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Tip: Bump it Down

Last time we took a major chord shape and transferred it from strings 2 to 5, to strings 1 through 4. The purpose of doing that is to expand your knowledge of the fretboard. When you learn one shape, whether a scale, chord or something else, you increase your fretboard navigation skills if you translate that shape to as many different places as possible. When you can move around the fretboard with ease, you get a sense of being a solid guitarist.

We’re going to cover the flip side of Bump It Down in this installment. We’ll take a pattern that falls across that gnarly difference in tuning between strings 2 and 3, and move it down in pitch. We translated a chord last time, so let’s do a lick this time.

|-8-7-6-4-5-------|-----------|
|-----------6-----|-----------|
|-------------8-7-|-5-----5---|
|-----------------|---6-7-----|
|-----------------|---------8-|
|-----------------|-----------|

|-----------------|-----------|
|-8-7-6-4-5-------|-----------|
|-----------5-----|-----------|
|-------------8-7-|-5-----5---|
|-----------------|---6-7-----|
|-----------------|---------8-|

These are all eighth notes.

Look at the differences between the two tabs. Really, the only place you need to look is at strings 2 and 3. Obviously, nothing remains on string 1 in the second tab. The transferred lick starts on string 2 now. All the fret numbers are the same, for string 2, as they were for string 1, in the original lick.

Now look at string 3 on the transferred lick: its one note, at fret 5, is one fret less than the corresponding note of the original lick, which is on string 2, fret 6.

Beyond string 3, all other fret numbers are the same. In other words, strings 4 and 5 of the original lick transfer exactly, fret for fret, from the pattern on strings 3 and 4 of the original lick.

Look more closely at string 3 of the transposed lick. What did we do to transfer the notes used to be on string 2? All we did was slide back the fret one.

Put it another way: whatever pattern you have on string 2 that you want to duplicate on string 3, shift that complete pattern “left” one fret. “Left” is in quotes because if you’re fretting notes with your right hand, left is going to be right.

Thanks for reading.

Copyright © 2008 Darrin Koltow

This first appeared in the Guitar Noise News – August 15, 2006 newsletter. Reprinted with permission.

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