#1
Okay, so I'm trying to understand harmonising.

I've improved my theory a lot in the past few months (understanding intervals/diatonic chord patterns/7ths etc), but it's still quite rudimentary.

Onto harmonising.

I used to listen to a lot of bands like Avenged Sevenfold/Trivium etc. and loved the harmonised sound. Of course I was only playing off tabs and didn't understand the theory at that point though.

Are harmonised notes always diatonic? How do you build major/minor 3rd harmonies? Do you treat each note in the melody as a root? Are 3rds the only harmonies that 'work'?

Sorry if this is a bit convoluted. It really confuses me.

Cheers lads.
Quote by SlackerBabbath
My ideal woman would be a grossly overweight woman who would happy go jogging, come home all sweaty and let me put my dick under her armpit while she shuffles a pack of cards.

Stay classy, pit.
#2
3rds are probably the most commonly used, 6ths can be used too as they are essentially the same as 3rds. 5ths can sometimes sound good, octaves if you want but yeh thirds usually sound best because it uses the relative major/minor to the key that the melody is in.
So, no, you don't take each note as the root, you take the scale that the melody is in, find the relative major or minor and thats the scale you take your notes from for the harmony.

More simply, you can just do it by choosing the note thats a third above (or below, depending on how you want to harmonise) the note in the melody. So for each note in your melody, the harmony will be the same pattern but with each note a third above the respective note in the melody. But you need to know what key you're in so you can decide whether its gonna be a major or minor third.
#3
Normal harmonisation is diatonic, each note will be part of the overall root key. but if you want to add some colour, you can add any note you like. lots of metal bands like adding a diminished fith/augmented 4th, or the tritone, as it sounds 'evil'. if you are using modes though, like lydian, the not is part of the scale (lydian has #4).

Generally, harmonising is all related to the overall key of the piece, the root key, not of each chord being played, unless you are modulating or something like that

for example, if you were in c, and wanted to harmonise E by adding the third, you would add a G, not a G#, which would create a minor third, rather than M3.

you can use any note to harmonise, it just depends on the sound you are after. to make it easy, you can just follow the chord progressing and use those notes, and use the 3rd & 5th. but if you want to add colour, just mess around with any note and use the one that you think fits and sounds good, or 'works'
#4
Hm I'd suggest you play around with it by just using your ears. There are no real rules for this and you can change from 3rd 4th 5th 6th whatever, they work in certain contexts and can all sound nice, cool or "right". If you're making a harmony to your melody, there are many things you can do and you don't need to constantly follow the note interval of the lead part. Often times you can just play the same note on your harmony while the lead moves around more. There are times where standard 3rds really don't sound good as well. Heck, you can use minor second too (if you're making horror music )It all depends on what sort of sound you're going for.
#5
Well I guess i'll just...

Play it by ear

Quote by SlackerBabbath
My ideal woman would be a grossly overweight woman who would happy go jogging, come home all sweaty and let me put my dick under her armpit while she shuffles a pack of cards.

Stay classy, pit.
#6
Quote by N_J_B_B
Are harmonised notes always diatonic?


No, you can harmonize lines using a different key for different effects. (The underlying harmony such as chords etc. have to be consistent with the non-diatonic harmonies tho) I don't really recommend messing around with this though, until you have a firm grasp on harmonization.

How do you build major/minor 3rd harmonies?


Start on any note in a scale, then play the 3rd note above it. Depending on the first note you played, the second note you play will either be a Major 3rd or a minor 3rd.

E.g. In the key of A minor (A B C D E F G), playing an A and then playing a C over that would be a minor 3rd. What helped me understand this was understanding how chords are built. Am contains the notes A C E, the note C is a minor third above the root note A, and E is a perfect 5th above the root. Going from C to E however, is a major third. (The notes of a Cmaj chord are C E G)

Do you treat each note in the melody as a root?


Not really in relation to the key I'm playing in as a whole. I think you're asking if you treat the note as a root in terms of harmonizing above it. You can look at it that way if you're going to stack a bunch of harmonies over it, but some times I harmonize below a note, so it doesn't really operate as a root. (I could be wrong, but this is just personally how I think)

Are 3rds the only harmonies that 'work'?


Absolutely not. You can harmonize with anything pretty much above a 2nd, but some just sound better than others. 3rds seem to have the strongest impact in my book, however. You just gotta play around with recording a melody and then playing a harmony over it, using 3rds, then 4ths. etc.


Anyways, I hoped this helped man. I'm glad you mentioned A7X because I was in the same boat as you not too long ago. I love their harmonies and I had to figure out how they worked.
Last edited by Hardlycore at May 4, 2014,
#7
Quote by SlackerBabbath
My ideal woman would be a grossly overweight woman who would happy go jogging, come home all sweaty and let me put my dick under her armpit while she shuffles a pack of cards.

Stay classy, pit.
#8
Just remember that harmony doesn't always have to follow the melody line in 3rd's etc...

Okay so it may not be A7X.... but I chose this example from Simon & Garfunkel's Sound of Silence because both lines are pretty easy to hear individually, and it's a good example of how sometimes the harmony can just stay put on the one note and be just as effective. (ie: the F at the 6th fret b string)

Maybe some one else might be able to explain what it's called and what's happening in musical terms, as all I know... is that it has a rich, full bodied sound to it.



Yes I know, my music skills suck, but hopefully you get the idea...
Last edited by tonibet72 at May 5, 2014,