#1
I've recently been looking to add 'octaves' to my repertoire. The problem is, I'm not entirely sure how they are commonly used in music.

If my understanding is correct, they are simply a power-chord with the 5th removed, by not fretting it and muting the open string with your index finger. That's no problem for me, but the sound is kind of...'meh' It doesn't sound bad, but I'm just not sure why I wouldn't just use a full power chord. Is the purpose to just cut through the mix better?

If someone could list some examples of octaves being used in rock or metal, that would be great! I just want to hear what it should sound like, and how they should be integrated into songs. Thanks!
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#4
Make sure you understand octaves as a theoretical concept as well, as it isn't simply a powerchord without the perfect fifth ommited. Sorry if I sound like an arse, but learning music theory would help you a lot more to come up with great music than listening to examples of it already being used.
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#5
Very common in metal/metalcore.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=2n7xsR8T-Ac#t=61s

Avenged Sevenfold using Octaves.(This whole phrase)
Common to have them sliding around over power chords. They are much sharper sounding.


Also used in Jazz music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIEVbr61iSA

Sounds sexy.
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#6
Quote by LarsHamfield
Under a glass moon by Dream Theater. The whole intro is octaves http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEKTNtmKZEw


Cool, that's kind of the sound I'm getting - but it definitely sounds better in the context of a full song. It sounds like he's doing some bends in there too.
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#7
Quote by Arpeggio X
Make sure you understand octaves as a theoretical concept as well, as it isn't simply a powerchord without the perfect fifth ommited. Sorry if I sound like an arse, but learning music theory would help you a lot more to come up with great music than listening to examples of it already being used.


I won't say I'm an expert on music theory, but I'm not a beginner either. I just wanted to add some tonal diversity to my playing. Knowing what is "musically" happening is just a side bonus. At least that's the way I look at it...
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#8
Quote by KailM
Cool, that's kind of the sound I'm getting - but it definitely sounds better in the context of a full song. It sounds like he's doing some bends in there too.


Just slides, vibrato and a lil bit of whammy. You'll notice the fuller sounding chord isn't an octave but (I *think*) a D/A chord.
Last edited by llBlackenedll at Nov 3, 2011,
#9
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#10
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#16
I quite often use octave chords to get from one chord to another. To travel between them if you like. Foo Fighters use octave chords in most of their songs.
#18
Quote by Brainpolice2
Steve Vai uses it in Tender Surrender.

I'd advise against thinking of it as a chord. It's more like a double stop and is used melodically.


already posted it and as another said. Wes Montgomery style.
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On playing the Paul Gilbert signature at the guitar store extensively, my missus sighed:
"Put it down now, It's like you love that guitar more than me!"
In Which I replied.
"Well it has got two F-Holes!"
#19
If you play octaves then you are playing a note and a note 12 semitones higher than it. That is its purpose. To make the sound that that combination of frequencies makes. No more no less. It just so happens to be the funkiest combo of all. See all bass playing for evidence.
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#20
Quote by KailM
If my understanding is correct, they are simply a power-chord with the 5th removed, by not fretting it and muting the open string with your index finger. That's no problem for me, but the sound is kind of...'meh' It doesn't sound bad, but I'm just not sure why I wouldn't just use a full power chord. Is the purpose to just cut through the mix better?


Not really. Octaves give a different sound than power chords; if used with high distortion and in a minor key it gives a more evil, classical/mozart whatever you want to call it sound. They're not as common as power chords, but you can use them from time to time when you want a slightly different sound than a power chord. Death uses them quite a lot in their later works.

The intro here is played with octaves.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02n4kKLUC4k
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#23
The master at this was Wes Montgomery. He would start off with single notes, then octaves, then chords in his solos. I don't see why this shouldn't work for rock too.

Another place I've heard this used was on Hawkwind's Levitation album. I think the guitarist was Huw LLoyd-Langton.

Also, going back further,Jan Akkerman on the intro to 'Sylvia' on 'Focus Live at the Rainbow'. An amazingly fast piece of rhythm played on an octave.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3pjHgjiXIU
Last edited by timcoombe at Nov 5, 2011,
#24
Thanks for all the responses, everyone. I've got a clear understanding of them now, and in fact, I've been playing them all along and have heard them many times in my favorite music.

I'm a completely self-taught guitarist and have been playing 'by ear' for about 14 years, give or take. (Though I understand the fundamentals of music theory.) I'm often unfamiliar with 'guitarist' terminology, even though I'm sometimes quite proficient at playing the exact techniques in question.
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