Octaves

Guitar Tricks Forum > Open Discussion > Octaves

cmaxa

Registered User

Joined: 08/05/11

Posts: 5

I have a question about octaves on the fretboard. So every 12 steps you reach an octave on the same string, but how is it that a string over automatically equals an octave since you can't count that in terms of steps? Or can you?

#1

I have a question about octaves on the fretboard. So every 12 steps you reach an octave on the same string, but how is it that a string over automatically equals an octave since you can't count that in terms of steps? Or can you?

CSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 4439

Originally Posted by: cmaxa
I have a question about octaves on the fretboard. So every 12 steps you reach an octave on the same string, but how is it that a string over automatically equals an octave since you can't count that in terms of steps? Or can you?

You can count intervals across strings. I explain this topic in depth in these GF2 tutorials on intervals & scales.

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=362
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=363
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#2

Originally Posted by: cmaxa
I have a question about octaves on the fretboard. So every 12 steps you reach an octave on the same string, but how is it that a string over automatically equals an octave since you can't count that in terms of steps? Or can you?

You can count intervals across strings. I explain this topic in depth in these GF2 tutorials on intervals & scales.

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=362
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=363
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

hunter1801

Registered User

Joined: 01/26/05

Posts: 1330

Originally Posted by: cmaxa
but how is it that a string over automatically equals an octave since you can't count that in terms of steps?

Confused Not sure what you are trying to say there. One string over is NOT an automatic octave though. That would imply that every string is the same note (E, one string over E octave, one string over another E octave, ect.)

#3

Originally Posted by: cmaxa
but how is it that a string over automatically equals an octave since you can't count that in terms of steps?

Confused Not sure what you are trying to say there. One string over is NOT an automatic octave though. That would imply that every string is the same note (E, one string over E octave, one string over another E octave, ect.)

cmaxa

Registered User

Joined: 08/05/11

Posts: 5

Thank you

Originally Posted by: CSchlegel
You can count intervals across strings. I explain this topic in depth in these GF2 tutorials on intervals & scales.

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=362
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=363


Thank you very much for the quick reply.

#4

Thank you

Originally Posted by: CSchlegel
You can count intervals across strings. I explain this topic in depth in these GF2 tutorials on intervals & scales.

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=362
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=363


Thank you very much for the quick reply.

cmaxa

Registered User

Joined: 08/05/11

Posts: 5

Octave question revisited

Originally Posted by: CSchlegel
You can count intervals across strings. I explain this topic in depth in these GF2 tutorials on intervals & scales.

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=362
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=363


Hi Christopher,
After watching these videos I now see how poorly phrased my question was. After watching your tutorials on intervals, I have a question just to be sure I'm understanding octaves. If, for example, I was playing a C major scale and I wanted to start with a C note on the Low E string, play all the other notes in between on any other strings I feel like, and then end on a C on the High E string, would the C on the High E string be the octave?

Conversely, if I started on the C on the High E string and worked my way back to the C on the low E string, would this then be my octave?

I do realize that from a realistic perspective it wouldn't make sense to do play the C Major scale like this. This question is just to confirm my understanding of this topic.

I appreciate your assistance with this.

#5

Octave question revisited

Originally Posted by: CSchlegel
You can count intervals across strings. I explain this topic in depth in these GF2 tutorials on intervals & scales.

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=362
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=363


Hi Christopher,
After watching these videos I now see how poorly phrased my question was. After watching your tutorials on intervals, I have a question just to be sure I'm understanding octaves. If, for example, I was playing a C major scale and I wanted to start with a C note on the Low E string, play all the other notes in between on any other strings I feel like, and then end on a C on the High E string, would the C on the High E string be the octave?

Conversely, if I started on the C on the High E string and worked my way back to the C on the low E string, would this then be my octave?

I do realize that from a realistic perspective it wouldn't make sense to do play the C Major scale like this. This question is just to confirm my understanding of this topic.

I appreciate your assistance with this.

hunter1801

Registered User

Joined: 01/26/05

Posts: 1330

It wouldn't be a direct octave. It would be the octave of the C on the 4th string, 10th fret (It is 2 octaves higher basically). The octave is the FIRST note you come to after 12 half steps.

#6

It wouldn't be a direct octave. It would be the octave of the C on the 4th string, 10th fret (It is 2 octaves higher basically). The octave is the FIRST note you come to after 12 half steps.

cmaxa

Registered User

Joined: 08/05/11

Posts: 5

Confirmation

Originally Posted by: hunter1801
It wouldn't be a direct octave. It would be the octave of the C on the 4th string, 10th fret (It is 2 octaves higher basically). The octave is the FIRST note you come to after 12 half steps.


Thank you for the explanation. So are these octaves simply differentiated by their hertz measurement? I guess what I'm struggling with is that we are supposed to count out the intervals when playing on one string, but I'm not seeing how that equates when we move two strings over and then down several frets to find the direct octave. It seems like we're just directed to do that, but I don't understand why quite yet. So would the C on the high E string vibrate twice as fast as the C on the low e string?

#7

Confirmation

Originally Posted by: hunter1801
It wouldn't be a direct octave. It would be the octave of the C on the 4th string, 10th fret (It is 2 octaves higher basically). The octave is the FIRST note you come to after 12 half steps.


Thank you for the explanation. So are these octaves simply differentiated by their hertz measurement? I guess what I'm struggling with is that we are supposed to count out the intervals when playing on one string, but I'm not seeing how that equates when we move two strings over and then down several frets to find the direct octave. It seems like we're just directed to do that, but I don't understand why quite yet. So would the C on the high E string vibrate twice as fast as the C on the low e string?

CSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 4439

Originally Posted by: cmaxa
So are these octaves simply differentiated by their hertz measurement?

An octave is an interval consisting of two notes, one of which is double the vibration frequency measured in hertz. However, octaves are also differentiated by where you can find them in order to play them on the instrument.

The lowest C on the guitar 130.81Hz & the next highest C is twice that at 261.63Hz.
Originally Posted by: cmaxa
I guess what I'm struggling with is that we are supposed to count out the intervals when playing on one string, but I'm not seeing how that equates when we move two strings over and then down several frets to find the direct octave. It seems like we're just directed to do that, but I don't understand why quite yet.

Because you can often play the same note in more than one place on the guitar, these notes can be found & played in multiple locations.

So, it is valuable to know that you play the C major scale like this:

E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G ||---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D ||---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
A ||---|---|-C-|---|-D-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Or you can play the exact same notes but some of them in a slightly different location.

E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G ||---|---|---|-B-|-C-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D ||---|---|-F-|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|---|---|---|---|
A ||---|---|-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|---|---|---|---|---|
E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Originally Posted by: cmaxa
So would the C on the high E string vibrate twice as fast as the C on the low e string?

You've got the right idea, but not quite the right application. As you correctly note, you can play the low C on the guitar in two different places.

E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
A ||---|---|-C-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|---|

Therefore if you play the C major scale starting on the low E string 8th fret, you could play the C major like this:

E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|---|---|
A ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|---|---|
E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|-D-|---|---|

Which means the next C (the note an octave higher than your low C) is on the D string 10th fret. If you continue playing the C major scale from that C:

E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-B-|-C-|---|---|---|---|
B ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|---|
G ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-D-|---|-E-|-F-|---|---|
D ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|
A ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Then you get to the C on the high E string 8th fret, which is two octaves higher than the low C. Make sense? Smilie

Here are all three Cs with octaves indicated.

E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-C2|---|---|---|---|
B ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-C1|---|---|
A ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|---|

Lowest C = C
1 octave higher = C1
2 octaves higher = C2

The end goal of all this info is to be able to know how it is possible to manipulate the guitar in order play notes. Eventually to play music. Smilie Keep going forward in GF2. This will all make more sense as you get into scales.
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#8

Originally Posted by: cmaxa
So are these octaves simply differentiated by their hertz measurement?

An octave is an interval consisting of two notes, one of which is double the vibration frequency measured in hertz. However, octaves are also differentiated by where you can find them in order to play them on the instrument.

The lowest C on the guitar 130.81Hz & the next highest C is twice that at 261.63Hz.
Originally Posted by: cmaxa
I guess what I'm struggling with is that we are supposed to count out the intervals when playing on one string, but I'm not seeing how that equates when we move two strings over and then down several frets to find the direct octave. It seems like we're just directed to do that, but I don't understand why quite yet.

Because you can often play the same note in more than one place on the guitar, these notes can be found & played in multiple locations.

So, it is valuable to know that you play the C major scale like this:

E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G ||---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D ||---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
A ||---|---|-C-|---|-D-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Or you can play the exact same notes but some of them in a slightly different location.

E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G ||---|---|---|-B-|-C-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D ||---|---|-F-|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|---|---|---|---|
A ||---|---|-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|---|---|---|---|---|
E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Originally Posted by: cmaxa
So would the C on the high E string vibrate twice as fast as the C on the low e string?

You've got the right idea, but not quite the right application. As you correctly note, you can play the low C on the guitar in two different places.

E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
A ||---|---|-C-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|---|

Therefore if you play the C major scale starting on the low E string 8th fret, you could play the C major like this:

E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|---|---|
A ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|---|---|
E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|-D-|---|---|

Which means the next C (the note an octave higher than your low C) is on the D string 10th fret. If you continue playing the C major scale from that C:

E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-B-|-C-|---|---|---|---|
B ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|---|
G ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-D-|---|-E-|-F-|---|---|
D ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|
A ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Then you get to the C on the high E string 8th fret, which is two octaves higher than the low C. Make sense? Smilie

Here are all three Cs with octaves indicated.

E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-C2|---|---|---|---|
B ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-C1|---|---|
A ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|---|

Lowest C = C
1 octave higher = C1
2 octaves higher = C2

The end goal of all this info is to be able to know how it is possible to manipulate the guitar in order play notes. Eventually to play music. Smilie Keep going forward in GF2. This will all make more sense as you get into scales.
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

cmaxa

Registered User

Joined: 08/05/11

Posts: 5

Thank you

Hi Chris,
Thank you so much for the detailed explanation. It all makes much more sense. I will take your advice and keep digging into the tutorials.

#9

Thank you

Hi Chris,
Thank you so much for the detailed explanation. It all makes much more sense. I will take your advice and keep digging into the tutorials.