#1
Ok, so I wrote out this melody line in the key of B major, and I wanted to try and write a harmony with 3rds. I saw a few posts about harmonizing and it got me interested to learn.


Original melody: B, A#, F#, D#, C#, F#, D#, C#, F#, D#, F#, G#, F#, D#

Harmonized melody: D#, C#, A#, F#, E, A#, F#, E, A#, F#, A#, C#, A#, F#


Tab for original melody:

--7\6----------------------------------------------------
--------7----------7-----------7----7--9--7------------
-----------8----6----8-----6----8------------8---------
-----------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------------------
#3
Awesome, thanks - is harmonizing really that easy? I haven't been home yet to try and see what it sounds like. Will it always sound "right" when played, or are there exceptions? For example, I have a chord progression that goes with the original melody, I'm just curious if the harmonized part will sound "right" with the chords as well.
#4
Quote by jtfletch11
Awesome, thanks - is harmonizing really that easy? I haven't been home yet to try and see what it sounds like. Will it always sound "right" when played, or are there exceptions? For example, I have a chord progression that goes with the original melody, I'm just curious if the harmonized part will sound "right" with the chords as well.


Basic harmonized lead lines (i.e., staying in 3rd's, 5th's or 6th's) generally sound fine over progressions that work for the original lead. Although one thing is that if you harmonize something a third above, it'll change the sound of the melody (like, the original melody will lose presence compared to the new, higher one).

When you start doing contrapuntal stuff, with lines weaving in and out of each other, your chord choices become a lot more restricted
has a terrible signature.
#5
Yes, it should always sound "right." I assume you know that that doesn't always mean it will sound great. That depends on the rest of your song.
i don't know why i feel so dry
#6
Yeah, you have to really make sure that if you harmonize higher that you don't overshadow the melody line. This happened in my friend's old band, and it ended up sounding like crap. By the way, this is personal opinion, but harmonizing in 5ths isn't especially cool. You might as well be playing power chords. But 3rds/6ths are excellent.
#7
5ths is okay, I guess. Octaves is pretty cool, actually (Check of Voice of the Soul by Death). 3rds offer the most variety while still being consonant, so they were preferred back in the day (I'm talking Classical here). Harmonizing in minor 3rds is something you have to be careful with. It sounds cool, but it's pretty overused. Harmonizing a melody isn't a way you can make a ****ty melody great -- it has to be good in the first place. Genero metal bands forget that when they harmonize in minor 3rds all over the place.
i don't know why i feel so dry
#9
Quote by isaac_bandits
It fits diatonically, and will most likely sound pretty bland being all in thirds.

Yeah, you should start writing some contrapuntal ideas rather than just using the same intervals for each note
Two interweaving melodic lines would be much more interesting than just simple harmonization
#10
Without having to explain too much or point me to a harmony thread, do you have any tips on writing interweaving melodies? What works best for you? How do you know when, for example, it would be better to harmonize with a 6th over a 3rd? Is it just basically noodling around until the two melodies feel right to the ear, or does it involve more advanced theory that's over my head?

I'd really like to get better at it, my instructor has been having me work on duets lately (I usually record one part on Audacity and play the second part over top of it), and I'm really having a lot of fun with it...I feel getting better at harmony is something I'm really going to enjoy.
#11
Quote by jtfletch11
Without having to explain too much or point me to a harmony thread, do you have any tips on writing interweaving melodies? What works best for you? How do you know when, for example, it would be better to harmonize with a 6th over a 3rd? Is it just basically noodling around until the two melodies feel right to the ear, or does it involve more advanced theory that's over my head?

I'd really like to get better at it, my instructor has been having me work on duets lately (I usually record one part on Audacity and play the second part over top of it), and I'm really having a lot of fun with it...I feel getting better at harmony is something I'm really going to enjoy.


You want to think of the chords (or implied chords, if there's no intended backing). Then you can harmonize using chord tones (an example, when playing a C (the seventh) over a D7 chord, a 6th (A, the fifth) will sound more "right" than a 3rd (E, the ninth)). Then there are a bunch of non-chord tones which are almost always present in melodies, and these are often harmonized against another non chord tone (Example: G and C both moving to E, passing through F and D, respectively, over a C chord).

You can also play around with different rhythms in your harmonies, so that both lines are different sounding phrases, not just different melodies to the same rhythm (which has a tendency to sound like a hymn).
#13
Quote by breakdown123
when you say interweaving melodies, what exactly do you mean? Like changing which guitar is harmonizing?


He means melodies in which the two parts aren't always moving the same direction, or distance.