Lesson 55 Video

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Lesson 55

Lesson 55 - Octaves



Lesson Goals:

♦ Identify octave note in relation to root note of the major scale
♦ Identify the pattern to locate an octave note from 6th string
♦ Identify the pattern to locate an octave note from 5th string

You will remember back in our lesson on identifying the whole notes on the 5th and 6th strings that when you reach the 12th fret you arrive at the "octave" of the note you started with on the open string.

You should also remember that in the major scale diagram in the past two lessons the root note was identified as well as the octave of the root note.

Here is the diagram again to take another look.

53 major scale steps 01

An octave occurs when you ascend or descend a scale and reach a note of the same name that you started with.

Knowing how to locate octaves is important because - just like the root note is the beginning of the scale - the octave is where it ends.

Also, knowing how to locate an octave is a great shortcut to quickly identify the location of other notes on the guitar neck.

To locate the octave of any note on the 6th string you only have to go down 2 strings (to the 4th string) and up 2 frets.

Try that anywhere on the guitar neck. Pick a note on the 6th string and find the octave, 2 strings down and 2 frets up. Play both notes at the same time. Notice how they sound the same? One is just higher than the other.

Now determine what the note is that you started with. The octave of that note that you played is the same name as the note you started with.

Look at Figure 1. The note on the 3rd fret of the 6th string is "G". The octave of that is 2 strings down and 2 frets up so that is also a "G".

We have also shown, in Figure 1, the octaves for "A" on the 5th fret and "C" on the 8th fret. If you can just remember the pattern for an octave, this works on virtually any note on the 6th string.

Look at Figure 2. The same octave pattern holds true for notes on the 5th string and their octave counterparts on the 3rd string.

By knowing this octave pattern you can quickly locate the name of notes of the 4th string and 3rd string without having to spend a lot of time memorizing all the notes on those strings!

Lesson 55 Summary

Knowing how to locate the octave of notes on the 6th and 5th strings is a great way to easily help you locate notes on the 4th and 3rd strings. Although you are probably tired of hearing about patterns, being able to recall the pattern of chords and scales will make things much easier instead of having to spend hours memorizing notes and learning music theory.

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Jam Tip!

Another use for octaves is for playing leads. Guitar licks and runs using octaves are big with jazz guitarists like Wes Montgomery and George Benson but can also be heard in blues and rock from artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix.

Figure 1

54 octave pattern

Figure 2

54 octave pattern 02