Soloing with Parallel Octaves

In this quick video we look at an improvisation tip that can be used to spice up your solos, and that is easy enough to implement almost immediately.

Watch the Video Lesson:

   Today I have a quick improvisation tip for you, from the list of tips that we learn in my SFS methods. The main purpose of SFS is of course to learn how to move freely all over the fretboard and play all fingerings without memorizing fingering shapes, but adding these various tips strategically along the way makes the process way more fun, and helps you develop your personal improvisation language. So here it is:

Tip No.25 - Parallel Octaves

    This is when you play a note, and at the same time you play the same note one octave higher. Playing octaves can add an interesting texture to your soloing and it’s fairly easy to do. It can give a nice twangy sound if played with a clean setting, or a bold fat sound if played with distortion. In the video I show you the easiest fingering for an octave, and how it needs to be adjusted when played on higher strings.

    The way to execute octaves is to either mute the string in between and let the pick slide over it, or you can just use a finger along with the pick. Each option gives a different sound and they are both very nice.

    But trying to play melodies by moving these fingerings around can get confusing, so the trick is to focus on just your 1st finger, and play according to your scale fingering. The other finger should just follow. Watch the video to see examples of this.

    So that’s it, you can spice up your solos by adding octaves. If you want to know more about the SFS system of mapping scales everywhere on the fretboard, I have a free crash course for modes, and another one for pentatonics and blues scales. You can use the links below to check them out and sign up for free if you want to. 

    Thanks for watching, and remember: Enjoy your practice, and be effective.