Don’t let the term diatonic harmonic interval scare you; it simply means two notes from the same scale played at the same time. Harmonic intervals are particularly useful on the acoustic guitar because they lend heft to single-note lines, especially up the neck, and they are staples of blues, country, R&B and traditional Spanish and Latino music. In a previous lesson we discussed one such interval (the third), and this time we’ll look at its cousin, the sixth.
Love Mumford and Sons? Joni Mitchell? Led Zeppelin? Patti Griffin? Have you tried to play their songs but just couldn’t make them sound quite right? Welcome to the world of alternate tunings. Not all songs are written for, or played in, the standard E-A-D-G-B-E tuning. Alternate tunings open up a whole new world for guitarists willing to look beyond the standard tuning, offering the possibility of creating combinations of notes not previously available, or only available to those with enormous hands.
In past lessons we’ve spruced up rhythm patterns by adding extra notes to chords, and by inserting bass lines and scale runs. This time around the subject is intervals, specifically thirds. Here we give you some practical examples of how to put thirds to work for you. In fact, thirds in particular are real workhorses, frequently used by guitarist, R&B, rock, country and blues.
These videos are bonus content related to the December 2013 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.
Most of you are probably familiar with the two-beat “boom-chick” style of rhythm playing so prevalent in classic country music. You may be surprised to learn that the groove that drives, say, Hank Williams’s “Your Cheatin’ Heart” is not that far removed from the one that drives a funk song like the James Brown instrumental “Night Train.”