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Quick Octave Runs?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by WickedBassy, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. WickedBassy


    May 31, 2007
    What is the best technique to perform those quick octave runs on the A and G strings that sound ever so sweet sometimes? My normal technique is the "floating thumb" so when I play a note on the A string my thumb is resting on the E string but when I go to play the octave on the G string I have to quickly move my thumb to rest on the A string to mute both the E and A strings. Is this muting necessary in this instance, or should I simply anchor in on the E string and stretch my fingers to reach the G string for the octave up? Any other techniques you guys know of too, thanks.
  2. elpelotero


    Jun 16, 2006
    i have trouble with this too. Any help would be great, or a video or something.
  3. i'm not sure i get what you mean.
    so you play a C on the A string, and then want to play the C on the G string?
  4. Are you talkign about "octave jumps" or "frills" . . . as in the things that John Taylor from Duran Duran throws in every song?

    I don't know if its the same thing we're talkign about but I generally rest my thumb on the E string and pluck the A with my first finger and Hit the G with my ring finger, it is long enough to reach the string comfortably.

    Or sometimes i strum the A with my thumb and G with my first finger, depends on the situation.
  5. Denial54


    Jan 26, 2007
    I dont have too much knowledge on technique or if there is a right way of doing this, but i usually rest my thumb on my pickup(like i always do) and use my index and ring finger to play the octaves. It sounds good, and is much more comfortable than using your index finger and then the middle finger. Mute wise it sounds fine and i dont have any problems.
  6. elpelotero


    Jun 16, 2006
    I interpret it as hitting the C on A string, then C on Gstring, then going up another fret and repeating, doing it all rapidly, not slow.
  7. you might want to try thumb and index to do this.
    or play the a string with the index and the g string with the middle finger
  8. Definately try Index and Ring and levae your thumb on the E string.

    A good song that comes to mind for me is "Girls on Film" by Duran Duran quite a few of these octave runs.
  9. TheBassBetween


    Jun 25, 2005
    I'd say anchor and stretch. I have a 5 stringer, so the B string is usually my anchor for everything, as I don't really use it as much as I should. If you don't feel comfortable using the E as your anchor, try using the pickup and playing right over it.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Since your first finger hits the E string when you play the note on the A, there's really no reason to mute the E with your thumb. But I can do it either way, and it's not really a conscious decision.
  11. WickedBassy


    May 31, 2007
    Thanks for your help everyone. It seems that a lot of you guys use your index and ring fingers to perform this technique. I'm so used to the good old index, middle combo that this will take some work to get used to. Oh well better go practice!
  12. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    FWIW I use the Index/Middle and it's completely easy. I suppose Index/Ring is nice too, but not easy enough to warrant a change in technique.

  13. It's not necessairly a change in technique, it's an addition. I use Index/middle for everythign else but for the octave runs I throw the ring in there since it's easier to me than the middle.

    It always good to be able to utilize more fingers in the right hand, it gives you more options and speed.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I don't think it's always good. There are sometimes when it's going to get in your way rather than help.

    BTW, for octaves I use index/middle just because I'm a two-finger player. If I did more ring finger stuff, I'd probably use the ring finger instead, but about the only time I use 3 fingers is to play triplets or gallops that are really fast.
  15. I use my thumb to mute the E string and my ring finger to mute the A string while going for the G string. That's only if I have to skip the D string, If I go from A to G strings via the D string, then I've got time to lift my thumb and use it to mute both the E and A strings...
  16. When I play things like "Hot Stuff" with a lot of octave jumps, I use my index and middle finger and angle my right hand sideways (fingers towards the neck) to access the strings better.

    This works rather well but since I still root my thumb on the pickup I tend to dig in pretty hard as well :)

    A lot of guys who do this all night use the thumb/index combo I hear.
  17. The octave run is how I learned my rudimentary and seldom used "slap" technique. For example I thumb on the A string C and pull on the G string C with my ring finger. Repeat as you slide on up the neck. Sounds funkier and it's easy, really.
  18. tswd


    Jun 20, 2007
    I use index and middle fingers. Strumming the A and then G strings, to me, is no different than strumming the A and then D strings. Finger it the same way you'd do fifth runs.

    I use a floating thumb, so my thumb's not resting on the top of the E string. It's more resting on the side of it. When I play the G string, my thumb naturally falls onto the A string and mutes it. Then I just pick it up a little bit when I strum the A string.
  19. BassAvenger1


    Apr 2, 2007
    let that thumb just sit where it is on the E. if your not using the E string it doesnt need to go anywhere. try to get into the habbit of keeping that anchored but pivoting your wrist and using all of your fingers to reach around where you need to.
  20. ba55i5t


    May 24, 2006
    I use floating thumb alot and I mute E and A strings...it's much easier for me that way since all I have to do is shift my elbow up or down. I find that floating thumb technique is similar to sweep picking for a guitarist because of the easy up and down motion and I would condone using it rather than sticking on E string or pickup. However when I'm playing E string (or B string), I usually rest thumb on pickup. ANYWAYS, do some ROOT + 5th + Octave exercises to get used to shifting the elbow, and eventually do just ROOT + Octave or anything from any scale. Root + Maj7...Root + Min 7, and do them with a metronome while moving up chromatically and then scalarly...ascend scalarly horizontally and vertically (all then way if you have all the strings...or a combo of Octave jumps + single string 7 fret jumps. Continue on with floating thumb though!!! :)

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