Melodic Chords

July 1, 2007


A crucial ingredient of this combined lead/rhythm approach is major and minor seconds—whole-steps and half-steps, respectively. These intervals are present in just about any melody you can hum. In chordal situations on the guitar, open strings are very handy for generating harmonic seconds, as The Edge just proved. (If you arch your fretting fingers and let Ex. 1’s notes ring, you should hear the pleasing clang of a harmonic major or minor second in each bar measure.) Inspired by Steve Lukather’s harp-like guitar hook on Toto’s “It’s a Feeling,” Ex. 2 ups the ante and brings many more seconds to the party. How many can you count?

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