How To Use Harmony Notes In Thirds For Your Guitar Solos

Joe Satriani playing guitar

How To Use Harmony Notes In Thirds For Your Guitar Solos

Learn how to use harmony notes in thirds for your guitar solos.  These can also be used in playing rhythm guitar as well.  The more you know about the notes on your guitar fretboard, the better understanding you will have of music.

Harmony notes

Harmony notes are two notes that can be played together to add depth to your guitar playing.  They can be played when creating rhythms as well as in creating guitar solos.  Using them in guitar solos is what we will focus on in this lesson today.

Utilizing this kind of technique can add color and emotion to your guitar solos.  Not to mention your enhanced fretboard knowledge.  Because to use these notes, you need to know where they are located on different guitar strings.

The major scale

In order to find out what notes we will be using for this technique to be valuable, we need to learn the notes of the scale.  That way we can pick put the proper notes to use.  In the key of C (we use C because it is the easiest to understand) we have the notes C D E F G A B C.

If we give each one of these notes a number value, we can clearly see that there are 8 notes.  The C is 1, the G is 5, the B is 7, etc.  By knowing this information we can see to play thirds we will be using the two notes C and E.  If we were to play in 6ths (the 1 and 6) what notes would we need to use?

Finding them on the fretboard

Now that we know what notes to use theoretically, we need to be able to find them on the fretboard for practical application purposes.  Without this, we only know it in theory.  That doesn’t do is any good as far as actually playing them on the guitar.  We need to know about finding them on the fretboard.

This is where learning your notes comes into play.  By learning the notes on all six strings, you’ll be able to find the notes you want to create with very quickly and easily.  No guesswork.  Through study and practice, you will know them without fail.

Thirds

Thirds are when you use the 1 and 3 of the scale that you are playing in.  For instance, if you are playing in the key of C major you will use the C and E notes.  You can play these together like a two-note chord or you can play them individually.  But you must know where they are located along the fretboard in order for you to benefit from using them.

Example in the key of C major.

Harmony notes in thirds

Harmony notes in thirds. Written in tab

In this example, we have the root note (the C note) on the bottom string and the third note (the E note) is on the top string.  You can play these together to create interesting phrases in your playing.

Watch the video lesson below

Harmony notes in other ways

In addition to using harmony notes in thirds, you can also use them in sixths and octaves.  Sixths would use the 1 and 6th notes.  In the key of G major, for instance, the notes would be G A B C D E F# G.  This would tell us that the notes we want to use would be the G and the E notes.

If we were playing in octaves, we would use the 1 and 8th notes.  Which we can see are the same.  That is why they are called octaves.  Two notes that are the same.  In this case, the two notes would be G.

Harmony notes in sixths.

Harmony notes in sixths

Above we have harmony notes in sixths on two strings.  The G note is on the 4th string and the E (sixth note) is on the 2nd string.  For these notes to line up easily on the fretboard we need to skip a string.  Play these two notes together or individually.  Either way, you’ll be able to come up with great ideas.

Harmony notes in octaves

Harmony notes in octaves

In this example, we have two notes in C.  This is the natural octave that occurs between these two strings.  Two strings down and two notes over you will always find the octave.  Multiple things can be done with harmony notes in octaves.

Commit to the craft

To fully understand the material presented in this lesson will take some time.  Commit to the craft and you will get there.  In being committed myself, I have written and published a book that can surely help you.  Lead Guitar Wizardry.  This method book is designed to teach you how to create your own guitar solos as well as learn those from your favorite players.

Lead Guitar Wizardry volume 1

Combine the study of this training manual with a regular daily practice routine and you will begin to develop skills you once thought were not possible.  Such kills as:

*Lead guitar basics

*Pentatonic scale patterns

*Major and minor key progressions

*Hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends, etc

*Alternate picking, harmony notes, and tremolo picking

*Transposing keys, music theory, reading notation, and the 12 bar blues

Along with a whole bunch more concepts and principle techniques to make you a lead guitar wizard!  Although you will have to study and practice.  But if you do, I guarantee you will learn how to do some wonderfully fun things on your guitar.

Lesson conclusion

Be sure to add harmony notes in thirds to your bag of guitar tools to help you create awesome guitar magic.  Remember, you can do them in sixths and in octaves as well.  Just refer to the lesson if you get stuck.  These can add depth and diversity to your guitar playing.

Make sure to learn your notes.  It will make playing these so much easier and also give you more enhanced fretboard knowledge.  And that my friend is always a good thing.  And if you haven’t already, be sure to grab my FREE action-guide “Guitar Solo Secrets” to help you get a head-start in the right direction.

If more help is needed about anything that I teach, just remember I’m an email away.  Contact me and I’ll help you out.

Keep practicing and until our next lesson, take care.

Sincerely, Dwayne Jenkins

How To Use Finger Dexterity Exercises To Benefit Your Guitar Solos