I'm a new guitar player and i started learning some solos.

I'm using an acoustic guitar and when i try to play something (eg. Pink Floyd's Time solo (one of the most beautiful soloes ever made)) I find almost impossible to play notes in the last frets (17°,18°,19°). enter image description here

Is there a way to "transpose" the solo preserving the sound into another zone of the fretboard in order to make it easier to play? I've seen some players on youtube that seems to do this but i don't know how.

Thanks everyone, sorry for the newbish question but i'm asking this thing to myself everytime I try.

3 Answers 3


The solo to "Time" is played on an electric guitar. As an obvious consequence, some passages will not be easy to play with an acoustic. You have just run into such one limitations. You might also probably struggle with bends and with the sustain of the notes.

The technique for playing up in those high frets is to take the thumb off the back of the neck and point it away from your body. This will allow you to reach that part of the fretboard.

Generally, when a player plays that high is because they want to access high notes that are not available elsewhere on the fretboard (in particular 1st string). You could play any notes in the 2nd, 3rd and lower strings by transposing them to a higher string, 4 or 5 frets down (depending on the string), but you would still be unable to play the high notes on the 1st string without reaching frets 17, 18, 19.

As an alternative, you could play all those notes 1 octave lower, which means 12 frets below what they are notated. You might lose some of the tension that builds up in the solo, but it will still be recognizable.

  • Thank you. What is the theory behind this? I'm kinda new.
    – Raydar
    Dec 2, 2020 at 15:59
  • Notes played 1 octave up or down sound "the same" to our ears. 1 octave is 12 semitones, so it's 12 frets in the guitar.
    – mkorman
    Dec 2, 2020 at 16:19

Normally, you would use a guitar with a "cutaway" https://www.thomann.de/de/guild_f_150ce_nat_westerly.htm

You can only trya to transpose the lower (eadgb) notes to the next strings, off course not the high "e" because there isnt another. But i doubt that there are higher tones in a piece and if you have problems with a piece, you should transpose it anyway.

  • Yeah maybe i'll buy a new guitar... but anyway thank you :)
    – Raydar
    Dec 2, 2020 at 15:17

First of all transposing on the guitar is one of the easiest things to do once you've get the patterns down. But the result will be in a different key so you will not be able to play it with the recording or in a group with other musicians unless they all change key.

If you have the TAB, or sheet music and you somehow can figure out from that what the patterns are in the proper register then all you have to do is move the entire sequence down to another fret. If you have the TAB and cannot learn it in the proper position then pick a fret to start on, say the 7th fret. All you need to do to move all the other notes down is subtract the right number from all numbers in the TAB. For example if the solo starts on the 17th fret and you want to play it on the 7th fret subtract 10 from all numbers in the TAB and the result should be the same solo in the 7th position. The same logic works for reading in different keys when reading sheet music but I don't think a lot guitarists realize this.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.