A double-sided
game board that represents the first 12 frets of a guitar.

Two sets of 78 music chips which match the 78 notes on the game board.

2 Fretters reference sheets to help you match the music chips to the spaces on the board as you play.

A chord chart and scale located underneath the box top.

One black die.

picked: a space on the game board is PICKED when a letter-side-up music chip lands on a space of its matching notation. The music chip is then turned notation side up.

mute: a letter-side-up music chip is MUTED when another music chip of identical music notation lands on it. The MUTED chip is removed from the board. (NOTE: When playing Fretters Hopscotch the MUTED CHIPS remain letter-side-up throughout the game. The MUSIC CHIPS are MUTED by landing identical letter note chips on one another.)

open strings: the term OPEN STRING refers to the sound the string makes when no fingers are placed on the guitar neck. The string is played "open". The OPEN STRING notes are represented by the blue section of the game board.

frets: a guitar neck has about 20 frets. The 20th fret is next to the large sound hole; the 1st fret is at the other end next to the tuning knobs (or "machine heads"). In front of the frets are where your fingers are placed when the fingers of your other hand strum or pluck the strings.


In between the natural notes F and G is the F sharp note (F#). This note can also be referred to as G flat (Gb). There are several other sharp and flat notes on the game board. They are not included on the reference sheets but at a glance are easily located.  


Octave comes from the Greek word for “eight”. An octave is the distance between two notes with the same name, eight notes apart in a scale. The distance from one C to the next C – either direction – is an octave. The same rule applies to all the other notes.


The side of the music chip showing the music notation is right side up when the cut-out flat portion of the label is at the bottom.


Here the MUSIC CHIPS of both colors have been placed notation side up on the correct corresponding OCTAVES of the first two frets and OPEN STRING spaces. The fretted notes are ON THE SILVER LINES IN BETWEEN THE BROWN FRET LINES.


Okay, now let's play!


Fretters Hopscotch
In this game only the natural notes are used: As, Bs, Cs, Ds, Es, Fs, and Gs. The sharp and flat notes are not played. Throughout this game the MUSIC CHIPS are played letter-side-up. The object of the game is to move the MUSIC CHIPS from the 12th fret side of the board (right side) to the matching letter note spaces of the OPEN STRING section (
blue section).

• The players alternate moves. Player RED chooses a MUSIC CHIP and moves the number of spaces indicated by a roll of the black die. The move begins from off the board and onto the first corresponding letter note, jumping from one octave to the next, which will always be 2 or 3 frets away. Player PURPLE goes next and does the same. Player RED's next move can be to advance further the same MUSIC CHIP or introduce a new one into the game.

Player RED has begun the game by rolling a two and moving the D MUSIC CHIP two octaves to the 1st string, 10th fret. Another option was moving it to the 6th string, 10th fret.    

• Music chips can move forward or backward across the board. They must move in one direction per turn. However, if a player rolls a number higher than the number of spaces required to reach the end of the board, the music chip must reverse and come back the remaining number. (NOTE: A player does not have this reverse "bounce-back" capability for the open E or open B string notes if the adjacent F or C note spaces on the first fret are occupied by the opponent.) Music chips occupying open string notes may also move backward across the board.

• Only one MUSIC CHIP at any time can occupy a space.

• Players can MUTE (capture) an opponent's MUSIC CHIP of the same letter note by landing on it at the end of a move — this includes MUSIC CHIPS occupying OPEN STRING spaces. The muted chip is removed from the game and CANNOT be played again.

• Players can MUTE their own music chips and those chips can be played again. MUTING is the only way music chips can exit the board.

• A player can BLOCK an opponent's access to the OPEN E and OPEN B STRING notes by occupying the adjacent F and C notes on the first fret. Also, a player CANNOT move off the OPEN E or OPEN B spaces if the adjacent F or C notes are occupied by an opponent. (A player's own MUSIC CHIP, however, can pass on through.)

The first player to place MUSIC CHIPS simultaneously on four of the six OPEN STRING notes wins the game. The game can also end when a player is no longer able to land a MUSIC CHIP on an OPEN STRING space. The player occupying the most open string spaces wins. Good luck.


Fretters Goes To War
In this game only the players' natural notes As, Bs, Ds, Es, and Gs are used. The game begins with six of player
RED's matching letter-side-up MUSIC CHIPS set up on the 12th fret side of the board (right side). Player PURPLE's six MUSIC CHIPS are set up on the OPEN STRING notes section of the board (blue section). At this stage of the game the music notation — the OCTAVE — of each chip is unknown to the opponent.


Player RED goes first by advancing a MUSIC CHIP one space forward. Player PURPLE then does the same from the other side.

The object of the game is to land as many MUSIC CHIPS as possible on the correct spaces of the far side of the board. They must be of the correct corresponding OCTAVES. When this happens the notes have been PICKED, and are turned notation side up. They CANNOT be removed and the opponent can no longer introduce additional MUSIC CHIPS to those strings.

• Once a MUSIC CHIP vacates the initial space on the board the player may use a future turn to introduce another same letter note MUSIC CHIP to the board on that space.

• MUSIC CHIPS can move in any direction vertically and horizontally — not diagonally. Only one MUSIC CHIP at any time can occupy a space.

• A player can MUTE (capture) an opponent's music chip by landing on it with a MUSIC CHIP of identical music notation (same octave). The remaining chip continues to play.

  These E chips are of the same music notation (same octave).

• If the two chips do not have identical music notation, the landing chip is removed from the board and can be played again. Only chips of the same letter note can attempt to mute one another.

  These E chips DO NOT have the same music notation (different octave).

Leap Frog Rule: Players may also attempt to MUTE an opponent's MUSIC CHIP two spaces away, or occupy an empty space two spaces away, by JUMPING over an adjacent MUSIC CHIP.

MUSIC CHIPS may exit the board from the same side they started. Players can MUTE their own MUSIC CHIPS for strategic reasons. Those chips can be played again.

When a music chip PICKS that final matching space on the far side of the board, any MUSIC CHIP occupying that space is MUTED from the board regardless of its OCTAVE or color. (Identical octaves are captured, and all others are returned to the player.)

The game ends in one of two ways: (1) A player PICKS four of the six notes on the far end of the board; Or, (2) when a player is unable to PICK any more notes. The player with the most PICKED notes wins. Hopefully it's not a draw. Good luck.


Domino Fretters
To play
Domino Fretters, the music chips are separated by color and placed in separate paper bags or bowls.

• Player RED randomly slects a music chip and places it on a space of its matching notation (correct octave).

• Player
PURPLE then draws a music chip and, if possible, places it on a matching space adjacent to the first chip on the board — above, below, or to either side (not diagonally).
If the drawn music chip cannot be placed on the board it is kept by Player PURPLE for the time being.

• The process alternates between players.

• Players must place music chips on the board adjacent to chips of either color. Only one music chip can occupy a space.

• Players will accumulate unused music chips that cannot yet be placed on the board. At any time during a player's turn those music chips may be placed on the board adjacent to other chips.

• The game ends when every space of the board is filled. The player with the most music chips on the board wins the game.


All MUSIC CHIPS are separated by
color. The players take turns selecting TWO MUSIC CHIPS of his or her color and places them on spaces of matching musc notation (correct octaves). The two spaces must be unoccupied by the opponent.

• Chips of both colors may not occupy a same space.

• During any turn a player has the option to select only one music chip (instead of two) and replace an opponent's music chip on the board. The muted chip is removed from the game and cannot be played again.

• Anytime a player MUTES an opponent's MUSIC CHIP in Tic-tac-chords he or she takes another turn. (This can happen several times in a row by a player and can really change the course of the game in an instant.)

• The first player to place MUSIC CHIPS on all of the notes to complete a chord wins.

Player PURPLE has won by placing music chips on the spaces of the E minor chord.  


Fretters On The Go
All MUSIC CHIPS are separated by
color. Without looking at the chips the two players take turns randomly drawing a music chip of his or her color and places it on the board of its correct octave. They must be placed on the fretted portion of the board, NOT the blue section.

Only one music chip can occupy a space.

Eventually a player will run out of available empty spaces on the fretted portion of the board and is forced to place a drawn chip on one of the OPEN NOTE SPACES (blue section). When this happens the game changes. Beginning with the next move the players look at thier music chips and select the chips to place on the board.

• The first player to land on an OPEN NOTE SPACE becomes the "offensive player". The goal of the offensive player is to place his or her music chips across the board in a continuous linked path from one side of the boar to the other. They must be placed adjacent to othe music chips of his or her color.

• The opponent is the "defensive player". The goal of the defensive player is to block all passageways the offensive player might have to win the game. They must link horizontally or vertically, and in no particular order. They must be placed adjacent to other music chips of his or her color.

During the random selection phase of the game players might draw music chips that have no available spaces on the board. For example, a player might draw the low G not music chip. If that space is already occupied by the opponent, the drawn music chip is muted from the game and cannot be played again.

If the first player happens to draw the low E open note music chip for the first draw in the game, it is returned to the collection of chip and the player draws again.
Offensive Player PURPLE has won the game by linking the MUSIC CHIPS across the board.  

Fretters Solitaire
This game is played by only one player. The player chooses a
color and spreads all 78 MUSIC CHIPS, letter-side-up, next to the game board. The player randomly selects two Es, one B, one G, one D, and one A, and places them on the game board on their correct matching octaves. The board might look something like the example below.

The remaining 72 MUSIC CHIPS are randomly collected, letter-side-up, in 12 stacks of six. Six of the top music chips are drawn and, if possible, placed on the board adjacent to the six chips on the board — above, below, or to either side (not diagonally).

The MUSIC CHIPS that cannot be placed on the board are kept by the player for the time being.

The player then selects from the 12 stacks the same number of chips that had just been placed on the board from the previous draw. The process repeats.

• At no time can the player possess more than six MUSIC CHIPS.

• The MUSIC CHIPS are selected from the 12 stacks of chips in sequential order.

• At anytime during the game the player may place the collected unused MUSIC CHIPS on the board adjacent to the other chips.

• The game is won when all 78 MUSIC CHIPS are placed on the game board. The game is lost when the player has six music chips in his or her possession and is unable to place any of those chips on the board adjacent to other chips.

• One suggestion: Use the black plastic music chips tray, propped up at a 45 degree angle, to hold your 6 stacks of chips as you play.


Fretters Goes To War (four or six players)
The same as described above. The game begins with each of the four players occupying three of the open note spaces or three of the 12th fret spaces of the board. (Or, six players occupying two each spaces.) Players may introduce new music chips to the game on any of the six spaces on their side of the board as they become vacant.

• Players must wait at least one turn before attempting to MUTE an opponent's newly introduced music chip to the game. This includes music chips of game setup.

• When playing with four or six players, the first player to PICK three notes on the far side of the board wins the game.

• Additional sets of music chips of different colors are available at the website.


First to move
For illustrative reasons it has been implied that Player RED goes first to start a game, but the official way to determine the first move is as follows: The players randomly select a MUSIC CHIP of their color. The player with the note highest up the chromatic scale goes first.

  Player PURPLE's high D note ranks higher than RED's low C.



1. When playing Fretters Goes To War it is important that the music chips, when letter-side-up, are indistinguishable from one anohter (i.e. — all red G chips look alike). Treat them with care; use clean hands, keep out of direct sunlight, etc. However, if any of them should get scuffed, damaged, or lost, dont worry — they can be replaced by simply going to the Fretters website and ordering more.

2. When you play Tic-tac-chords for the first time you might find that the number of chords (located underneath the box top) are a little bit overwhelming. Try playing just one section, such as the Major chords. Or, decide to play one, two, or three chords only. Try it, it's fun!

3. Fretter Hopscotch, Domino Fretters, and Tic-tac-chords can also be played with three, four, five or six players. Additional sets of music chips are available at the Fretters website. (NOTE: When playing Fretters Hopscotch with four, five, or six players, only 3 notes of the open strings are required to be picked simultaneously to win the game.)

4. For more information about Fretters, and a lot of other neat stuff about music and musicians, visit the Fretters website at

5. Have fun!

P.O. Box 24553
San Jose, CA 95154