In this article we’ll be taking a look at my approach to using ‘Octave ‘Displacement. Our first port of call, however, is an explanation to what Octave Displacement is. Put simply, it is when we either raise or lower a pitch by exactly one octave. More often than not, this is used with linear passages to create a more ‘intervallic’ sound.
A great place to start with this is to take a major scale and apply an octave displacement pattern to it. For this example we are going (0 take an A major scale over 1 octave. What we will then do is apply octave displacement to some of the notes within the scale but will maintain the same order of notes. So let’s start with the root on the 5th fret of the low E string. For the following 2nd, 3rd and 4th degrees of the scale, we will play them one octave higher, more specifically: the 9th fret of the D suing, the 6th of the G string and the 7th of the G string. For the 5th, 6th and 7th degrees we will play them in the lower octave to where we are now i.e. 7th fret of the A, 4th fret of the D and 6th fret of the D. For the final root note we will play it an octave higher on the 5th fret of the op E string. Now we have our octave displacement pattern, we can play through it in both ascending and descending fashion. Notice how the octave leaps create a very disjointed but not unpleasing sound. You will find this and other patterns quite demanding to execute with the picking hand due to the high volume of string skipping involved but as always that’s nothing that solid practice won’t cure!