January 2009 \ Premier Clinic \ Rock \ Octave Displacement Exercises

Octave Displacement Exercises

Mike Campese discusses octave displacement, a technique that can break the monotony of scales.

 Be sure to check out Mike's Christmas CD, The Meaning of Christmas, available at Mike Campese.com, and his special bonus lesson this month with a section of his version of "Carol of the Bells," just in time for Christmas.
This lesson I will be showing you a great technique I like to use in my playing that will help you break the monotony of running up and down scales and help add an interesting flavor to your playing. This technique is called Octave Displacement, also known as Octave Dispersion. It means placing notes in different octaves. You don't have to follow a particular order; you can experiment with this technique using scales, arpeggios, licks and even chords.

Ex.1-1a
Lets take a basic descending A Blues scale (A, C, D, Eb, E, G). In this example the first two notes stay in the same octave, then the third note will jump down an octave, the fourth note will stay in the same octave, etc. There is no set rule to which notes you can move, you have to experiment.

Ex.2-2a
Now let's take a basic C Major scale (C, D, E, F, G, A, B). For this example, I move every other note up an octave. This can be tricky for the right hand, but it adds a neat effect.

Ex.3-3a
Here is a descending C Harmonic minor scale (C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, B). This one follows a similar pattern we have been using. The first two notes are on the same octave and then it alternates with every other note down an octave. The last three notes I left alone be sure to follow the fingerings supplied.

Ex.4
Now lets apply this technique to a musical situation. This lick I put together is based from the C Melodic minor scale (C, D, Eb, F, G, A, B). This lick kicks off on the very first beat with a Cm(Maj 7) arpeggio (C, Eb, G, B). I use sweep picking to play this arpeggio, but you can pick every note if you want. Also, you will notice open strings in this lick, open strings can really help you get across the neck very quickly, while adding a neat effect.

That wraps up the lesson, be sure to make up your own examples and for more info visit mikecampese.com

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 mad scientist on 06/08/2009 use the gregorian modes, better than 6tones Ron Pogatchnik on 01/02/2009 Very difficult for a hack like myself but,I stayed with it and it is very cool.