  (The Fretboard Toolbox method) is an amazingly quick way to figure out the key of a song, find chords and their names, and, most impressively to me, makes transposing songs a much quicker and easier process.   I was able to begin piano again, and I believe that I have improved at a faster rate in the last two months with the Fretboard Toolbox than with any other piano aide I have seen." 
John-Patrick Doherty- 15 year pianist
"I had been playing banjo for only six months when I was introduced to the Fretboard Toolbox.  As a beginner, I used the Toolbox to help me understand basic chord progressions, like the "V" (five) chord in the key of G is a D major.  I was able to use the chord progressions to start to break down some of my favorite songs.  Then, I started to use the Chord Builder to help me understand more complex chords.  As I have gotten better, the Fretboard Toolbox has become an even more useful tool. Now, I use the Toolbox to help me play up on the neck and to build alternate chords.  The most important thing that the Fretboard Toolbox has done is to help me understand the theory of my instrument and of the music that I want to play.  I don't just put my fingers in a certain place and play; I understand why each finger is where it is at.  That enables me to put my own twist on things."
Chad Metcalf- 1+ year banjo player
"Takes the theory off the page and onto the guitar!  Not only does it teach new scales, but it give you the tools to solo like the greats!"  
Josh Adkins- 14+ years guitar and bass; bass player
"I believe the Fretboard Toolbox helps in areas of music that most guitarist do not get exposed to in the beginning, or sometimes ever in the journey of playing music on the guitar. The Fretboard Toolbox help the guitarist not just see a shape while learning, say a B Major chord, but will understand that it is a triad, made of the notes B(root), D#(3rd), and F#(5th). This will help the guitarist know the fretboard and unlock its "secrets" so the guitarist can see and know what they are playing. Putting this idea not only on one position on the fretboard will allow the guitarist to move about the fretboard with ease, know the notes instead of just a shape. How chords are built in tertian harmony is shown with ease on the Fretboard Toolbox, how scales can be turned into chord scales, and then be made into a song or aid in figuring out a song. This is huge to the beginning guitarist who wants to explore the music theory side of playing guitar. Not only is this good for guitar, but it can be applied to literally any instrument, you just have to know where the notes are. A great addition to any guitar instructor's bag of tricks for the student....or a good learning tool for the guitarist that has a little musical theory background.
The Fretboard Toolbox lets you 'know' instead of just 'see'....all that is left is to 'hear' and 'feel'." 

Clayton DeLong- professional guitarist and graduate of the UMKC with a degree in Music Performance with an emphasis in Jazz.
The Fretboard Toolbox Blues Edition is a great tool to help you understand your instrument and excel your playing.  I have been playing guitar for 10 years and until now have not discovered an “all in one” package reference as complete as the Fretboard Toolbox.  I am a visual learner and this tool helps me identify the many shapes and patterns on the fretboard at a moment's glance.  Not everyone learns in the same manner, so if you have found yourself confused with page after page of repetitive patterns and confusing notation, the Fretboard Toolbox is for you!  Give it a try!  Your bandmates will thank you.

Blake Schmidtberger- Lover of stringed instruments!
 I received my Fretboard Toolbox Ukulele Edition today and am very pleased.  It looks like a great tool to augment and advance my playing, and in a nice, sturdy package too... essential for something that's going to see lots of use.  Worth every penny...thanks! 
Kevin Vamos, concert uke player and vocalist for the Phil Schneider Trio
I have been terribly impressed with the Toolbox!!!  I have worked hard for the past 2 years on playing lead.  I have drawn many diagrams to try and help myself with the process.  I have figured a bunch of stuff out about music theory, but it has been a pretty tough learning curve for me.  I actually knew most of the stuff from the Toolbox, but the main reason for my purchase was the AWESOME DIAGRAMS!!  Best I've ever seen!!  AND  I love the fact that almost everything you need is on ONE page per key!!!  You did a PHENOMENAL job putting this together!  and I will use this from now on!!  Not only as an aide to my own learning, but also in the occasional times that I attempt to help other ppl learn.  I have 2 students that have already bought Toolboxes!!!  and I fully expect to "sell" a few more downloads/books for ya ; )
Ken Wilson