How To Use Octave Chords To Improve Your Guitar Playing

Jimi Hendrix playing octave chords

How To Use Octave Chords To Improve Your Guitar Playing

If you learn how to use octave chords to improve your guitar playing, it will also help you to understand music better 100%.  Guaranteed! That is because octave chords have many applications that can benefit your guitar playing.  No matter if you play rhythm guitar or lead guitar.  I recommend you add octave chords to your musical vocabulary.

What are octave chords?

Octave chords are a two-note chord. this chord is made up of two notes that are the same, just an octave apart.  So for instance, if you were playing a C octave chord, the notes would both be C.  This goes for any octave chord you choose to play.  The two notes will always be the same.

These type of chords can do two things right off the bat:

*They can add another easy chord shape to your chord vocabulary

*They can improve your memory of note location along the fretboard

The second thing can be a huge benefit to your paying as it will allow you to find notes faster.   It will also increase your understanding of how to create extended chords because you’ll know exactly where the added notes are located.  This will be done quickly and easily due to knowing octaves.

Reading octave chords

Let’s look at a few octave chords in print.

Octave Chords written in tab

Here you can clearly see we have two notes on two different strings.  If you study closely you can also see that the number value is two higher than the original note.  What I mean by this is that when you have a 3, the octave is going to be a 5.  If you have a 7, the octave number is going to 9.  If you have a 6, the octave number is going to be?

You can also see that the octave note is two strings apart.  So if you are on the 3rd fret of the sixth string, the octave note will be two frets up (5) and two strings down.   On the fourth string.  Your biggest string (the sixth string) will always be on the bottom of the sheet music.

The reason for this is because the lowest note will always be on the bottom.  So in retrospect, you need to look at the sheet music like your strings are upside down.  I know, it’s confusing but I didn’t design it.  I only teach it.  Anyway, try learning it from a lefty perspective like me.  But not to worry, if I can figure it out, so can you.

Watch the video lesson below

Music education

One of the things that you should always be thriving for when learning how to play guitar, is increasing your music education.  The more you know about the notes that make up the musical alphabet, and what to do with them to create what you choose, the better understanding you’ll have of the tools you are working with.

Not knowing where the notes are located on the guitar is a very common problem among guitar players because most of them play by ear or never bother to take time to learn where the notes are on the fretboard.  You want to be better than them.  By studying octaves and creating octave chords, you’ll be able to not only understand the fretboard better, but you’ll be able to find notes licitly split!  You’ll amaze people with this newfound skill.

Chord embellishment theory

By learning the octaves and knowing exactly where they are on all six strings, you’ll be able to develop the skill of understanding, chord embellishment theory.  This is the science of building guitar chords.  Understand this enough and you’ll be able to build any type of guitar chord you choose.  Major, minor diminished, augments, etc, etc, etc.

Information like this can be very beneficial in music composition and songwriting.  If you like to write your own songs, this is a great skill to have.  Knowing how to create different types of emotion is what music is all about.  N matter what instrument or what style you choose to play.  Emotion is everything!  Master the notes, and you’ll be able to create emotion at will!

Rhythm guitar mastery

When it comes to playing guitar, rhythm is most important.  The ability to create chords, chord progressions, strumming patterns, arpeggiated picking and all within the proper timing is the foundation of playing guitar.  Sure it’s fun to play guitar solos, but even so, you still need a solid understanding of rhythm.

That is why I wrote and published my guitar book Rhythm Guitar Alchemy.  This book is a step-by-step method of study that is fun and easy to learn.  With secret elements, formulas, and properties that cater to the scientific development of rhythm guitar playing in both theory and practice.

Rhythm Guitar Alchemy with octave chords

From learning notes, forming chords, and establishing rhythms with proper timing.  Rhythm Guitar Alchemy will provide you with a progressive training guide that will help you to develop an intimate understanding of playing rhythm guitar.

It will introduce you to the rhythm playing concepts and techniques that will propel you forward into the magical world of musical abilities that only so few guitar players ever possess.

You will learn such things as:

*Reading notation and chord diagrams

*Guitar chords of all kinds (major, minor, augmented, etc)

*Common rhythm techniques (strumming, picking fingerstyle)

*How to easily play barre chords (a very difficult chord type)

*Chord embellishment theory (adding notes to chords)

*Rhythm timing formulas (learn to play in time)

*Practice habits (for getting quicker results)

And much, much more.

No prior music knowledge needed

This helpful handbook has been designed to give you a clear and concise method of study that will propel you forward at an alarming rate.  With everything laid out easy and simple, no prior music knowledge will be needed.  Because of this, you will be able to develop confidence

Since music theory is a vital part of learning to be a highly productive alchemist, the basics of it will be presented for your development and the best understanding of the craft.  This will allow you to develop a solid foundation of these concepts and principles.

As a rhythm guitar alchemist, you will be learning the sacred properties and formulas that are needed to create rhythm guitar magic!  Notes, diagrams, timing sequences, progressions, theory and much much more.  All things that will make your rhythm guitar playing appealing to the ear of your listener

Unlocking the mysteries

The search for unlocking the mysteries of your guitar fretboard is what guitar playing is all about.  That is why you can play the instrument for years because there are many many mysteries to uncover.  Rhythm Guitar Alchemy helps you to do that.

But it takes time, consistent effort, dedication and commitment on the part of the player (you) to unlock these mysteries.  With the help of the proper training, you’ll know where to look and how to understand the techniques need to create great music as a rhythm guitar alchemist.

Lesson conclusion

As you can see from this lesson, there are many benefits you can get from learning your octave chords.  Just follow the examples in the tab I wrote out and find them.  The concept also works on the fifth string.  One note will be on the fifth string and the other note will be on the third-string two frets up.

These and other concepts like them will help you to further your understanding of the language of music.  Remember, music is a language and like all other languages, the better you know it, (reading, writing, etc) the better you’ll be able to get your ideas across.

If you need additional help, be sure to check out my book.  It can be found on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions as well as in my eBay store where if purchased here, I will send you an author-signed copy to you personally.

And if you haven’t already,  grab my FREE action-guide “Rhythm Guitar Secrets” to give you a head-start in the right direction.  Need more help?  feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.

Best of luck and until next time, take care.


How To Recognize & Understand Chord Embellishments like C/B



Kurt Cobain playing guitar

How To Switch Between Chords Quickly & Easily

How to switch between chords quickly and easily is one of the hardest things to do at the beginning of learning guitar.  In today’s lesson, we are going to talk & learn about how to switch between chords easier & more efficiently.

I remember being there myself as a beginner.  I felt like I was never going to get it.  I had to practice a lot & unfortunately didn’t have the power of the internet back then.  What a difference that would have made LOL!!

Anyway, after many hours of practice, I finally got it.  But it wasn’t easy.  I felt like” am I going to have to practice three to five hours a day to get this”? Is this going to take forever??  Is this above my abilities?

If you’ve ever felt like this, then please read on…

When you eventually get your chords down to where you can form them well (without cramps in your hands) and you can switch them fairly easily, that’s when the fun begins & it becomes a joy to play some of your favorite songs.

And it becomes a thrill to nail the transitions & take on the challenge of getting through them very much like a runner jumps over hurdles.  As you begin to accomplish this, you feel good about yourself and a smile creeps on your face because you know you are moving forward with your guitar playing. And in doing so, keeps you coming back for more.

Essential Keys For Getting Better

I’d like to share with you what I would say is one of the essential KEYS to switching chords quickly & easily.  It’s very simple & should not be overlooked.  You just need to pick a couple of chords, to begin with, and focus all your attention on switching between them.

For now, at this time in your guitar learning journey you want to forget about all other chords, strumming or anything else & just focus on this one thing.  Focus is one of the most important skills to master in accomplishing anything in life.  Especially guitar and the more focused you are on small tasks such as this, the quicker the results you’ll see.

Just take two of the easiest chords you can form.  Like E & Am or G & C (very popular in many songs) and focus mentally like a laser beam on switching between them.  Back and forth, back & forth.  Every time you do this it gets easier & easier because you build a link between your brain & your fingers.

Where is each finger landing on the fretboard?

Be sure to look where each finger is landing on the fretboard.  Which strings should they be on?  What frets should they be on?  By focusing on these fundamental aspects of changing chords, you’ll see very quickly that after a while you’ll build “muscle memory” and your fingers will know where to go automatically.

Then after this is accomplished, move on to two more chords & so forth & so forth.  Continuously building your chord vocabulary.  You’ll see that you are making massive progress at an unbelievably short period of time.

Learning curve

Once you get over the learning curve (which there is one in anything and I do mean ANYTHING new you learn) you’ll be able to start playing songs that you love hearing & you’ll be hooked on guitar just like all the other millions out there.

Take it slow, don’t get impatient & practice focusing on one little task at a time.  You will see quick results and you will know how to switch between chords quickly & more easily.  And in the process, you will be building valuable skill sets.  Focus, concentration, muscle memory & well-established motor skills.

Additional Training

When it comes to learning to play the guitar there are many areas to cover.  Switching between chords is just one aspect.  You also want to understand such things as chord progressions, timing, creating rhythm and so forth.

That is why I wrote and published my guitar method book for those who are just getting started,  Learn Guitar: Simple Method For Beginners.  This book will show you everything you need to know to get from point A to point B in an easy and simple manner.Learn Guitar Simple Method For Beginners

Learn Guitar Simple Method For Beginners is a fun and easy study on how to get started playing guitar.  This book consists of techniques and training methods that have been developed through years of learning, playing and teaching guitar.

Learn Guitar is a simple starter book designed for the total beginner. With everything you need to learn how to have fun playing the guitar.  Even if you have no prior understanding of music.  With full-color pictures and modern music diagrams for easier learning, The beginning guitar player will be able to play guitar in no time.

You will learn things such as:

*The right equipment to start out with

*How to read easy sheet music

*Common Chord types

* Creating rhythm

*Timing development

And much, much, more.  In a simple step-by-step method that offers not only a  comprehensive introduction to essential guitar playing fundamentals, but also a quick effective uncomplicated and practical self-instructional guide book that will get anybody no matter age or skill level up and running quickly.


So if you are looking to learn more about guitar chords and not only how to switch them quickly and easily, I recommend you check out the book.  Available on Amazon in both print and Kindle.  It is also available through my eBay store where if purchased here, you will receive an Author signed copy from me to you personally.

Best of luck to you & if you have any questions feel free to let me know.

Here’s some additional training:

How to improve your picking technique

How to improve your guitar playing today!

How to use a capo to enhance your playing

Thanks for reading and take care.

Sincerely, Dwayne