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In Deep: Improvising with Two-Note Harmonies, Part 2

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.

Last month we delved into the subject of two-note harmonies, often referred to on the guitar as double-stops, for use in building solos and harmonized melodic ideas, and we looked at the use of thirds within the C Dorian mode (C D Eb F G A Bb). This month, I’d like to continue our investigation of two-note harmonies, using thirds, fourths and fifths.

Strumming double-stops on adjacent strings facilitates the performance of harmonized melodies up and down the fretboard in a way that easily enables one to incorporate harmonized lines into solos or rhythm parts. The technique also offers guitarists an excellent way to emulate harmonized horn or vocal lines.

This month’s examples are based on the A Dorian mode (A B C D E F# G), which is a great mode to investigate because it can be found at the heart of the melodies and improvised lines in so many classic rock songs, such as the Allman Brothers Band’s “Whipping Post” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” Santana’s “Oye Como Va,” and many others.