WE’VE TWO ARTICLES
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!