Welcome!
Just a few a ground rules first...

Promotion, advertising and link building is not permitted.

If you are keen to learn, get to grips with something with the willing help of one of the net's original musician forums
or possess a genuine willingness to contribute knowledge - you've come to the right place!

Register >

- Close -
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 25

Thread: Harmony guitar playing

  1. #1
    Frequent Jammer JailHouseRock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    M'sia
    Posts
    382

    Harmony guitar playing

    Can somebody explain to me the harmony guitar part like the guitarists form Iron Maiden used to do? The example is shown in the tab below from song called ‘The Evil That Men Do’. It is where the 1st guitar play ‘this’ part and the 2nd guitar play the ‘other’ part. What I understand is that the 1st guitar play the usual riff while the 2nd guitar play it b3 higher than the root note.

    Am I correct? If I’m correct, is it the only way to harmonies (?) it. Or there is any other way? And it is played on the E chord. Do we need to change to other chords as when the harmony involved? Thanks.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    660
    Well, you will get a harmonized sound if you pick a note and play it, as well as the note a minor 3rd above it, simultaneously.

    However, when working in a certain key, you will not base your harmonies strictly on MINOR 3rd intervals, maybe not on 3rds at all.

    Have a look at this:

    E F# G A B C D (The E Minor scale)

    Now, let's play threen notes: E F# G

    To harmonize this three-note melody, you pick the note three notes up, starting the count on the current note. In other words, to harmonize the E you need the G, to harmonize the F# you need the A and finally to harmonize the G you pick the B note.

    Just for the structure:

    E F# G
    G A B

    Now, you have created a harmony based on 3rds, but not strictly on minor 3rds.

    If you dive into it, you'll see the intervals between the actual notes:

    E - G (minor 3rd)
    F# - A (minor 3rd)
    G - B (MAJOR 3rd)

    This is because the minor 3rd above G, is Bb, which is not to be found in the E minor scale. Thus, you should not use the Bb note as it would sound out of key. Now, as you see, there is another note in the key of E which is a 3rd above the note we wanted to harmonize (the G note), and that's the B, which is the note a MAJOR 3rd above G.

    For your own sake, when creating harmonies, write out the notes of the scale, and create harmonies in 3rds, 4ths, 5ths or what ever you feel like.

    It's all about understanding and experimenting.

    I remember a few years ago, I asked about how to create harmonies myself, as I wanted to learn. I liked the way harmonies sounded, and I thought it would be a complicated issue creating them, but truth is; it's not.

    If there is anything, ASK!

  3. #3
    ii-V-I skeletron's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    34
    That is sweet that you are listening to Iron Maiden for guitar harmonies. That is what got me into harmonizing guitars. That and Boston. WOO!

    Iron Maiden often harmonizes in thirds. That is they'll play in a certain key, and harmonize the notes up a third according to the key they are playing in. They also use harmonization in fifths too. One guitar plays a fifth above or below.

    I love harmonizing melodies (although at times in can be overkill). I also read an interview with Marty Friedman where he explained how in Megadeth, he would often play moving dyads while Mustaine played the low power chords. The reason for doing this was to prevent the song from sounding like a huge muddy mess with both guitars playing low power chords with tonnes of distortion. Harmonizing like this would also allow the chords created by the two guitars to have more color and be more defined.

    Anyways, the dude above me explained harmonizing quite well.

  4. #4
    Frequent Jammer JailHouseRock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    M'sia
    Posts
    382
    Thanks @skeletron, and @Apple-Joe for the detailed explanation. I'll take some time to digest it and start experimenting it by my own.
    The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    660
    Good. Keep us up to date on how you progress.

  6. #6
    ,.¤oOo¤., theox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    129
    Try this for a great exercise: Play a scale (minor, major, dorian, harm. minor, whatever) and sing thirds on top of it. Then try it with melodies. Then try other intervals.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    38
    ^ That is a nice exercise. I started doing the same thing with scales, except I play the harmony (played fingerstyle)

    If you can't hear the harmony intuitively you can go about it a bit mechanically at first, and just pluck the interval you're working on; could be minor or major.

  8. #8
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Funky Munky World
    Posts
    3,904
    I like to record a line then play it back and try to emulate the line ni a different way, creating different harmonies as you go.

    The Iron Maiden harmonies are almost a signature for them aren't they.

    It's great to listen to.

  9. #9
    Registered User tucker97325's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    400
    Quote Originally Posted by dalin
    ^ That is a nice exercise. I started doing the same thing with scales, except I play the harmony (played fingerstyle)

    If you can't hear the harmony intuitively you can go about it a bit mechanically at first, and just pluck the interval you're working on; could be minor or major.
    I agree with Dalin, you can do some good stuff playing harmonies finger style, although the one above might be tough to play as written, since the tab has the harmonies converging down to a single string. (Hard to play two notes simultaneously on the same string. Although those harmonies could easily be played by altering the fret and strings indicated by the TAB for the notes in question.)

    When I'm working two or three part harmonies, I find it advantageous to remember that I'm basically playing the same scale on two or three strings, some interval(s) apart. So, then all I need to remember is where the intervals are for that scale on the different strings. That usually works out pretty well. To practice this, I'll play scales and/or simple songs using the two or three note chords. Not a bad way to stumble onto some cool chord progressions either.
    "It ain't what you play man! Its how you play it."
    www.soundclick.com/kenvarieur

  10. #10
    Registered User tucker97325's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    400
    Quote Originally Posted by skeletron
    I love harmonizing melodies (although at times in can be overkill).
    Hey UKRuss, sound familiar?
    "It ain't what you play man! Its how you play it."
    www.soundclick.com/kenvarieur

  11. #11
    Registered User sixstrings121's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Delaware, USA
    Posts
    316
    What are the most common intervals to harmonize with besides 3rds and 5ths? 7ths would probly work but I havnt tried it yet.

  12. #12
    ii-V-I skeletron's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    34
    Quote Originally Posted by sixstrings121
    What are the most common intervals to harmonize with besides 3rds and 5ths? 7ths would probly work but I havnt tried it yet.


    Well... think about it. When you are harmonizing, you start by playing a single-note melody. The goal (or at least the way I see think about it) is that you want to take this single-note melody and make it a multi-note melody. Instead of a single-note melody, your melody will sound like a chord melody depending on how you harmonize it.

    That is why harmonization often happens in thirds. If you play a root and a third, you have the major/minor feel. Adding a third harmonization a fifth up from the root, will make the melody sound like its being played using triads. I have also seen melodies harmonized in fourths, although, they sound less enticing to my ears.

    I would stay away from really dissonant intervals, ie. sevenths and seconds. But it is all how you want the melody to be heard. I would keep with the thirds and fifths. TRIADS TRIADS TRIADS!!! Its the essence of guitar playing.

    Oh yeah, and listen to some Boston.

  13. #13
    Frequent Jammer JailHouseRock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    M'sia
    Posts
    382
    What about this one? It's an excerpt from Bach - Two-Part Invension 8. The 1st and 2nd section is play together. How about this harmony then? It looks complicated though but I'm just curious in how things work . It was transcribed this way so, the 1st section will act as right hand fingers and the 2nd section act as left hand fingers in piano playing?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing

  14. #14
    Frequent Jammer JailHouseRock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    M'sia
    Posts
    382
    One more thing, about this one and the first part in Tender Surrender by Vai. Is it 'harmony' too or just double stops? I'm starting to get a lil' bit confuse.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing

  15. #15
    ii-V-I skeletron's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    34
    Quote Originally Posted by JailHouseRock
    What about this one? It's an excerpt from Bach - Two-Part Invension 8. The 1st and 2nd section is play together. How about this harmony then? It looks complicated though but I'm just curious in how things work . It was transcribed this way so, the 1st section will act as right hand fingers and the 2nd section act as left hand fingers in piano playing?


    Okay the last two bars are pretty straight forward. Its the first bar that is kind of different because of the difference in rhythm.


    BAR 1
    The Upper guitar is playing a series of sixteenth notes going:
    A - C - Bb - C
    A - C - Bb - C
    A - C - Bb - C

    At the same time, the Lower guitar is playing an eighth note rhythm going:
    F - (F) - A - (A)
    G - (G) - A - (A)
    F - (F) - Bb - (Bb)

    The brackets are put in to show what note has sounded, so it is easy for you to match up with the corresponding Upper Guitar part.

    All you have to do is match up the notes that are played at the same time to see the implied harmony. I'll put the Lower guitar part in bold...

    F A C - implies F major
    A Bb C - could imply a number of things. What I usually look for is the two notes that are a third apart. A and C are a minor third apart. Therefore to me this implies a weird A minor chord with a flat 9. I don't even think people play minor flat 9 chords because of the dissonance. You could also say it implies Bb major 9 with no 3rd, just from the fact that the piece is written in F major. It also depends on what the bass is playing. This is the tricky one, but I am naming the chords from the key the piece is written in (F major).
    G A C - implies A minor 7, from the A and C (a minor) and the G is the seventh of A minor.
    A Bb C - ...
    F A C - F major
    Bb Bb C - Bb add 9 or C7, there is no third interval so you can't really say it is a definite chord.

    Sometimes composers harmonize to create chromatic movement rather than create chordal melodies.


    The next two bars are easy.

    BAR #2
    Upper guitar:
    F A G A
    Lower guitar:
    A C Bb C


    Implies F major, A minor, G minor, A minor.


    Bar #3
    Upper guitar:
    D F E F
    Lower guitar:
    F A G A


    Implies D minor, F major, E minor, F major.



    As you can see, you can imply triads, and inversions of triads. Its pretty cool.

Similar Threads

  1. Playing Bass & Improving Guitar Skills?
    By Tune2B in forum Getting Started
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 06-02-2006, 07:44 PM
  2. Singing while playing Guitar / "Bands"
    By cma in forum Mental Stuff
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-02-2005, 11:38 AM
  3. How to enjoy the guitar
    By Rizla in forum Guitar Technique
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 01-11-2005, 10:28 PM
  4. Guitar playing wrecking my whole body
    By Bande in forum Mental Stuff
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 12-28-2004, 12:56 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •