#1
At the moment I'm working on a song I wrote a month or two ago which was originally for electric guitar and drums but I'm hoping to re-write it for piano and acoustic guitar for a change. I'm looking at also adding strings to the ending to make it feel fuller but I'm not sure how to best go about it. The obvious easy way would be to just have the strings play the root of each chord but is there any way I can look at to change it up a bit so it's not so basic?
At the moment I'm recording all the guitar myself and programming the piano and strings in GarageBand due to my lack of a decent piano and uhhh... string ensemble.
#2
Roots, Chords, 7th's, Arpeggiated Chords, or have them do their own lead/melody line in the background.
Quote by Venice King
Beethoven ****ed Jimi Hendrix and I was born. I make my own music.
#3
You can have them play the 3rd and 5th chord note. It should make it sound fuller(don't know the word for it).
#4
Get a melody line and harmonise it, dont move in parallel 5ths/octaves. Keep the lines as smooth as possible, try and use contrary motion between the highest and lowest voices.
#5
Quote by Drummerrrrr?
At the moment I'm working on a song I wrote a month or two ago which was originally for electric guitar and drums but I'm hoping to re-write it for piano and acoustic guitar for a change. I'm looking at also adding strings to the ending to make it feel fuller but I'm not sure how to best go about it. The obvious easy way would be to just have the strings play the root of each chord but is there any way I can look at to change it up a bit so it's not so basic?
At the moment I'm recording all the guitar myself and programming the piano and strings in GarageBand due to my lack of a decent piano and uhhh... string ensemble.


There are a few things to keep in mind - write for the song, consider melodic impact. When you listen to what you have, does it just sound like theory gone wild, or does it have a sensible and practical place. Dont do it just because you think it should be there. Balance your colors with something that gets the overall musical mood across.

You may not need to harmonise at all, maybe you can hum and hear a counter melody that doesnt step on the main line, for example.

Maybe parts of the melody should be harmonized., but not all of it?

IN the event that you still feel that you want to harmonize, certainly roots can work but chances are you are duplicating notes already there. So at that point, think of 3rds, 4ths to 3rds (suspended moves), 5ths (generally weaker, but they may do in certain spots.

If you know your harmonic content of extended chords in the key you are composing in, then you might add or imply higher extensions such as 7ths 9ths etc.

So, for example If I have a Progression in G Major, my harmonized (chords-triads) derived for that are as follows:

G Am Bm C D Em F#m7b5

So Lets say the Verse goes something like:

G D Em Am

Over G I could use a B (the third) or I might go for the Maj7 implication (which sounds very love-songy) and have the F# as my note

When I get to my D I might hold the F# (my 3rd in the D triad) or maybe even a G - which implies a Dsus4 or an E which gives me a sus2. I may also opt for C if I want to imply the Dominant of D7 (D is my 5 chord in G so it is of the dominant family)

Over Em, I might use G (my 3rd, or my B which is the 5th. The use of the 5th might be a good choice especially if the next chord I am going into has a note in it that's a half step away from it) So if my next chord has a C in it, that would be a nice 1/2 step transition from B to C - which Am DOES have, (C is the 3rd in Am)

As you go, use your ear, but this is just one possible way that you might use your knowledge of theory to intelligently compose counterlines, imply extended chords, or harmonize.

In my online course I equip guitarists to not only learn and understand theory, but it weighs heavily on the application of theory in very easy to understand steps.

I understand this explanation might be confusing. It would be if you do not have a strong knowledge or grasp on these prerequisites:

1. Knowledge of chords/triads and what notes make up each chord
2. Knowledge of the Harmonized major scale to know the place where the major chord extends into a dominant
3. Knowledge and understanding how to go beyond triads to extended chords, intelligently, which would keep the overall tonality from going out of key.

Check out my online seminar, in the link in my sig, and let me know if you have any questions. It was designed to take the mystery out of all these things with my own proprietary teaching technique that has worked for hundreds in my every day teaching program out of my guitar shop here in Texas.

I hope this long description helped.

Sean