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Lesson 130: Composition Using a Scale/ a Mode

Octave Displacement

One technique worth checking out is octave displacement. You can take a very simple melodic idea, displace some of the notes by an octave and you may get a very interesting result.

Example 1: From Deadzy by John Scofield

Check out the following lick. It is from Deadzy by John Scofield.

If you move all the notes into the same octave, you get this:

Of course, the first version is much more interesting. The very simple basic melody drawing from C Dorian is made very hip when you displace some of the notes by an octave.

Example 2: From Too Much Calzone by Stefan "Kilju" Lindblom

Next, check out the following phrase. It is the first phrase from Too Much Calzone by Stefan "Kilju" Lindblom. Stefan "Kilju" Lindblom wrote Too Much Calzone for me for my 50th birthday. The name of the tune, Too Much Calzone, sounds very much like my name Tomas Karlsson... :-D

If you move all the notes into the same octave, you get this:

Again, notice how much more interesting the first version is. The very simple basic melody, which in fact is just a falling Bb Dorian scale, is suddenly very hip when you displace some of the notes by an octave.

2014 Tomas Karlsson. All rights reserved.