Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting/How do you arrange the sound of 3 guitars?


Dear Sir,

Suppose you need to arrange for three guitars which will accompany a singer for a pop song. In this case, do the three guitars play or strum the same notes? If not, what are the differences among these guitars?

Thank you.

Hi Liam:

Of course, a lot depends upon the  genre of the piece and the overall feel you desire, but there are many ways to
deploy three guitars as accompaniment.

If the selection is folkish or country oriented, one might choose something like:

guitar 1: nylon string rhythm
guitar 2 : teel string finger pick areggiated paterns
gutar 3: amp. guitar melodic fills ( or possibly bass guitar.

Heavier rock oriented songs pretty much demand the use of an electric bass and some sort of drum loop or sample in addition to a guitar
riff, ( w or w/.o some effects added and a screaming lead.

This is only one of many possible combinations available , but the end result should enable you to hear ALL the parts with no difficulty.

Hope this helps a bit!

Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting

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Phil Kelly


I`m a semi-retired professional music arranger with over thirty five years in all phases of the commercial music production business. I can try to answer questions regarding music arranging, theory, orchestration , and/or composition for most acoustic ensembles .( jazz band or orchestral ) I can try to offer suggestions about studio music recording procedures and some basic MIDI applications , too. In the course of my career I`ve worked with such artists as Doc Severinsen and the old Tonight Show Band, Bill Watrous, Buddy Greco, John Gary, Mel Torme, Julius LaRosa, as well as the Pop programs of the Fort Worth, Dallas, North Carolina, and Houston Symphonies, as well as library music material for ABC, ESPN, and NFL Films.

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