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Twin Guitars Attack!


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Iron Maiden Style

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Maiden has always been a two-guitar band (recently a 3-guitar band) and they really know how to use that 2 guitar attack to full effect -- by using plenty of guitar harmonies. This has been a staple of the Maiden sound since the very beginning, as they were inspired by the dual-guitar work of bands such as Wishbone Ash and Thin Lizzy back in the late 70s. So let's take the single-note melody concepts we've been talking about in the previous lesson, and add the second guitar harmony to them.

A great place to start, and is the characteristic of almost all of Maiden's twin guitar harmonies - is moving the motif up a third in the scale. It's usually that simple. So simply think of where the original melody is in the scale, and then transpose all the notes up a third interval within the scale. You will also hear the harmonies on complete riffs made up of single note melodies.

Very occasionally, you'll hear them add a third guitar harmony using the 5th interval (play example). This really thickens up a the idea, and can add some tension if you are building towards a musical climax, as Maiden have used brilliantly over the years. Again, experiment with some palm muting as well to add suspense to the music.

So let's practice some twin guitar harmonies along with a simple backing track. For this runthrough with the backing track, you play guitar part no.1 and I will be the harmony guitar; then we'll switch roles, and you will play the harmony guitar parts (guitar no. 2) and I will be guitar 1.
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