Contrast in Music for Guitar

Another way to incorporate some variation in your songwriting is to add contrast.

3 types of musical contrast

  • Rhythmic contrast: changing the rhythm to add to or take away energy from the same melody
  • Melodic contrast: making a statement then answering that phrase with another
  • Harmonic contrast: playing the same melody but then repeating it with different chordal accompaniment


rhythmic contrast

rhythmic contrast tab

The second one is more upbeat, but the idea is not lost


With this example you use the same idea and the same notes and you end up going back to the root. But you change the way you get back to the root.

melodic contrast

melodic contrast tab


With this example you have the same exact melody but the chord accompanying it (the harmonic accompaniment) varies for a different feel or added interest. You can experiment with varying harmonies to add different contrast to your song.

harmonic variation

harmonic contrast tab


  1. adam says

    Hey Jane sorry about that. I put links there but because I’m about 20 years behind in that I’m still playing MIDI on my site (which is ridiculous) the player doesn’t support embedding them anymore. So I’ll have to update soon to mp3s. Hope this helps in the meantime.

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