Andrew Wasson of Creative Guitar Studio answers questions from off of his Guitar Blog website.
Q). Can you explain how I can get into using "unison" notes in a solo or in a riff? I understand it's the same note, (like the fifth fret of 2nd string is a unison to the 1st string open). And, there's lots of lessons on unison bends. But, how in the world do I actually use this idea for riffs? It's almost like unison riffs & licks are some kind of secret or something. Could you explain unison licks & riffs? Joshua - Mission Viejo, CA. USA
A). The idea of using unison notes exclusive to composing melody lines, or when we're improvising; involves a few different ideas. Unison bends aside... The unison can be used during the melodic phrase, (as a pedal tone), or the unison might be used at the opposing ends of a melodic line. Unison notes can even be applied as a replacement tone during a scale run. Regardless of where they get used, they tend to sound really cool within any melodic phrase. In the lesson I demonstrate a number of examples that apply this unique concept of phrasing guitar licks & riffs using unison tones.
LESSON: After the very popular idea of unison bends, the next most common use of unison intervals are to have them function as licks and riffs. In the video lesson I run through how unison intervals can be applied; within licks, at the start and end of a lick, as well as their use as replacement tones for in-line scale runs. I also include a segment as to how they can be used as supplements within rhythm riffs.
VIDEO: Unison Licks & Riffs
The unison concept is a great way to spice up any guitar part and I provide plenty of examples in the video with on-screen TAB. Enjoy!
About the Author: Andrew Wasson is a 1992 Graduate of Hollywood California's Guitar Institute of Technology (G.I.T.). He has operated his Canadian Music School; Creative Guitar Studio, for the last 20+ years... teaching thousands of guitarists both in studio sessions, and through his popular YouTube Channels and websites. Hundreds of FREE lessons are available at www.andrewwasson.com.