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3 Ways to Utilize Two Guitarists (or More)

September 24, 2013

ImageGuitar players seem to be a dime a dozen, so there’s a good chance your band has more than one guitarist. The question is, how do we get those guitars to gel together? If that’s you, here are a few ways to use those two axes to your advantage.

1 ) Lead And Rhythm – This is the most obvious method other than just doubling parts. One guitarist will typically vamp or strum away at the chords while the other guitarist plays melodic lead lines that are usually higher in pitch. This will obviously happen during a guitar solo, but it can used in other places as well (such as verse interludes).

2 ) Harmony – You need only to listen to any song by great bands like Iron Maiden, The Allman Brothers, Boston or Dragonforce to hear harmony guitars taken to their peak. Though often neglected, guitar harmonies can make a great impact on your songs. Try pulling off a harmonized solo.

3 ) Chord Inversion – Bill is playing an open A chord? Then have Chad play an A barre chord! In other words, the guitarist can play the same chords, they just need to use different inversions of that chord for some spice. One good way is to use a capo. Guitarist A can play without a capo, while Guitarist B plays the same chords using different shapes on a capo. For example, Guitarist A can play a standard open G chord (no capo), and Guitarist B will put a capo on the 5th fret and play a D chord shape (which results in a G).

My advice: Don’t stick to one method. Use ’em all! Keep it fresh and change it up. If you are one of your band’s guitarists, get together with the other guitarist and work this stuff out. It the practice that happens off the stage that matters. Give it a shot! if you have any ideas that I missed, let me know by posting in the comments. Thanks for reading!

By Noah Copeland

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