Orchestrating the Guitar

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This is my first post, pretty excited about it.

I've been studying guitar pretty heavily for the last couple years and I've run into a stylistic question that I was hoping you guys could discuss and maybe point me in the right direction. I have this idea of 'orchestrating' the guitar in the sense that you aren't playing a straight chord progression, but instead breaking up the chords and accentuating the progression with triads and lines. What I'm trying to accomplish here is a style resembling Hendrix, in the sense that he could play the changes without sounding like he's playing straight rhythm guitar. He even went further to inject lead lines in his playing in a similar fashion.

Let's get a discussion going on this, I think it's a pretty interesting idea.

Tanner B!


If by "orchestrating" you mean breaking down chords into triads and such then you need a good foundation in harmony to carry this through into something meaningful when you are playing. My playing evolved over many years to the point now where I don't really think about chords in the sense of the typical shapes we all know. I think of chords as just the couple of essential notes- an E7 only really needs the b7th and 3rd, everything else is optional.

Dewey Decibel

Are we there yet?
Silver Supporting Member
Pick a chord voicing, find notes around that chord voicing that work, make lines from those notes.


Silver Supporting Member
It's a very common practice in jazz, in chord melody playing, as well as in embellishment of chord accompaniments.
In a sense, jazz guitarists do something like this all the time. (It's only rock and folk guitarists that bang away on the same chord shape for several beats at a time...)

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