Octave techniques for Rock Guitar

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Here's a free bonus lesson covering one of my favourite rock guitar techniques that is used by so many of my favourite bands including Foo Fighters, Radiohead and Rage Against The Machine. We also covered this in my recent Jimi Hendrix guitar tutorial for the song Purple Haze!

An 'octave' can be defined as "interval between one musical pitch and another with double its frequency", so in basic terms it is the same note at a higher or lower pitch. The interval (how many semitones there are between two notes) of one octave is 12 semi-tones, and we can play this in a simple way to create a huge sound, which is fantastic for guitar riffs and even lead guitar!

Here are the most common ways to do this on guitar.

Example 1 - Root note on string 6

I advise playing all of these with the first finger on the root and the little finger on the higher note.

Example 2 - Root note on string 5

Example 3 - Root note on string 4

Example 4 - Root note on string 3

Song tutorial examples

Foo Fighters - Everlong Andy's video tutorial link

Foo Fighters - My Hero link

Foo Fighters - Learn To Fly lead lines link

Radiohead - High And Dry Andy's video tutorial link

Hundred Reasons - I'll Find You link

Rage Against The Machine - Wake Up link

Get more lessons like this by unlocking all the lessons in Andy's Rock Rhythm course!

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