#1
I'm a fairly experienced guitarist and I've begun dabbling in composition. Now, I can write a couple cool riffs, or a chord progression. Hell, I've even written an entire song with just my acoustic guitar, but I can't, for the life of me, manage to write anything for a second instrument. I've tried to figure it out, but I can't find anything in theory that explains it. Something so simple as playing two chords simultaneously that doesn't sound awful is out of reach for me.

Is there a rule of harmony that I don't understand, or are there corresponding scales? I'm dying here. I'd really appreciate your help!
"This nightmare's gonna break me.
Please, Daylight, save me..."
#2
I am into 'layering' so for instance.

Am.
D.

Those are the chords being strummed.
Then I'll play a Am Triad and D Triad and pick each string.
This creates a nice little relation between them.
Of course you will have to be able to record two guitar tracks.


Then if you want to make it really bigger you can even play a repeating melody thing in the right scale.

I suggest you are going to learn chord inversion/triads.
You can do a lot with it.

Good luck!

Thomas.
Last edited by Thomas Zane at Apr 12, 2011,
#3
Playing an instrument in school band helped me with this. You can write different harmonies. Sometimes the phrases/rhythms are the same, but some of the notes are different for harmonies. Conventional harmonies are the root, 3rd, and 5th. 6ths and 4ths are also good, and 7ths add some dissonance. Also, you could have one instrument play the chord progression and the 'lead' instrument play a few riffs/phrases using the notes in the chords with few/some/many passing tones, suspensions, etc.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#4
Quote by thePTOD
Playing an instrument in school band helped me with this. You can write different harmonies. Sometimes the phrases/rhythms are the same, but some of the notes are different for harmonies. Conventional harmonies are the root, 3rd, and 5th. 6ths and 4ths are also good, and 7ths add some dissonance. Also, you could have one instrument play the chord progression and the 'lead' instrument play a few riffs/phrases using the notes in the chords with few/some/many passing tones, suspensions, etc.

Good post, I love me some 4th. Haha.
#5
Well, there's a few things you could do, I guess. First of all, unless you're going after a polychordal idea (you're not) then all the instruments should be playing the same chord, not two or three different ones. Besides that, standard "rock-ish" instrumentation finds the rhythm guitarist basically playing harmony (chords) and then the lead would be playing some type of riff or melody over top of that. There's no theory that explains how to write for multiple instruments (well, the theory of orchestration, I suppose) but theory can help you understand how different instruments can interact with each harmonically.
#6
4ths are lovely and wow I forgot 2nds. Same thing as 7ths, they add dissonance. Minor 2nd is more evil than Major 7th however.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#7
Quote by DaysofGrace
I'm a fairly experienced guitarist and I've begun dabbling in composition. Now, I can write a couple cool riffs, or a chord progression. Hell, I've even written an entire song with just my acoustic guitar, but I can't, for the life of me, manage to write anything for a second instrument. I've tried to figure it out, but I can't find anything in theory that explains it. Something so simple as playing two chords simultaneously that doesn't sound awful is out of reach for me.

Is there a rule of harmony that I don't understand, or are there corresponding scales? I'm dying here. I'd really appreciate your help!


What do you know about keys and scales? Do you have any favourite bands which use two guitars? Have you figured out both parts to figure out how they work together?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#8
Quote by DaysofGrace
I'm a fairly experienced guitarist and I've begun dabbling in composition. Now, I can write a couple cool riffs, or a chord progression. Hell, I've even written an entire song with just my acoustic guitar, but I can't, for the life of me, manage to write anything for a second instrument. I've tried to figure it out, but I can't find anything in theory that explains it. Something so simple as playing two chords simultaneously that doesn't sound awful is out of reach for me.

Is there a rule of harmony that I don't understand, or are there corresponding scales? I'm dying here. I'd really appreciate your help!


What do you know about theory? I mean if you know triads, thats 3 voices right there.

Sean