Jamey Faulkner's Octave Explorer


octave explorer map

53 52 42 64 41 63 31


  • 4 Things → Creating music across the entire fretboard is our goal. It takes time. We start immediately.
  • Skeleton → 7 octave shapes
  • Rhythmic Shapes → Using the octaves as 'chords'
  • Exercise → Bouncing around on the A tone
  • Jam → Improv guidelines
  • Numera → Root = Zero

7 Start

All 7, Major Pentatonic • Major scales. 28 things.


Swaps from the Major scale


  • 31 → Lydian • minor Pentatonic
  • 63 → Mixolydian • Melodic minor
  • 64 → Lydian Dominant • Harmonic minor
  • 41 → Lydian Blues • Natural minor
  • 42 → Phrygian Dominant • Dorian
  • 52 → Aeolian Major • Phrygian
  • 53 → Harmonic Major • Phryga-Dorian


Octave Explorer uses the octave structures in standard tuning for the basis of exploration. We are using them to improvise & build melodies/chords. We are using a set of maps and our imagination to create music. By relying on our own process of discovery, we get to know our fretboards, really well, at the same time we learn what our resonant musical inclinations are [personal style building].

In each octave [there are 7], we play the Major pentatonic & the Major scale in each octave, then build a Major and minor type mode in each. We use Numera and build & use different tone groups [modes].

We train, build chords, play scales, get imaginative, jam.


For each octave, we play every possible chord combination from a particular set of tones. Our chord library quickly expands. Whether we need to know the names of every possible chord is up to each of us. The idea is that if it sounds good, use it.

Chord playing does include arpeggios [broken chords]. See definitions here.


With these tones, we also train and jam as single tones [be melodic; play scales]. We will use scale names [aka modes], just to have a name for a group of tones, but you could also work with each octave map [tone group] at the base level of sound and skip trying to remember names. Again, this is up to you. Yet, this method is a great way to get into more advanced scale types with a few changes to Major scale [we call these exchanges].

We use Numera [root as 0] and tone names. We build two modes in each octave, one Major and one minor.

The idea here is to simply experiment with each of the octaves, then join them together however we can imagine. We build chords, play scales, solo, mix things together, play arpeggios, double and triple stops. Anything we can dream up.

We can jettison the Numera and mode talk and just follow the exploration path. All of this is up to you, as it should be. We are providing a means for you to experiment with the materials of our musical system using a specific mapping system. This way, style can develop with the least interference, and we get to know our fretboards really well.

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