Today we’re talking with Scott Sharp, the creator of Fretboard Toolbox – an innovative way to explain the notes and chords in each key for guitar, bass, piano, banjo and more.

Interestingly, Scott started learning music later than you might expect and really didn’t consider himself all that musical. But an impactful experience in his day job as a high school biology teacher unlocked music theory in a way that let him start improvising, playing by ear, and being creative and confident in music.

He built on that insight to create his “fretboard toolboxes” for a range of instruments, and provides them online at He’s also just released a very cool “Theory By Hand” eBook that makes it easy for you to figure out the scales and chords in any key.

In this conversation we talk about:

  • The big theory insight that let him start playing by ear and improvising and led him to create a whole new way to show how music theory works
  • Why learning to play a whole bunch of instruments isn’t nearly as hard as you might imagine
  • And the advice Scott would have for anyone who fears they’re “unmusical”

Scott’s Fretboard Toolboxes are an amazing resource for any musician looking to explore the more creative side of music-making and give themselves a shortcut to sounding good and understanding what they’re doing with the notes they choose to play. Please enjoy this conversation and come away inspired to explore this approach to theory yourself!

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The Musicality Podcast interviews Fretboard Toolbox creator Scott Sharp about his unique system for understanding notes and chords.