Advanced Harmonizing For 2 Guitars

author: M15T3RJACK date: 06/06/2011 category: soloing
rating: 8.6 / votes: 24 
This lesson is for guitarists who want to bring their harmony playing to the next level. A knowledge of harmony is assumed already, however, we'll get started with a bit of a crash course. In a scale there are 7 degrees in an octave. In Dm theses degrees are:
DROOT
E2
F3
G4
A5
Bb6
C7
The most common harmonic intervals are:
Thirds
ex:
DF
BbD
GBb
 
Fifths
ex:
DA
GD
CG
 
Fourths
ex:
DG
AD
GC
 
Sixths
ex:
DBb
AF
BbG
The reason that I listed them in that order is that in thirds and fifths, the note on the left(the lower note) is the tonic note, the note that lends its sound the most when the two notes are sounded together. When harmonizing in fourths, however, the note on the right(the higher note) lends its sound more. Sixths are interesting tools to add to your harmonic arsenal, but unlike fifths and thirds, sixths do not resolve (similar to fourths), meaning that it will have an unfinished sound, much like a leading note. Keeping all of this in mind is important for the next section of the lesson. Harmonizing a melody. When you have a melody that you want to harmonize without changing the sound, you will most likely want to use thirds and fifths and stay away from fourths. The reason being, if you stick to using only third or using only fifths, your harmony will be boring and pretty generic. But, if you use fourths, your melody will be altered because harmonizing in fourths inverts the tonic note, and depending on what chords you are using, will not sound very good. So, here is an example of a melody and its corresponding harmony:
gt. 1
e|---------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------|
G|-7~-------5-7~--------5----------------------|
D|----5-7-8------5-7-8----5~-3-2---------------|
A|-------------------------------3-5-5ZYABLA~HUYABLA-------|
E|---------------------------------------------|
 
gt.2
e|---------------------------------------------|
B|-6~-------5-6~--------8-5~-------------------|
G|------5-7------7-9-10------------------------|
D|----8----------------------7-5---------------|
A|-------------------------------7-8-8ZYABLA~HUYABLA-------|
E|---------------------------------------------|
 
   3  3 3 3 3 3  5 5 5  5 6  3 3 3 3 3 <---intervals
Notice how the sixth being thrown in there adds that extra flavor without drastically changing the basic melody. That extra flavor is what makes changing intervals while harmonizing so interesting. Harmonizing in Sixths I used a sixth in the example above. A sixth is an inverted third. Meaning, you take a third, say, D and F, and you invert the higher note and make it the lower note. Here is an example:
e|------------------10--10---------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------|
G|----10---10----10-----10---------------------|
D|-12------12----------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------|
   D  F    3rd   F  D   6th
Remember that sixths have an "'unresolved' sound" when writing your melody lines and use it to your advantage. For instance, since it yearns for resolution, it would sound good before a root harmonized with a third to ease the tension. For example:
gt.1
e|---------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------|
G|-10----------------10------------------------|
D|----14-12-10-12-14----12-10-12~--------------|
A|---------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------|
 
gt.2
e|-10----------------10------------------------|
B|----13-11-10-11-13----11-10------------------|
G|----------------------------10~--------------|
D|---------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------|
   6  6  6  6  6  6  6  6  6  3
Notice how the 3rds make it sound like it is complete or at rest. Harmonizing Chromatics Harmony follows rules set according to diatonic scales. The chromatic scale, however, is not diatonic. That doesn't mean that it can't be harmonized though. Here is an example of harmonized chromatics:
gt.1
e|-22-21-20-19-------------------------------------|
B|-------------22-21-20-19-------------------------|
G|-------------------------22-21-20-19-------------|
D|-------------------------------------22-21-20-19-|
A|-------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------|
 
gt.2
e|-15-14-13-12-------------------------------------|
B|-------------15-14-13-12-------------------------|
G|-------------------------15-14-13-12-------------|
D|-------------------------------------15-14-13-12-|
A|-------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------|
   gt.1 plays a perfect fifth higher than gt.2
This example is from Avenged Sevenfold's Beast and the Harlot In any diatonic scale, a root note of the scale a perfect fourth is 5 frets away and a perfect fifth is 7 frets away. Since fourths and fifths are both intervals that harmonize, a chromatic scale can be harmonized by playing a perfect fourth or perfect fifth away. Harmonizing Arpeggios Harmonizing arpeggios follow rules similar to the rules of diatonic harmony. The difference, however, is when harmonizing arps, you must stay within the chord. That means using inversions. Inversions are the same as playing the same chord in a different place on the fretboard. For simplicity, we will use triads from the Dm scale. Dm triad inversions
e|-----5--------10--------13---------------------|
B|---6-------10--------15------------------------|
G|-7------10--------14---------------------------|
   D F A  F  A  D   A  D  F
Notice how all the notes are the same, but in different order. That's exactly what and inversion is. Now that we know what an inversion is, let's apply that to our harmonizing. We will take a sweep arpeggio and add a harmony to it using inversions.
gt.1
e|-17-13----------------13-17------------------|
B|-------15----------15------------------------|
G|----------14----14---------------------------|
D|-------------15------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------|
   A  F  D  A  F  A  D  F  A
 
gt.2
e|-13-10----------------10-13------------------|
B|-------10----------10------------------------|
G|----------10----10---------------------------|
D|-------------12------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------|
   F  D  A  F  D  F  A  D  A
   3  3  4  3  3  3  4  3  3
Note that the example contains the same notes in different order, much like the inversion of a 3rd to make a 6th. The rule of inversions can also be applied to tapping riffs and licks.
gt.1
   L   R         L   R (L means tap with left hand)
e|-h22-p17p13h17-h22-p17p13s10-----------------|
B|---------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------|
   D    A  F  A   D   A  F  D
gt.2

e|-h17-p13p10h13-h17-p13p10s5------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------|
    A   F  D  F   A   F  D  A
Any style of harmonizing arpeggios follows the same rule: Stay within the Chord. Conclusion Now with all of these ways to harmonize at your disposal, you can go ahead and get together with another guitarist, or record yourself playing one part and then rerecord yourself playing the second part, and get harmonized! I hope this lesson was helpful. Please message me if you have any questions. Also, here is a list of solos to learn that have great harmonies written within them. Learn them and apply the techniques you learned here to your write your own, original harmonies. -A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation (Trivium) -Bat Country (Avenged Sevenfold) -Mr. Crowley (Ozzy Ozbourne)
More M15T3RJACK lessons:
+ Strengthening Your Left-Hand Tapping Technique Guitar Techniques 05/20/2011
+ Sweep Picking And Tapping Lesson Guitar Techniques 05/17/2011
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