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Sizzling Simplicity - Part 1 (Creative Octaves)

by Mike Lindyn
www.GuitarKnowledgenet.com ©2004

A lot of the time things that sound really hard, are in fact, really easy. There are little tricks used by musicians and composers to make something that is not so hard sound very tricky. One such tool is the use of octaves. Using octaves you can create the illusion of a very complicated run or lick using only 3 to 5 notes. In each of the examples presented here the first 3 to 5 notes of the patterns are really all you have to work on. Once you get these first few notes down smoothly, you just have to make a position change and play the same pattern again in a different location of your fretboard.

I’ve tried to make these examples challenging but I have done two things to makes them easier too. Above each example I have indicated what the main pattern is, this is the pattern that will be moved, repeated and altered. Each of these examples is in the key of G Major or based off the note G, also all the examples use the same fretboard positions. The lowest octave will always start around the 3rd fret, the mid octave will always start around the 5th fret, and the highest octave will be played around the 7th fret. In some of the examples there will be slight alterations to the first finger pattern but they will always move in octaves and be generally the same as the first pattern.

               Main Pattern

  Clean Example            Distorted Example

             Main Pattern

 Clean Example            Distorted Example
       Main Pattern                                                         Watch For Alteration
      |----------------|                                                        |--------|

Clean Example            Distorted Example

         Main Pattern
                   Main Pattern Reversed

 Clean Example            Distorted Example

          Main Pattern

 Clean Example            Distorted Example

Part 2 of this lesson will follow along the same lines as this one but will show how this idea can be applied to intervals other than octaves. Take some time with this example, once you've learned these examples see if you can come up with a few ideas, of your own.

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