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Hey there, welcome to the final diatonic sequence before we move onto motivic sequence. This lesson will cover the Diatonic Octaves sequence and I am hoping it will become another trick to add to your growing list.

An octave is two of the same notes played at a different point on the guitar where one of the notes is higher and one is lower. This sequence is the most safe sequence to use when trying to improvise and is found a lot in many forms of music. The diagram below will show the octave sequence using the A shaped pattern in the key of C major, however you will normally find it as shown in the 2nd diagram as it is easier to play and is often used as a 2nd guitar part to follow a chord progression with added variety.

Diatonic Octaves 

Here is the more commonly found example where you play the same notes as shown above but create the C major scale up the A string instead of across the strings. Off each note of the scale you play an octave of the note to create the slightly sporadic sounding major scale.

Try play this example as shown and then play the octave notes at the same time with a strumming pattern of your choice and hear the different sounds you will achieve.

As with all of the sequences you have been learning, I would like you to try to play the same sequence with the remaining shapes of your major scale. This means understanding the sound of the particular sequence and recreating it with different scale patterns in the same key. If this all sounds too complicated then please see Be The Guitarist for easy to understand scales and modes.

Practising with a metronome is not always everyones idea of fun when you start out on the guitar, but most players would say that practising particular things with a metronome helped them enormously. You can find online metronomes by simply google searching or you can buy an actual metronome from any good music store. When you are playing two notes per a beat as shown in the two diagrams above, it is a good idea to start out at around 60-80 bpm before increasing the metronome in 5bpm slots once the exercise becomes easy.

Enjoy and come back soon for Motivic Sequences that will teach you how to play the fast runs you hear from players such as Paul Gilbert.

Tom Clark

Diatonic Octaves- Up the neck


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