Creating Guitar Parts for a Guitar Ensemble

20131129174824eddie 3Playing guitar in a guitar ensemble can be a lot of fun, all the guitars together form part of the bigger ensemble. You may only play a handful of notes at a time but the overall ensemble creates a big sound.
For this article a few ideas you may be able to use for your own guitar ensemble arrangements.

The ideal situation for your arrangements is to get sheet music for whatever song you want to play and from this you may be able to create other parts for any of the other guitar players. Some songs come completely arranged for guitar including several parts which makes it ideal to preform in an ensemble set-up.

Dividing up Various Parts:

Let us look at songs where you have no sheet music and you just need to work with the original, recorded material. Your goal is the turn a song, originally written for vocals, into an instrumental version for guitar. All the various guitar parts will make up the sound of the overall song. Depending on how many guitars there are in your ensemble, you can divide the various guitars up into preforming different roles: Some guitars will mainly play vocal melody lines. Some other guitars may only be dealing with low notes as they will preform the bass parts of the song.  The main chords of the song can be divided up among various guitars. Avoid playing chords of more than four or five strings as this will make the sound too dense and cluttered. Be careful with where to play the chords, divide the chords up in several places among the fretboard to create an even and balanced sound.

Once you have all your parts in place you may still feel unhappy with the overall sound once you have played it a few times, this is normal as you may still want to adapt some of the parts to make them fit better into the overall sound.

Enjoy and hope to catch you soon again.