Watch the Duffy's Edge: 9 online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Guitar Cubed
Back in Rifi Hendrix a new concept for Guitar 3 parts was introduced and that was making these leads parts more like bonified third guitar parts as opposed to solos. Sure, you’re still taking a lead, but with not so much departure from Guitars 1 & 2. Duffy’s Edge once again blows through the 16 bar chart (called a chorus) twice giving you 32 bars of rocking ideas to dig on that's all about The Edge for the most part. It’s not until the final eight bars do you feel like Guitar 3 is really stepping up the plate and “soloing”. And, by that time, the unison bends sound epic and fit into the mix nicely.
The first eight bars is sparse--that means space, baby!--but not at the expense of taste. The rhythmic placement of the harmonics as well as the note choice complements Guitar 2 extremely well. As always make sure you have your charts close by so you can view these multi-part instances vertically to analyze how they work off each other.
Swinging over to the next eight bars (9-16) you have a jangly arpeggiated sequence (think “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”) that very purposefully targets one of the support parts--this time Guitar 1’s top note movements. But, remember that movement was treated with some nice counterpoint in Guitar 2 so in essence all of these parts are working together. Take note of the breathing room Guitar 3 gives in bars 11-12 and 15-16 where the upper structure 1st inversion A triad is played on the first two beats of those measure pairs and that’s IT.
The second chorus sees the approach over the eight bar tribal beat section change completely as compared to the first run with sequences of palm muted perfect 4ths that climax into chimey natural harmonics that may remind you of “New Year’s Day”. This is followed by “Sunday Bloody Sunday” style A Mixolydian melodies that make use of a droning hi E string.
It’s not until the final eight bars where you let it all hang out with classic-rock-huge unison bends, but even then you’re locked into the vibe of Guitars 1 & 2 (did you ever hear The Edge depart from a tune and just go off?). When playing these series of unison bends be sure to keep your fret hand 1st finger in place as that is the anchor and what your measuring your intonation against. If you’ll be playing on a guitar with any sort of tremolo system, you can try applying pressure to the bridge with your pick hand palm to keep the bridge from dipping forward and wreaking havoc on your overall intonation of those bends. With a little practice, it works. Just don’t press too hard!