4 Great Songs for Practicing Guitar Octaves and Octave Slides ~ Guitarbinge.com Guitar Blog - Guitar Tricks,Tips and San Diego Band Interviews

Saturday, February 2, 2008

4 Great Songs for Practicing Guitar Octaves and Octave Slides

For those that are just beginning guitar, an octave is just an interval of 8 notes in a scale. Here, The 2nd C is one octave higher than the first.

C D E F G A B C

In the world of guitar tips and guitar tricks, a few standard tuning octave forms pop up all the time. Here are some common forms. (I jut picked the 3rd fret—you can use these forms on any fret): The “X” means that you should lightly touch that string with your forefinger in order to mute it. Only the “3” and “5” should be heard, the X should have a deadened thud that won’t be noticed on amplification.

E|--------------|
B|-----------6--|

G|-5---------X--|

D|-X----5----3--|

A|-3----X-------|
E|------3-------|

Octaves are heard everywhere. Many distorted rock songs have the rhythm guitar player playing power chords and the lead guitarist simultaneously playing octaves. This is one of those guitar tricks that thickens the sound and adds more layers of resonance. The octave form is, after all, made up of the same note and these notes resonate together.

You could (and should!) practice octave slides randomly to a metronome. But much of the time it’s easier and more fun to practice a popular tune. So without further ado, I give you 4 examples of well known octaves arranged in order of difficulty…

Very Easy
Song: The Strokes – “Last Nite”




Tuning: E standard (EADGBE)
Practice: Single Octave
Listen to: 0.01 to 0.25

The intro to this song has one guitar playing a single octave over and over. A cool monotonous droning sound results, which then blends nicely with the second guitar…


E|---------------------------|
B|---------------------------|

G|-5--5--5--5--5--5--5--5----|

D|-X--X--X--X--X--X--X--X----|

A|-3--3--3--3--3--3--3--3----|

E|---------------------------|





Easy
Song: Bush – “Machinehead”

Tuning: E standard (EADGBE)
Practice: Sliding Octave Up
Listen to: 0.01 to 0.20

This old chestnut was the poster-child of the post-grunge explosion. Catchy? Played out? Call it what you will, its octave slide is instantly recognizable.

E|----------------------------|
B|----------------------------|

G|-6--6--8--8--8--9--9--11-11-|
D|-X--X--X--X--X--X--X--X--X--|

A|-4--4--6--6--6--7--7--9--9--|
E|----------------------------|





Medium
Song: Korn – Got the Life

Tuning: (DGCFAD) (Technically ADGCFAD on a 7-string, but the 7th string isn’t used
here)
Practice: Fast Strumming and Sliding of Octaves
Listen to: 0.30 to 1.00

Octaves are a staple of nu metal and these melancholy slides created Korn’s most familiar tune. The below tab shows the single octaves used in the intro of Got the Life. Strum each of these up and down quickly and slide up/down to the next octave in order to get the correct rhythm.



Video of Got the Life - Intro









Hard

Song: A Perfect Circle – The Hollow


Tuning: C# Standard (C# F# B E G# C#)
Practice: Octaves at Irregular Timing
Listen to: 0.02 to 0.20



The progressive rhythm of this intro makes it extremely difficult to nail down. Make sure to slide up and down on the octave change. On the vid, watch Guitarist Billy Howerdel’s (the bald guy at the 0.10 sec mark) right hand and its up-down motion. If you can master the timing on this beast, I bow to you!






4 comments:

Brown said...

great job so far!

jenny

vicabraxas said...

Great work. Here's a new video of "The Hollow" where you can really hear the strumming on the intro.

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=y-yL-4sxXfk&feature=related

Cheers from Chile!

Alana said...

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Margaret

http://guitarlearntoplay.net

ac54bb1a-42dc-11e0-ada3-000bcdca4d7a said...

This is a really useful post. I’ve found them very useful. Now I can use it like a college boardhelp ;). Thanks