Advertisement
Online Test Banks
Score higher
See Online Test Banks
eLearning
Learning anything is easy
Browse Online Courses
Mobile Apps
Learning on the go
Explore Mobile Apps
Dummies Store
Shop for books and more
Start Shopping

How to Play Double-Stops on the Guitar

Guitarists begin by learning how to play only single-string melodies. Learning how to play double-stops on the guitar lets you use the whole neck to express your musical ideas. In fact, playing double-stops is a great way to play in harmony with yourself.

A double-stop is nothing more than two notes that you play at the same time. It falls somewhere between a single note (one note) and a chord (three or more notes). You can play a double-stop on adjacent strings or on nonadjacent strings (by skipping strings). You don't need to do anything special in fretting the notes of a double-stop. Fret them the same way that you do chords or single notes.

Playing double-stops on the guitar is a great way to enhance your playing. Double-stops make your guitar melodies sound sweeter and richer and your riffs sound bolder. After you've learned the basic mechanics of playing a double-stop, you'll want to devote some time to practicing this technique so you can use it to its fullest.

There are two general ways to play double-stops: You can play double-stop passages using only one pair of strings (the first two strings, for example) — moving the double-stops up and down the neck — or in one area of the neck by using different string pairs and moving the double-stops across the neck (first playing the 5th and 4th strings, for example, and then the 4th and 3rd, and so on).

Playing double-stops up and down the neck

For this exercise, start with a C-major scale that you play in double-stop thirds (notes that are two letter names apart, such as C-E, D-F, and so on), exclusively on the first two strings, moving up the neck. The following figure shows this type of double-stop pattern.

image0.jpg

To follow this pattern, start with your index finger for the first double-stop. (You need only one finger to fret this first double-stop because the 1st string remains open.) Then, for all the other double-stops in the scale, use fingers 1 and 3 if the notes are two frets apart (the second and third double-stops, for example) and use fingers 1 and 2 if the notes are one fret apart (the fourth and fifth double-stops, for example). With your right hand, strike only the 1st and 2nd strings.

Playing double-stops across the neck

Playing double-stops across the neck is probably more common than playing up and down the neck on a string pair. The following figure shows a C-major scale that you play in thirds in open position, moving across the neck.

image1.jpg

Again, this figure doesn’t show the fingerings for each double-stop. But you can use fingers 1 and 2 if the notes are one fret apart and fingers 1 and 3 if the notes are two frets apart.

Especially common in rock and blues songs are double-stops across the neck using two notes on the same fret (which you play as a two-string barre).

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement
Advertisement

Inside Dummies.com

Dummies.com Sweepstakes

Win an iPad Mini. Enter to win now!