Monday, December 14, 2009

Jazzy Guitar Octaves

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Wes Montgomery, legendary jazz guitarist, and master of the Octave.

An Octave is basically the same note played 8 tones higher or lower from where you are currently on the fretboard. When both notes are played at the same time, it can make a smooth Jazzy sound, or with overdrive, a really cool heavy metal sound.

If you are playing Octaves on Guitar using a pick, then you have to use some of your fingers to mute the strings in between. Depending on the shape you are doing, there might be one or two strings that require muting.

Here are the Octave forms that can be made on the guitar fret board:

One string in between (use a finger to mute this inbetween string) :

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Two strings in between Octave forms:

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Here are some great videos from the web about playing Octaves on Guitar.

This first video is from "Dolphin Street" and gives a really good overview of Octaves:

Guitar Octaves

Here is an example of how to use Octaves in heavy metal guitar:

Here is an excellent 11 minute video about Octaves for Soloing in the Wes Montgomery style:

There are also electronic effects units designed to play octaved sounds automatically. These are called “octavers”. What a digital octaver does is take the note you play, process it and repeat it an octave higher or lower, depending on the setting. Combined with a compressor/sustainer pedal, you can get a really cool jazzy sound.

The cool thing is that you can play octaved sounds using only one string; and create really high octaves on the top E string.

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These units are good fun, but it is much more powerful and versatile to be able to pick up a guitar and just play Octaves manually, and intersperse them in between other notes and chords.

Big Passy Wasabi

P.S. And that my friends was the 100th Blog Post for PWOICT !!!

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Yes.. that was a bit of work, but a lot of fun.

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