The technique is simple: Take a fingering pattern “shape” and shift it across the neck over three octaves.
Use of this technique can, however, impart a broader and more sophisticated scope to a lick while also acting as a no-brainer means of navigating greater expanses of fretboard terrain.
EXAMPLE 1 depicts three “target” notes (all A’s) in three octaves. Play each note with your index finger to get used to the shift on the neck and the physical relationship between the fretboard locations of the note in each octave (You can also prime yourself for future examples by performing the example again with just the middle finger, then just the ring finger, then just the pinky).
Getting on with the aforementioned shapes, EXAMPLE 2 is the first six notes of an A Dorian #4 mode (the 4th mode of E harmonic minor), in two-string sets (E and A, D and G, B and E), moving up and then down the strings across three octaves. Note that the location of the #4 (D#, A string, sixth fret and G string, eighth fret) helps make the overall position shift from octave to octave less abrupt.
Where this shifting technique really comes alive is when it is applied to a short two-string lick within the pattern that is then repeated across the other octaves/string sets. EXAMPLE 3 takes a 16-note pattern in the first octave on the E and A strings and then repeats the pattern across the other two octaves, creating a fluid trip across a broad range, resolving on the E note.
EXAMPLE 4 is a fingering that is technically a D# Mixolydian #1 mode (the 7th mode of E harmonic minor, also known as the Super Locrian mode or