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Splitting Headache

Writing guitar melodies is always a challenge. It is near impossible these days to sound unique in a world where everything has already been done and over done. So, how can a guitarist sound unique these days? Well, one way that I like to create catchy guitar melodies is to write dual guitar parts. Using 2 part writing techniques like parallel and contrary motion, we can easily create some really nice sounding lines! Let’s take a look.

This first example is taken from an old song I wrote called “V.” In one channel I play a 16th note tapping sequence which out lines the cord progression ( Dmi, Bb, F, C ) carefully. Now, with the other part which I over dubbed, I tap out a lick in D minor pentatonic that has sort of a catchy feel. When you combine the licks, you get a very catchy sea of musical notes hitting you. The ending result is a melody which doesn’t leave your head for hours.

Part 1

Part 2

Put those 2 lines together and BOOM. Sounds pretty cool.

The next example that I am going to show you all is taken from the slow section of “Fortress of the Titans” at 0:37.  The lick starts out in a unison and then splits into 2 different parts. This creates an interesting and catchy passage before I explode into the main theme. This little section makes a nice breather after the explosive intro section.

Part 1

Part 2

Now that we’ve slightly dug into contrasting parts, let us move on to doing a cool unison lick. Nothing beats good old harmonizing. This is the lick from the end of my “Keeper” solo, by Dark Shift. The line descends in 3rd’s and ends in a unison. The harmony is a nice way to cool down the explosive solo and transition back into the vocal section.

(Note that the top and bottom are both separate guitar tracks played in harmony)

Unfortunately, this is all I really have time for this month. I hope I put some creative ideas in all of your heads. Everyone enjoy and I will see you all again next month!

Questions? Comments?


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