#1
How many octaves does a standard 6 string steel acoustic go? How do octaves work on a guitar? I know what octaves are, and know how they work on a piano, so I do not need an explanation for this. I just want to know how they work on the guitar.
#3
Quote by yozguitar
How do octaves work on a guitar?

Transcribe some Wes Montgomery solos. That's how they work.
#4
the notes between strings overlap so you have some notes on each string that are identical to each other(but not necessarily in tone)


learning the notes over the fretboard is the easiest way to recognize octaves, but this shape is typically how they are played

e|-----------
B|-----------
G|-----------
D|---2---7--
A|-----------
E|---0---5--


e|------------
B|------------
G|---2----7-
D|-----------
A|---0----5-
E|------------


e|------------
B|---3---8--
G|-----------
D|---0---5--
A|-----------
E|-----------


etc


the change in shape on the B string is the same also on the E string. This is because of the way the guitar is tuned, the b string being a major 3rd above the g string as opposed to a 4th higher like the other strings.
Last edited by rickyj at Apr 1, 2012,
#5
Everything you need to know has pretty much been said. I'm just going to add one little detail that may make it a little easier to understand. An octave is simply a note followed by the entire musical alphabet followed by the same note again. In other words, B note-go up in tone from C-G, then A then back to B, the octave. So as it applies to the guitar, if you play the first fret on the E string, that's an F. So you add 12 frets (with sharps and flats thats how many it takes to go through the full octave), end up on the 13th fret and that's also an F but an octave higher. You can also apply this from string to string like rickyj just exemplified. If you take any of the examples, the fretted note is the same note as the open string, just an octave higher
#6
There are a couple of other "patterns" to spot octaves on the fretboard.
Rickyj mentioned the "2 fret, 2 string" rule (and the variation for the b string.

There is also the 1 string, 7 fret rule.
for example:
e----------------------
B------------------10-
G---------------2-----
D----------------------
A-----7----8----------
E--0----1------------

This shows the slight variation for the b-string.

There is also the 12-fret rule.
Where the octave is like so:
e----------------
B----------------
G----------------
D-----------3---15-
A---------------
E---0--12---------- etc.

Hope this helps
#7
This topic's been solved, right? Soooo, I shouldn't get into to much trouble for this observation.... Buy a 12 string, they'll be right under your fingertips......

Sorry, no self control....
#8
As far as I am concerned, the topic has not bee solved. I do not feel I have an answer to my question. The guitar has six strings, and 22 frets (half steps) yet there is only 4 octaves. It just does not make any sense to me. If you start on the open E string, and count 12, you end up on E again, same with each and every other string which to me means there is at least six octaves.

Going up/high on a guitar is going from left to right (for right hand players) and also top to bottom, so I just do not understand how there is just 4 octaves it covers.
#10
Quote by Wisthekiller
Every fret is a step, so 12 frets is one octave. On a 24 fret guitar, there are 4 octaves, but many guitars are 21 or 22 frets so slightly less than 4.


Every fret is a half step
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#11
Quote by yozguitar
As far as I am concerned, the topic has not bee solved. I do not feel I have an answer to my question. The guitar has six strings, and 22 frets (half steps) yet there is only 4 octaves. It just does not make any sense to me. If you start on the open E string, and count 12, you end up on E again, same with each and every other string which to me means there is at least six octaves.

Going up/high on a guitar is going from left to right (for right hand players) and also top to bottom, so I just do not understand how there is just 4 octaves it covers.

Learn the notes on your fretboard.

Problem solved.
Actually called Mark!

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#12
Quote by yozguitar
As far as I am concerned, the topic has not bee solved. I do not feel I have an answer to my question. The guitar has six strings, and 22 frets (half steps) yet there is only 4 octaves. It just does not make any sense to me. If you start on the open E string, and count 12, you end up on E again, same with each and every other string which to me means there is at least six octaves.

Going up/high on a guitar is going from left to right (for right hand players) and also top to bottom, so I just do not understand how there is just 4 octaves it covers.


Hello. You have to keep track of the octaves by keeping track of the same note. On a 24 fret guitar, you could play the open E on the bottom string, the E at fret 12 on the bottom string, the E at fret 14 on the D string, the E at fret 12 of the top string, and the E at fret 24 on the top string. This encompasses the five E notes on the guitar, with four octaves between them. Note that there are places on the guitar other than those I've named where you can play E notes. However, each of them is the same note in a different position as one of the ones I've named already, and you could repeat the exercise with different positions of E and still get the same result (i.e. the E note at the open top string is the same as the one at fret 14 on the D string). Hope this helps.
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#14
Quote by yozguitar
As far as I am concerned, the topic has not bee solved. I do not feel I have an answer to my question. The guitar has six strings, and 22 frets (half steps) yet there is only 4 octaves. It just does not make any sense to me. If you start on the open E string, and count 12, you end up on E again, same with each and every other string which to me means there is at least six octaves.

Going up/high on a guitar is going from left to right (for right hand players) and also top to bottom, so I just do not understand how there is just 4 octaves it covers.
Yeah but all the strings are only a 5th apart, not an octave. In the case of the B-2, it's only a 4th.

So, the E-6 and e-1 strings are 2 octaves apart. The e-1 at the 12th fret is another octave, that makes 3.

12 frets above that, (@ 24th fret, but still on the e-1), would be another octave......(count 'em 4 in all), Any string BELOW the e-1 will have a lower pitch at the same fret hence, e-1, fretted @ 24th fret is 4 octaves, and also the highest fretted note.

If you want more, and really squealing, ear piercing octaves , learn to play slide guitar.

At this point I'm going to suggest, once again, that the topic has been solved. You haven't wrapped your head around it yet, but trust me, it's solved.

Again I"m gong to suggest you buy a 12 string. But also suggest, that you get someone else to tune it for you....
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 1, 2012,
#15
Quote by yozguitar
As far as I am concerned, the topic has not bee solved. I do not feel I have an answer to my question. The guitar has six strings, and 22 frets (half steps) yet there is only 4 octaves. It just does not make any sense to me. If you start on the open E string, and count 12, you end up on E again, same with each and every other string which to me means there is at least six octaves.


Well, if you read everything that had been posted in this thread so far, you'd see that this has been explained.

#16
Quote by Wisthekiller
Typo


I figured lol
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#17
A six string guitar tuned in standard with 24 frets will cover 4 octaves from E to E.

You could theoretically get up to 12 octaves out of it, but you would have some crazy tension on the instrument and you would only have enharmonic notes on the 24th fret and open strings, outside of octaves.
#18
Quote by Life Is Brutal
A six string guitar tuned in standard with 24 frets will cover 4 octaves from E to E.

You could theoretically get up to 12 octaves out of it, but you would have some crazy tension on the instrument and you would only have enharmonic notes on the 24th fret and open strings, outside of octaves.
Forget all that, and consider a slide. From a theoretical standpoint the number of octaves available is infinite. (even in standard tuning). Each ascending octave is one half the current distance from where you are to the bridge.

That being said, obviously you don't have to go too high to extend the note above the range of human hearing. That said, using a harmonizer to the downward side, you could make a great album for your pooch, but never actually hear it yourself....
#19
Are you saying that there is an infinite number of octaves because you just Halve the distance every time? While that makes sense, you're dividing a finite distance which must eventually be concluded.

I believe that it was either Socrates or Aristotle who said something similar, in the lines of if something is attempting to reach a destination, it must go half the distance. Then, it must go half that distance. And then half again, and so forth, and it would never actually reach the destination by those parameters.

But, if there are fundamental distances, a length of measurement that is the minimum for the motion of anything, then everything must move by that unit and instead of moving by half the distance, you're always moving at a specific velocity of that fundamental unit.

LOL SIDETRACKED
#20
Quote by Life Is Brutal
Are you saying that there is an infinite number of octaves because you just Halve the distance every time? While that makes sense, you're dividing a finite distance which must eventually be concluded.

I believe that it was either Socrates or Aristotle who said something similar, in the lines of if something is attempting to reach a destination, it must go half the distance. Then, it must go half that distance. And then half again, and so forth, and it would never actually reach the destination by those parameters.

But, if there are fundamental distances, a length of measurement that is the minimum for the motion of anything, then everything must move by that unit and instead of moving by half the distance, you're always moving at a specific velocity of that fundamental unit.

LOL SIDETRACKED




Sorry for spammy post
#21
Quote by Life Is Brutal
LOL SIDETRACKED
Phew, talk about being sidetracked, I wonder how many octaves young Taylor here can get on that bright red Les Paul...
. ............
And don't say, "about three and a half more than she can sing". That's a given.

Jus' kiddin,' I sorry Taylor....
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 1, 2012,
#22
Using harmonics, it's 6+ octaves.
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#23
Quote by King Of Suede
Using harmonics, it's 6+ octaves.
Gosh, the parameters keep changing to suit the post. Since a guitar doesn't generate a pure sine wave fundamental, one has to assume there are octave harmonics present in even a pure acoustic guitar. That said, the OP was asking how many octaves there are on a guitar. Again, (although troubling), assumption comes into play. I think our TS was asking how many frettable notes there are on a guitar of maximum standard design. That number is 4.

As I pointed out earlier, it's easy to grab 5 with a slide, probably a couple more. After that, the physical limitation of the materials would act to limit the maximum dictated by dimensions only.

Moving on, the OP is claiming the four octave number is wrong, because there are strings under the e-1. Hence, there must be a couple of extra octaves laying around there somewhere.

Moving yet further on, wasn't the Taylor Swift picture even a little bit whimsical?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 1, 2012,