Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Intervals, Triads, Chords And Harmonies, Part 9 - Simple Harmonies
Andrew Cockburn
post Dec 16 2007, 10:15 PM
Post #1


Moderation Policy Director
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 10.459
Joined: 6-February 07
From: CT, USA
Member No.: 1.167



Simple Harmonies


Today we are going to look at how we can put the knowledge we have so far to good use and learn a little about harmonization. This is a fascinating subject, and we are going to look at the basics in this lesson, and then some more complex ideas in a later lesson.

What is Harmony?

A lot of you probably know what harmonization is when you hear it but how to explain what it actually is? Well, in simple terms it is enhancing a melody line by playing notes at the same time either higher or lower than the melody note itself. OK, that is a simple explanation and not exact by any means, but it gets us started. The next question is which notes? Will any notes do? For harmonization, no, we have some specific ways of picking out the notes we use - they all have a very definite relationship to the melody we are harmonizing. If we are less careful, we could end up with counterpoint, which is different to harmony, and a useful concept in its own right but not what we are looking for.

So lets qualify what notes we are looking for. Harmonies are generally notes that are picked to be an offset within the scale from the melody note. That offset often remains fixed throughout the harmonized passage, and in this lesson we will make the assumption that they do stay fixed - a future lesson will address more complex harmonic movement in which the intervals shift throughout the passage.

Now it has probably occurred to you that harmonies sound a little similar to chords. You'd be right - harmonies are really a way of adding chordal concepts to an unadorned melody line, and we will be using some chord based concepts to put this together. I bet you are also wondering which offsets we should be using - the answer is that it varies depending upon the effect you are looking for, just as you would use different intervals to create different chord types.

Scales & Intervals

Not surprisingly, scales are the foundation to all of this. A melody that you are trying to harmonize will be based on a particular scale. Any harmonies you create will also be based on that same scale, and there will be a offset between the melody notes and harmonies, based on degrees of that particular scale.

Different offsets have different effects - the most commonly used are probably 3rds - these usually give a very melodic feel to the harmony. Another common one is 6ths. Since a 6th interval is really just an inverted 3rd, we again get a melodic effect, but there is a greater sense of space between the notes giving a different feel to a 6th harmony. Also common are 5ths - a more harsh type of harmony, but well suited to metal, as a 5th is also a power chord and has that same kind of feel. Dissonant intervals such as 2nds and 7ths are rarely used except as a transitory move in more complex harmonies, leaving 4ths, which can be used to great effect but are a little strange sounding.

This all sounds a little dry, so it is time for an example!.

Our First Example

Ok, lets look at a simple melody line, and harmonize it in 3rds (thats harmony speak for using a fixed 3rd offset for the harmony).

We'll pick a simple example - a scale of C major. Our notes as everyone knows are:

C D E F G A B C

Now, to harmonize this sequence of notes in 3rds, all we have to do is move 2 degrees up the scale for each of our harmony notes.

So, if we start with the first note, C, our 3rd interval is an E, which is 2 degrees up the scale. To play our harmony we would play the note of C and a note of E at the same time - easy huh? Our second pair are D, and the note 2 steps up from D which is an F. To carry on up the scale we just use the same rule for each pair of notes, to get the following pairs (harmonies in red):

C E
D F
E G
F A
G B
A C
B D
C E

Or in tab:

E||----------------------|-----------------0----||
B||----------------------|--0----1----0----1----||
G||------------0----2----|--0----2----7---------||
D||--2----0----2----3----|----------------------||
A||--3----8--------------|----------------------||
E||----------------------|----------------------||


Now lets look at how that works with a minor scale - C minor. Our notes are:

C D Eb F G Ab Bb C

Again, if we use the same rule and stay in 3rds, we get the pairs as follows:

C Eb
D F
Eb G
F Ab
G Bb
Ab C
Bb D
C Eb

Or in tab:

E||----------------------|----------------------||
B||----------------------|-------1----3----1----||
G||------------0----1----|--0----1----3----8----||
D||--1----0----1----3----|--8-------------------||
A||--3----8--------------|----------------------||
E||----------------------|----------------------||[/font]

Now, lets take a moment to think about what we have done here. Since we have followed the notes of the base scale in both cases, the real intervals between the notes have changed as we went along. In the major scale example, the first 2 notes C and E are a Major 3rd apart. However, the second 2 notes, D and F are actually a minor 3rd. In the minor scale, our first pair, C and Eb were a minor 3rd, the second pair, D and F were also a minor 3rd. This falls naturally out of the way the scales are constructed, and happens to be the exact right shifting in the intervals to make everything sound correct. To put this another way, the intervals change between each pair to accommodate the fact that both notes in each case are taken out of the same scale. What this means in practice is that although we talk about harmonizing in 3rds, we are not using a fixed interval, we are really talking about the offset of the notes in degrees of the scale.

Lets look at another example - 6ths. At this point we can introduce another concept of harmonies - it is possible to harmonize either above or below the melody line. What we did in the previous example was to harmonize a 3rd above. In this example, lets harmonize a 6th below:

C D E F G A B C

C E
D F
E G
F A
G B
A C
B D
C E

Or in tab:

E||----------------------|----------------------||
B||----------------------|------------0----1----||
G||----------------------|--0----2--------------||
D||-------0----2----3----|------------0----2----||
A||--3--------------0----|--2----3--------------||
E||--0----1----3---------|----------------------||


Hang on, that looks identical to our first example! Well spotted - it is, except in this case, each harmonized note (the ones in red) would be an octave lower than the harmonized notes in the previous examples as you can see from the tab. This is because as I mentioned earlier, an inverted 6th is a 3rd, so if we go a 6th down, it gives us the same note as if we went a 3rd up - that is why 6ths work well as harmonies, if they are 6ths below. That same example using a 6th above would give us:

C A
D B
E C
F D
G E
A F
B G
C A

Or in tab:

E||----------------------|--0----1----3----5----||
B||-------0----1----3----|------------0----1----||
G||--2-------------------|--0----2--------------||
D||-------0----2----3----|----------------------||
A||--3-------------------|----------------------||
E||----------------------|----------------------||


This will sound a little less melodic as the 6th notes tend to sound unresolved when you end on a strong note on the melody. Resolved notes tend to be roots and 5ths, also 3rds. As you can see here, the last note is a root which would normally resolve well, but the harmonized note is a 6th, making the ending sound unresolved.

In Practice

In practice, harmonization is a great way to thicken up a vocal or guitar lead line and give the whole melody a different feel. Pick your favorite lead line and experiment with adding harmonies above and below it and see how it sounds - you can make a huge difference by adding just a few harmonies in selected places!

Thats it for now - questions and comments in the forum!


--------------------
Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Hemlok
post Dec 16 2007, 10:17 PM
Post #2


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.033
Joined: 3-March 07
From: Western Australia
Member No.: 1.286



I am yet to read the lesson, good work it looks very detailed and informative and I plan on reading it soon. But for my question... Can mods change the title of threads?
QUOTE
Intervaks, Triads, Chords And Harmonies, Part 9 - Simple Harmonies


Edit: Damn you are quick! biggrin.gif my question is answered

Edit2: Or did I imagine it all?

This post has been edited by Hemlok: Dec 16 2007, 10:19 PM


--------------------


Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Andrew Cockburn
post Dec 16 2007, 10:46 PM
Post #3


Moderation Policy Director
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 10.459
Joined: 6-February 07
From: CT, USA
Member No.: 1.167



QUOTE (Hemlok @ Dec 16 2007, 04:17 PM) *
I am yet to read the lesson, good work it looks very detailed and informative and I plan on reading it soon. But for my question... Can mods change the title of threads?

Edit: Damn you are quick! biggrin.gif my question is answered

Edit2: Or did I imagine it all?



Your sanity is intact - yes I misspelled it, but mods can change topic titles.

Oh, and thanks for telling everyone I can't type dude huh.gif


--------------------
Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DeepRoots
post Jan 8 2008, 11:43 AM
Post #4


Get to da Chopper!
Group Icon

Group: GMC Senior
Posts: 2.700
Joined: 18-March 07
From: South Wales, UK
Member No.: 1.374



Cheers Andrew- some of it i figured out before but the harmozing using a sixth ablve/below was eye opening.

Thanks again for taking time out to write these for us smile.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Crazyfret
post Jan 8 2008, 12:14 PM
Post #5


Learning Roadie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 468
Joined: 26-November 07
From: Marple
Member No.: 3.381



Another well explained theory lesson Andrew. Thanks again smile.gif

All I need to do now is play around with it and see what I come up with. smile.gif


--------------------
"I am playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
PlayAllDay
post Jan 8 2008, 01:39 PM
Post #6


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 323
Joined: 30-September 07
Member No.: 2.909



Yes!! A theory book from Andrew - which he can write in his spare time as he has so much of it tongue.gif
But seriously - it would be a good thing you know...maybe?


--------------------
Lead me not into temptation - I can find the way myself...
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Andrew Cockburn
post Jan 9 2008, 03:29 PM
Post #7


Moderation Policy Director
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 10.459
Joined: 6-February 07
From: CT, USA
Member No.: 1.167



QUOTE (PlayAllDay @ Jan 8 2008, 07:39 AM) *
Yes!! A theory book from Andrew - which he can write in his spare time as he has so much of it tongue.gif
But seriously - it would be a good thing you know...maybe?


It has crossed my mind on occasion - the GMC Theory Guide, available at Amazon.com, what do you think???


--------------------
Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
PlayAllDay
post Jan 10 2008, 05:08 AM
Post #8


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 323
Joined: 30-September 07
Member No.: 2.909



Well I think that's a great idea - you have away of putting things that is easy to understand. What does Kris think???


--------------------
Lead me not into temptation - I can find the way myself...
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
JVM
post Jan 10 2008, 05:15 AM
Post #9


Learning Roadie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2.878
Joined: 2-June 07
From: Raleigh-Durham, NC
Member No.: 1.984



QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Jan 9 2008, 02:29 AM) *
It has crossed my mind on occasion - the GMC Theory Guide, available at Amazon.com, what do you think???


I also think its a wonderful idea biggrin.gif What would it include? Everything you have in your "where to start" section once it's all filled in?


--------------------
Gear: Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster, Gibson '67 RI Flying V, Mesa Boogie F-30 112 combo, crazy pedals.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Paul Coutts
post Jan 10 2008, 12:33 PM
Post #10


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 325
Joined: 7-October 07
From: Dubai (for now), from Scotland
Member No.: 2.973



Awesome lesson. I had no idea how to harmonize...although I knew how to build up chords etc....writing harmony lines is pretty much the same...revelation! Thanks Andrew!
(An Amazon book would be a cool idea, I think)
Cheers!


--------------------
Gear - Ibanez RG350EX, Ibanez RG220DX, ESP LTD MH250, Line 6 PODx3, Laney TF100, Ibanez SM7, Ibanez RG ?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Crazyfret
post Feb 19 2008, 01:07 PM
Post #11


Learning Roadie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 468
Joined: 26-November 07
From: Marple
Member No.: 3.381



Great article Andrew smile.gif

I decided to put theory into practice in my last collab and did a harmonised double tracked solo part which I was really pleased with.

Here's the track if you have not heard it

Attached File  Crazyfret__Ballad_WBT.mp3 ( 1.95MB ) Number of downloads: 317


This post has been edited by Crazyfret: Feb 19 2008, 01:08 PM


--------------------
"I am playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Andrew Cockburn
post Feb 21 2008, 01:19 PM
Post #12


Moderation Policy Director
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 10.459
Joined: 6-February 07
From: CT, USA
Member No.: 1.167



That was pretty good crazyfret - sounds like you understood harmonies pretty well - I particularly liked the way you shifted fromo 3rds to 4ths (was it 4ths?) in the harmonized section - cool track!


--------------------
Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Crazyfret
post Feb 25 2008, 06:20 PM
Post #13


Learning Roadie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 468
Joined: 26-November 07
From: Marple
Member No.: 3.381



QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Feb 21 2008, 12:19 PM) *
That was pretty good crazyfret - sounds like you understood harmonies pretty well - I particularly liked the way you shifted fromo 3rds to 4ths (was it 4ths?) in the harmonized section - cool track!


Cheers Andrew smile.gif. Gonna try and expand on this area and experiment some more just love the sound.


--------------------
"I am playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Sentenced
post Apr 21 2008, 12:04 AM
Post #14


Learning Roadie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 151
Joined: 16-November 07
From: Germany
Member No.: 3.308



Hello,

I have a question. Its because i have met harmonizing in some of the lessons here at GMC already. When i remember correctly in those lessons it was explained to harmonize by shifting everything up e.g. 3 frets higher. Ok, but now i read here that the intervals dont stay the same, because the notes have all to be in the scale. So if move just everything 3 frets higher i am using the same intervall for all notes and thats gonna be a wrong harmonisation?! Sorry for my language. I hope you understand what my problem is. rolleyes.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Andrew Cockburn
post Apr 21 2008, 01:02 PM
Post #15


Moderation Policy Director
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 10.459
Joined: 6-February 07
From: CT, USA
Member No.: 1.167



Hi there sentenced - yes, moving a fixed number of frets is not a correct way to harmonize, think of it as a fixed number of steps in the scale instead.


--------------------
Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Sentenced
post Apr 21 2008, 01:14 PM
Post #16


Learning Roadie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 151
Joined: 16-November 07
From: Germany
Member No.: 3.308



Ok, i see, thx so maybe kris should make that clear in his 1 on 1 lesson:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar-harmonizing.htm

Great Theory lesson by the way.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Andrew Cockburn
post Apr 21 2008, 03:02 PM
Post #17


Moderation Policy Director
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 10.459
Joined: 6-February 07
From: CT, USA
Member No.: 1.167



Ahh, I see - well Kris is talking about something slightly different there - he is using fixed intervals for harmonization, that is a good technique for getting a certain kind of sound, and can be used in a more rythmic type of way for chord construction - chards used fixed intervals throughout.

My harmonization comments are in the context of following a melody in a song which is a little different, and follows the scale rather than fixed intervals. So we are both right smile.gif


--------------------
Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Nick Kellie
post Apr 21 2008, 11:21 PM
Post #18


Instructor
*

Group: Members
Posts: 537
Joined: 8-March 08
From: North West UK
Member No.: 4.492



crazyfret - are you from Wigan in UK ? (i know there is a wigan in USA too)
I am from Wigan too - well I live in Standish.....

Nick
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 


RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 18th January 2017 - 09:23 PM