The Cure’s “Heaven”-ly Jangle

It would make sense that two notes played together would sound twice as full as one sounded alone. On the guitar, however, this often simply isn’t the case—two notes typically sound several times huger, particularly if one is a ringing open string. This is no secret to the Cure’s Robert Smith (and his on-again, off-again lead guitar foil Porl Thompson). Like many great Brit rockers, these guys totally get the art of jangle. They understand how to make a rock song sound airy and three-dimensional by adding vibrant open-string guitar riffs such as this one. Inspired by Smith and Thompson’s work on “Just Like Heaven,” the melody in this phrase sounds primarily on the second string. The juicy jangle is courtesy of the droning high-E string.

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