#1
ive been having alot of trouble when trying to write harmonies, breaking out of the standard major/minor 3rds, 4ths and 5ths.

can i get some advice on writing some more interesting stuff?
#2
Sixths are nice intervals, as are any of the intervals you mentioned plus an additional octave (Maiden does this in Rime of the Ancient Mariner). A great way to harmonize is to vary the harmony. Play a few thirds, then a fourth, then a third, then a sixth, then a fifth, etc.

Make sure the initial riff is interesting as well. That is more likely the source of your problem.
#3
What Sue said.

Alot of "nice" harmonies are pretty standard 3rd or 5ths.

What I do a lot is making triads.

I make a short triad progression, and then I use the root of the triad in the bass, and the other 2 notes as the harmonies on 2 separate guitars.

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#4
In my humble opinion the interval used it intiraly dependent on the atmosphere your trying to express, don't just pick on and use it the whole time. If I'm trying to express a happy birds chirping kind of melody, I'm going to use major thirds and the occasion augmented fourth (if I've already established lydian), and there is no way I'm going to use minor thirds.

So first you need to learn what all the intervals sound like (disregard if you already do, I have to say these things) and then just decide which would be best for the situation.
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#5
maybe 4ths and 7ths, they are intervals that are usually associated with a major sound, and in 7ths could get a rather interesting sound.

(i haven't actually tried 7ths before)

*EDIT* - just tried it in guitar pro, sounds pretty trippy, almost like an organ. but i am putting that down to it being guitar pro.
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Last edited by aradine at Jan 18, 2009,
#6
Quote by aradine
nd in 7ths could get a rather interesting sound.


Yes, if by "interesting" you mean "dissonant as hell". Though, if that's what you're after...
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#7
Quote by Archeo Avis
Yes, if by "interesting" you mean "dissonant as hell". Though, if that's what you're after...


hey, he wanted interesting, so i pulled one out of my ass.
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#8
I've actually written a harmony in all 2nds and 7ths, and I can honestly say it was the ugliest, and one of the most interesting things I've ever heard. I played around with the phrasing and I almost made it sound like they were all trying to resolve to themselves.
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Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#9
I've heard some pretty cool licks in a harmony with 1 fret apart.

It sounds like an organ or chorus, because those sounds are defined by using a slightly out of tune pitch over it.

and because they are 1 fret apart it could sound like a very wide chorus.

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#10
Don't just think intervals when you're harmonizing, think chords. Instead of going "Hmm, maybe I'll use 4ths here and 3rds here" or something, try thinking "Maybe I'd like to imply a bVII chord here" and use your existing knowledge of intervals and taste to come up with something that would. Of course, this involves understanding chords and chord progressions better, but it's useful stuff. It also means working with music on a larger scale than just 2 guitars, but thinking of the whole ensemble.

Although, if you've already got a chord progression and a lead line, I'd just say sometimes trying to make the harmony line melodically independent but still harmonically coherent would be a nice way to go. Don't follow by intervals; try making an independent line that doesn't step over the existing harmony but isn't just the melody up an interval.

Also, in my experience, harmonies based on chord tones work better than harmonies based on intervals from the melody. Now when I say based on chord tones I don't mean stick strictly to chord tones, if you want a 9th sound over a major triad go for it, but I personally think you should be more conscious of the chords than of the melody.

What kind of music are we talking about?
Last edited by grampastumpy at Jan 18, 2009,
#11
Quote by The_Sophist
In my humble opinion the interval used it intiraly dependent on the atmosphere your trying to express, don't just pick on and use it the whole time. If I'm trying to express a happy birds chirping kind of melody, I'm going to use major thirds and the occasion augmented fourth (if I've already established lydian), and there is no way I'm going to use minor thirds.

So first you need to learn what all the intervals sound like (disregard if you already do, I have to say these things) and then just decide which would be best for the situation.

Well that's just silly. If you're going to stay in key, you have to use some minor thirds if you were going to harmonize just using 3rds. If you used only major thirds, it would sound very dissonant because it wouldn't be in key.
#12
Quote by xxdarrenxx
I've heard some pretty cool licks in a harmony with 1 fret apart.

It sounds like an organ or chorus, because those sounds are defined by using a slightly out of tune pitch over it.

and because they are 1 fret apart it could sound like a very wide chorus.


they weren't 1 fret apart, they where 11......
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#13
Quote by aradine
they weren't 1 fret apart, they where 11......
Inversion of the same interval. Overtones kinda sorta come into play here and you wind up with a pretty similar sound.
#14
Quote by grampastumpy
Inversion of the same interval. Overtones kinda sorta come into play here and you wind up with a pretty similar sound.


yeh, but on guitar pro it sounded alot trippier 11 frets apart than 1. 1 is just dissonant as hell, 11 sounds still sounds dissonant but cool.
Quote by coolstoryangus
Pffffffft schematics


Although i guess the OP will have to get used to reading them if he's going to buy a bugera..
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along with fire escape routes...

#15
Quote by grampastumpy
Inversion of the same interval. Overtones kinda sorta come into play here and you wind up with a pretty similar sound.


This.

Theoretical different, but the relativity is the same. A major7th interval of a note is also a b2 in sound waves, just an octave higher. (and not even this is always true) That's why different voicings of a chord can aurally make a world of a difference.

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#16
Quote by The_Sophist
I've actually written a harmony in all 2nds and 7ths, and I can honestly say it was the ugliest, and one of the most interesting things I've ever heard. I played around with the phrasing and I almost made it sound like they were all trying to resolve to themselves.

actually if you harmonize 7th + 2nds (9ths in dual harmonies) 2 octaves above your root progression it sounds alot better (it has to do with the space between the frequencies, if you try to do this in or around the same octave it starts sounding kinda mess) the harmony will never really resolve though it will continue to sound like its "pulling" in one direction or another, it can make a very tense/jarring feeling to the song but once you resolve to the root at the end with the 7 resolving to a 5 and the 2 resolving to 3 (basically doubling the 1-3-5 2 octaves higher) it gives an incredible sense of resolution, try it sometime. if the 7+2 sounds TOO dissonant then stack some 4ths and 5ths on top of them 7 and 2's and that should give a bit more consonant sound to it. essentially you're creating inverted chord harmonies on top of your root chords. if you end up using the 7+2+ 4/5 then you can drop the space in your tonal frequency to simply an octave above your root chord progression and it will still mesh together nicely (still sounds good 2 octaves above as well)