In Harmony

by Ben Higgins

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  • Welcome to my lesson on harmonizing!

    What is a guitar harmony? It's when you combine another note or more along with your original note to produce a more musical, interesting tonality. We hear harmony all the time in music. Most of us will be aware of some of the more famous examples of harmonised guitar lines like the end solos of Hotel California, Iron Maiden's guitar melodies etc...

    You can create a harmony by using notes from the same scale or use notes which are outside of that scale. However, it's the first approach that we will look at here. Creating harmonies from notes within the same scale is a good starting point for getting a tuneful result.

    In this lesson we will harmonise in thirds. We will play a phrase and then we will play it a 3rd above over the original phrase.

    Let me give you an easy way to figure this out so that you can do this on your own with your own solos.

    Take any scale. Play the notes of the scale, counting the numbers 1, 2, 3 ,4 ,5 ,6, 7 as you do so. Now, all you have to do is count the number '1' on whatever note you're starting with. Now go to the next note of the scale and count '2'. Now go the next note of the scale and count '3'. There's your harmony note.

    Now you can use this approach anywhere in the scale. You don't have to start on the root note. This also works the other way. If you wanted to have a harmony that was a third below your main note, then do the same process as above but descend through the notes of the scale.

    Easy isn't it?

    This is a very simplified way of approaching harmony but it works and after a while you will find it easier and easier to create harmonies.


    Tempo: 90bpm

    Gear: Marshall JVM, OD1 Channel, Green setting

    Chords: G, Am, C, Dm, A#, D

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