Guitar Techniques - - Learning Zone -

on har­mony this month, mak­ing it al­most a themed is­sue! You’ve al­ready read the first one on page 38 which con­cerns the clas­si­cal ap­proach to four-part har­mony ar­rang­ing. The sec­ond is Creative Rock which fo­cuses on tra­di­tional lead guitar har­mon­is­ing. While chords and har­mony can some­times seem ‘back­ground stuff’ for lead-ori­en­tated gui­tarists, we hope these two ar­ti­cles will prove ed­u­ca­tional and in­spir­ing to read and play.

In many re­spects, the four-part har­mony ar­ti­cle is a unique and im­por­tant ar­ti­cle for GT; it’s the first of its kind for this, and quite pos­si­bly any, guitar magazine. Rea­son be­ing, it con­tains the foun­da­tions of mu­sic com­po­si­tion and ar­rang­ing that only comes from a solid un­der­stand­ing of clas­si­cal mu­sic. While sev­eral of us at GT have clas­si­cal mu­sic de­grees, it seemed apt for our pop­u­lar clas­si­cal tu­tor, Bridget to pen this ar­ti­cle. The hope is, your in­tro­duc­tion to the rules and ap­proaches to com­pos­ing four-part har­mony will in­spire and in­form your own mu­sic. This is es­pe­cially true if you’re a steel string acous­tic player look­ing to get more so­phis­ti­cated and ‘know­ing’ with your ap­proach. Re­gard­less of your guitar style though, we hope you get lots from it.

Turn­ing to lead gui­tarists, we get a lot of en­quiries about cre­at­ing har­mony parts for two or more dis­torted gui­tars. While we’ve run var­i­ous ar­ti­cles in the past about this (check out GT215’s har­mony gui­tars ar­ti­cle), Shaun is at the helm this is­sue to tackle the topic. His in­tro­duc­tion to play­ing ear-catch­ing har­mony lines is per­fect, as it cov­ers chord tones, rhyth­mic coun­ter­point and var­i­ous ap­proaches to line move­ment. It should prove re­ally use­ful for your own lead lines if you like The Ea­gles, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Ca­coph­ony (in­sert own fave har­mony band), and al­low you to talk about things like ‘oblique mo­tion’ with a new un­der­stand­ing.

What both ar­ti­cles also pro­vide is a fresh per­spec­tive on how to de­velop your play­ing chops. Bridget will have you fo­cus­ing on ar­eas such as how to sus­tain one note while other notes oc­cur above or below (some­times tougher than it may first ap­pear). Con­versely, Shaun will have you sweep pick­ing arpeg­gios all over the fret­board in pur­suit of gen­er­at­ing ap­peal­ing har­monised lead lines. Never let it be said we don’t like to pro­vide va­ri­ety and stim­u­la­tion for all gui­tarists!

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