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Layering Guitar Parts


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This is probably a quite random question, and maybe not even the right place to post. I'll ask anyway and hope it is.

I'm a self-taught guitar player (and not a very good one) but in terms of song writing, I've always be interested in the structure. The main thing I don't understand is layering of different parts. Say you had a guitar playing a B5 chord which was distorted (slightly punk/rock style), and then you had a guitar riff over it. What notes can be used in the guitar riff? Do they have to relate to the B5 chord and match some sort of key?

Any answers are really appreciated, I hope I haven't asked it too confusingly. :)

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This maybe should have been asked in the guitar forum, but since you asked from a songwriting perspective I'll leave it here and try to approach the answer as such. In that sense the question is not confusing so much as it is incomplete...

So, a B5 chord is about as simple as it gets... B-F# and maybe B an octave higher. If all your doing is jamming on a B5 chord, pretty much anything goes as far as note choice. More immediate concerns in creating parts that go together would be the tone of the instruments and rhythm of the individual parts. But I will further presume that you intend your song to have a vocal part, so whatever is going on there would affect your note & rhythmic choices as well...

For example, let's say you're jamming on the verse section of a song using the B5 chord, and the singer is singing in E Major. Depending on how busy the vocal part is, you might not be able to do much riffing while the singer is singing, but even playing sparsely, the lead guitar could imply a chord progression over the static B5. For fill riffs between the vocals you wouldn't necessarily have to stay in the key of E Major, but there would still likely be certain notes you would want to avoid depending on what notes the singer uses to end and begin her phrases.

I hope this answer is not too confusing...

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This is probably a quite random question, and maybe not even the right place to post. I'll ask anyway and hope it is.

I'm a self-taught guitar player (and not a very good one) but in terms of song writing, I've always be interested in the structure. The main thing I don't understand is layering of different parts. Say you had a guitar playing a B5 chord which was distorted (slightly punk/rock style), and then you had a guitar riff over it. What notes can be used in the guitar riff? Do they have to relate to the B5 chord and match some sort of key?

Any answers are really appreciated, I hope I haven't asked it too confusingly. :)

The simple answer is what ever you think sounds good!

Do you know much about keys and scales? In the context of a whole song it can be helpful to know a bit about them as a starting point for making melodies/riffs

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  • 3 weeks later...
what ever you think sounds good
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, was hoping for some deep and meaningful insight lol
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