How to Write Progressive Metal - Part 10: Practical Counterpoint Applications

An explanation of counterpoint, set up in a way that will allow you to quickly, nearly effortlessly grasp its usage.

Ultimate Guitar
Hey, guys! Kevin Goetz back again with another free lesson. This time, we're going to talk about counterpoint; what it is, and how we can use it to learn to construct massive, layered harmonies that won't clash at all. The usual disclaimer: Yes, there are still plenty of topics I haven't covered yet. They'll be covered in their own lessons at their own times, rather than rushed. Please be patient. So. For the purposes of this lesson, I have no intention of outlining all the classical rules of counterpoint. There are already plenty of lessons on this site that have done that. My intention, instead, is to summarize the entire counterpoint process in a manner that you can immediately grasp and apply to your music, hence the title's mention of "practical applications." You'll gain an immediate understanding of the technique, and while you won't be able to use the counterpoint terminology with any degree of fluency, you will be able to reap all the benefits that its understanding bestows on a songwriter. Now, I feel bad for not being able to come up with much of an article, but to be completely honest, this is one of those rare topics where I can't come up with much more to say that I haven't already said in the equivalent video lesson. It would feel almost like cheating, like wasting your time with filler. So, please head over to the video below, where you'll find audio examples, in-depth descriptions, and a tablature file that will explain the process of layering harmonies from the ground up.
Thanks for reading/watching, be sure to let me know (preferably on the video page, as I usually manage to check there more frequently than here) if there's anything you'd like to hear more about, and until next time, see ya.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    that's a great lesson, I think the most important part to create great counter point is to know your basics, you need to experiment with thirds first, then sixths, this will train your ear, and then you can start to use 3 voices, But keep things simple first, Another approach is to thing about chords, so figure out what function or mode each chord in a scale has, and after that creating couterpoint will become more natural