Watch the Power Pop: 9 online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Guitar Cubed

At the other side of the bridge Guitar 2 created is Guitar 3 and what an octave-devised ride you’re in for. Weighing in at 32 bars Guitar 3 throws all kinds of two-part harmony ideas nested in organizational tools first discussed in the beginning of Guitar Cubed as well as, you guessed it, motivic development. Let’s take an in-depth look at the first 8 bars to get a taste. In doing so, make sure you have the chart close by as you will need to view all three parts vertically to keep up with the geek.

After an introduction like that you might be surprised to see Guitar 3 starts off with just a B octave for the first two bars. Straight up, too, with no slides. The intention here is the B is acting as a pivot point or pedal tone to counter the movement in Guitar 2 where the G and D octaves are played. All together you have the formula for a G major triad: G (1) B (3) D (5).

Things get going in bars 3 and 4 where that same B octave now joins in on the sliding technique employed throughout by lowering down a whole step to A on the upbeat of 1. That A is serving as a 5th to the D/F# chord it’s played over, which creates momentary tension given the G played in Guitar 2. No worries, the G grace note slides down to the more chord friendly F# at the upbeat of 2 (I did say it was momentary). So for the remainder of bar 3 it’s all D major chord tones--an A (5th) in Guitar 3 and an F# in Guitar 2 (3rd). That same ping pong of tension and slides just explained happens once again in bar 4. The thing to dig is the B played in Guitar 3 in bar 4 at the upbeat of beat 4, which makes a nice melodic move to what’s gonna happen next.

Much like bar 1 sat static on the B octave providing a 3rd over the G5, bar 5 sees the octave go up a half step to C (though most of bar 4 Guitar 3 played an A, remember, the last upbeat was a B). This completes another triad formula over a chord, albeit a different voicing setup. Over the F5 the C is a 5th and in Guitar 2 the A is the 3rd. Previously in bar 1 at this same juncture in the motive bar 5 is developing Guitar 3 held the 3rd of the G while Guitar 2 played the root. Take note: In Guitar 2 at beat 3 of bar 5 the E octave is a major 7th over the F5. Major 7’s are a common and powerful sound in this style, so be sure to take a mental note and utilize this sound when constructing your own octave melodies.

In bar 7, coming off another quick melodic approach note from the last upbeat of bar 6, Guitar 3 goes back to a static B octave. This time the B serves as a 5th to the E5 chord while Guitar 2 drives the G# home starting at the upbeat of 2. All the action leads us into the final eighth bar where now infamous ascending chromatic riff is treated with yet another variation two octaves above the original idea played in Guitar 1. Even though the riff idea has a tritone at the downbeat like Guitar 2 you’ll notice the fingering is a little different. This is due to the unique inverted nature of a tritone where switching the order of the two notes does not change the quality of the interval. A tritone is a tritone is a tritone, I guess. Well, it’s actually a b5th and when you invert one it’s still a b5th. Check it out: G#-D (Guitar 2) is no different than D-G# (Guitar 3). In regards to the latter, remember G# is the enharmonic of Ab--the real b5 in D. That said, in Guitar 3 the tritone played at the 12 position has the D at the bottom and that’s only a whole step below the next note in the riff as opposed to a major 3rd as was the case in Guitar 2.

As you can see there’s a lot be taken from Guitar 3--this was only a look into the first eight bars! Be sure to really listen to the video portion of this segment as there’s much more to explore.