Octave chords

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    Hi guys! The song I’m learning this week is “Legend of a Mind” by the Moody Blues (AKA Timothy Leary is dead) . The tab I found for it starts like this:

    Octave E Octave A Octave G octave E
    Timothy Leary’s dead; No, no, no, no he’s outside looking in.

    [A]Timothy Leary’s dead;No, no, no, no he’s ou[G]tside looking in. [A]

    I didn’t know what an octave chord was until today, but I think I’ve figured it out and I’m asking if you can talk about these chords. Expand on the left hand shapes, what they can be used for or whatever else you want to say about octave chords. This week also happens to be the first time I’ve ever strung my tenor to low-G tuning. That’s a different topic, but it seems like one would almost have to be using low-G for the full range of octave chords to be playable,

    Sorry I missed my lesson last week! I might have to go entirely. The military junta has announced a “whitelisting” plan under which 1400 or so URLS and domains will be accessible from Burma. If it’s not on the list, you can’t access it from here. Unfortunately, there weren’t any musical education sites of any kind on the list… We’ll see what happens.


    Hey Joko,

    you might want to be careful what tabs you look at. I think I found the same tab as you, and it doesn’t seem like the person understands music very well. What they’re trying to describe is a chord inversion (octaves are used more to describe a note’s or chord’s relationship to another note or chord rather than the chord itself). At the bottom of the tab, they even say, “This is a very difficult song for me to have discovered. If there is anything wrong, I am not surprised.” To me, it sounds more like the song’s chords mostly change from A to G not really E, A, G. I think this tab might be more accurate:

    For the Asus2, you could play it on uke, but to me it sounds better if you play an Aadd9 instead:

    The Add9 feels more well defined. The sus2 sounds too similar to the AMajor to me. You can use the chord inversions for these chords too, but I think the regular A and G chords sound great as is. You gotta remember that for people figuring out songs on Guitar, their higher inversions are actually the normal open or low fret chords on the ukulele. If you change the chords to inversions on the uke, it’s probably even higher than the original is playing. For this song, it might work cause it sounds like they recorded using a 12 string guitar, but it doesn’t seem necessary.

    I hope this helps. I could be wrong about the chords. I’m just using my own hearing and comparing what the tab says and what I can hear in the song. Be careful about what you learn from Tabs. Sites like Ultimate Guitar aren’t vetted well, so a lot of times Tabs will be incorrect or incomplete. That’s where you have to use your ear to try and really distinguish what is being played.



    Ok thanks for that, Kahai. The transcriber didn’t inspire too much confidence by misspelling the word “octave” either.

    When I looked it up on google, they described an octave chord as playing two notes together at the same time that are an octave apart. Well, I learned right here at UU+ that chord can’t really be just 2 notes. It need be 3.

    Regardless, I found after a while and listening to the psychedelic flute part in the middle probably helped too… playing what I thought was meant by an octave A-chord

    It sounded…… trippy….psychedelic, man!

    Way too many hours on that Moody Blues song this week.. only to discover when I needed that final touch… that one more instrument…. something had happened to my kazoo from just sitting on the shelf… the wax paper had deteriorated or some such thing … unplayable.

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