#1
I'm not sure if this topic has been brought up before (I couldn't see anything recently anyway).

I was wondering if anybody had any ideas or tips on arranging for two guitars (acoustic preferrably). I've recently started practising with a friend and arranging the songs is something I want to put a lot of thought in to e.g. not necessarily sticking to the set structure or set chords of the songs we're starting out covering.

Does anybody play in an small group like this? Any suggestions?

We're performing both instrumentals and songs with vocals.

I would appreciate some help

Thanks
#3
Have the singer play the chords strummed, while the other arpeggiates?

Listen to Patience, by GnR, that has three guitars playing a basic chord progression, and the arrangement is beautiful.
#4
have one play the normal chords, then put a capo on the 2nd, 4th, 6th fret or whatever and play the different chord positions that mask the same chords

so a E chord in standard, played with the other dude playin a D with capo 2nd fret, mess with the chords and alottta the time the guitars will sound sick, i play with my gf but i use a different tuning and they sound sweet....helps that I have a norman and she has a seagull...both owned and made by Godin, there like brother sister guitars and sound sweet together

for a good start doing this technique check out this tab...fast as i can by great big sea, they use two guits just like i was explaining

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/g/great_big_sea/fast_as_i_can_tab.htm
#6
I have been playing in 2 person acoustic duo for about 2 years. If one guitar is playing lead and one rhythmn, arpeggios and basic lead work based on the rhythmn chord progressino works fine. If my bandmate and I are both playing chords, I typically play the same chords but in a different area and witha different combination of notes. I usually also add some extra "fill" notes in. This helps make the chords more full and fat in my opinion.

For example if my friend plays this (A major)

0
2
2
2
0
x
I will play this

0
0
6
7
0
x
#7
With just two instruments, your going to have trouble covering most songs. Find ways to make them sound as thick as possible, such as hitting the body of your guitar with your palm on the beat, or doubling up on as many notes as at all possible.
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theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#8
Quote by gabcd86
Have the singer play the chords strummed, while the other arpeggiates?

Listen to Patience, by GnR, that has three guitars playing a basic chord progression, and the arrangement is beautiful.


I was thinking the same idea and song.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#9
I'd say neither of you should voice more then 3-4 notes at once. One person should play the chords rhythmically, using lower voicings, while the other uses higher voicings and in addition to chording, adds small melodic embellishments ('answering' the vocal melody here in there).
The other approach is rhythm/lead, doing some polyrhythmic stuff or just doubling each other.
#10
Totally depends on the gig. More info would be helpful.

If your doing rockish gigs, just one person on chords and another on the melody is a good bet.

For something more classy, start thinking contrapunctally
#11
Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I really liked the Great Big Sea song that was recommended.

Totally depends on the gig. More info would be helpful.


The two of us are covering more rockier/commercial stuff as that's what would most likely appeal to the audience (and my friend) but I want to write some stuff for 2 guitars (the more different the style, the better) and so any tips on arrangements are welcome.

I've taken all these comments on board to try and spice the songs up a bit and try to make the covers more our own.
#12
Depends how you want to do it..
Is it instrumental or do you have vocals?

If you have vocals, you may have a guitar playing the chord progression, and then another guitar playing a melody based on said chords (one that doesn't overshadow the vocals)...

If it's only instrumental, have both guitar follow the progression, but when one plays a chord for instance, have another one play a melody and switch back and fort, even harmonizing and playing different voices in each guitar..


Well, I've never done any arrangement anyway (was working on one, was hard as hell).