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Double Stops: Elevate Your Guitar Playing with this Essential Technique

Introduction to Double Stops

One of the most underrated techniques in music is playing double stops. It is a technique widely used in styles like rock, blues, jazz, and country.

Even though it may sound complex, it is a straightforward technique that can add a new dimension to your music. In this article, we’ll define double stops and how versatile they can be.

We’ll also delve into how you can play riffs with double stops, including some famous examples and our suggestions that you can learn from.

Definition of Double Stops

Double stops refer to the technique of playing two strings together on a guitar. It’s a technique that involves playing two notes simultaneously to create a harmony in your playing.

This technique is used to create chords, triads, riffs, and melodies in your music, making your sound richer. Double stops are mainly used in arrangements, but they can also be used in solos.

Versatility of Double Stops

Double Stops are versatile, and they can be used to add texture and variation to your playing. They can be used to create chords, triads, and melodies in your music.

In creating chords, you can use double stops to add color to your chords, making them sound fuller and more complex. Triads are also achievable using double stops.

Triads consist of three notes played simultaneously. Double stops can create two of the three notes that make up a triad.

As for melodies, double stops can be used for harmonization to create an accompaniment to the melody.

Playing Riffs with Double Stops

Famous Riffs Using Double Stops

One of the most famous riffs using double stops is the riff from “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison. The riff consists of playing the notes E and G simultaneously.

Another famous riff using double stops is the intro riff from “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple. This riff uses power chords, which is a type of double stop where the root, fifth, and octave notes are played together.

The guitar riff from “Frankenstein” by Edgar Winter is another famous example of a riff using double stops. This riff consists of playing two notes simultaneously, creating a harmonic tone.

“Money For Nothing” by Dire Straits is another famous song that uses double stops extensively. The song’s intro riff plays the notes E and B simultaneously, followed by the notes A and E.

Examples of Double Stop Riffs

If you want to learn how to play double stop riffs, here are some examples to get you started:

Pop Tune: A good introduction to playing double stops is playing pop tunes. A good example would be “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding.

The song has a simple chord progression that uses double stops. G minor: A more advanced example would be playing a riff in G minor.

A good example would be the riff from “Sweet Child o’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. The riff consists of playing two notes simultaneously and then sliding to the next two notes.

Eddie Van Halen: Eddie Van Halen is known for his guitar playing, and one of his iconic riffs that use double stops is “Ain’t Talkin’ bout Love.” The riff consists of playing double stops while also adding a melody line on top of it. Paul Gilbert: As for Paul Gilbert, one of his famous riffs that use double stops is “Fuzz Universe.” The riff consists of a complex melody played using double stops.

Conclusion

In conclusion, double stops are a versatile technique that can add a rich texture to your music. They can be used to create chords, triads, riffs, and melodies, making your sound more complex and appealing.

As we’ve seen, there are many famous riffs that use double stops, and we’ve also given some examples of riffs you can learn. It’s a technique that may take some time to master, but with practice, you’ll be able to create more interesting music.

Playing Harmonies with Double Stops

Harmony is an integral part of music. It refers to the complementary notes that form an intricate part of a melody.

Playing harmonies on a guitar using double stops is an excellent way to add richness to your playing. In this section, we’ll define harmony, give examples of harmonized melodies, and provide a framework for creating harmony lines in the key of C.

Definition of Harmony

Harmony refers to the simultaneous sound of two or more notes played together to create a pleasing effect in your music. In guitar playing, harmonies can be created by playing complementary notes together, resulting in a chord or a harmonized melody.

Harmony is used in various genres of music, including rock, jazz, and folk.

Examples of Harmonized Melodies

Harmonized melodies are a great way to add depth and complexity to your guitar playing. Several famous songs use harmonized melodies, one example being “God Gave Rock and Roll to You” by Kiss.

The song’s intro consists of harmonized guitar parts that use complementary notes to create a pleasing effect. Another example is “To Be With You” by Mr. Big.

The song’s main melody is harmonized in the chorus, resulting in a catchy and memorable sound. Learning how to play harmonized melodies using double stops is a valuable skill for any guitarist.

Framework for Creating Harmony Lines in Key of C

Creating harmony lines in the key of C requires understanding the basic principles of music theory. To create harmonized melodies, you need to understand how to play complementary notes together, resulting in chords or harmonized melodies.

Here’s a framework you can use to create harmony lines in the key of C:

1. Determine the key: The first step is to determine the key of your melody.

In this case, we have chosen the key of C. 2.

Identify the chords: To create harmony lines, you need to identify the chords that will harmonize your melody. Triads are a common type of chord progression used in harmonized melodies.

3. Select the complementary notes: Once you have identified the chords, you need to select the complementary notes that will harmonize your melody.

In the key of C, the complementary notes for each chord would be C E G for C major, D F A for D minor, E G B for E minor, etc. You can play these complementary notes using double stops.

4. Play the harmony lines: Once you have identified the complementary notes, you can start playing them along with your melody to create harmonized melodies.

Learning Your Intervals

Intervals are an essential aspect of music theory. They refer to the distance between two notes or pitches.

Learning your intervals is an important step when it comes to guitar playing as it helps you understand music more effectively. In this section, we’ll define intervals and go through the different types of intervals you should know.

Definition of Intervals

Intervals refer to the distance between two notes or pitches. They are measured in half-steps, with one full step being equal to two half-steps.

Understanding intervals is important because it helps you identify notes and chords, as well as transcribe music more effectively.

Types of Intervals

There are different types of intervals based on the number of half-steps between two notes. Here are the types of intervals you should be familiar with:

– Unison: When two notes are played simultaneously, and they’re both the same, they are called a unison.

– Minor Second: A half-step distance between two notes is called a minor second. For example, C to C# is a minor second.

– Major Second: A whole-step distance between two notes is called a major second. For example, C to D is a major second.

– Minor Third: A distance of three half-steps between two notes is called a minor third. For example, C to Eb is a minor third.

– Major Third: A distance of four half-steps between two notes is called a major third. For example, C to E is a major third.

– Perfect Fourth: A distance of five half-steps between two notes is called a perfect fourth. For example, C to F is a perfect fourth.

– Augmented Fourth: A distance of six half-steps between two notes is called an augmented fourth. For example, C to F# is an augmented fourth.

– Diminished Fifth: A distance of six half-steps between two notes is called a diminished fifth. For example, C to Gb is a diminished fifth.

– Perfect Fifth: A distance of seven half-steps between two notes is called a perfect fifth. For example, C to G is a perfect fifth.

– Minor Sixth: A distance of eight half-steps between two notes is called a minor sixth. For example, C to Ab is a minor sixth.

– Major Sixth: A distance of nine half-steps between two notes is called a major sixth. For example, C to A is a major sixth.

– Minor Seventh: A distance of ten half-steps between two notes is called a minor seventh. For example, C to Bb is a minor seventh.

– Major Seventh: A distance of eleven half-steps between two notes is called a major seventh. For example, C to B is a major seventh.

– Perfect Octave: A distance of twelve half-steps between two notes is called a perfect octave. For example, C to C is a perfect octave.

Conclusion

Understanding fundamental music theory concepts like intervals and harmony is essential for guitar players. Playing harmonies using double stops adds richness and complexity to your playing, and creating harmony lines in the key of C can be achieved using a framework.

Learning the different types of intervals is also fundamental in identifying notes and chords and transcribing music more effectively. With practice and dedication, you can incorporate these concepts into your playing and become a better musician.

Final Thoughts

Double stops are an essential technique in guitar playing that can be used to create rich, complex sounds in your music. In this section, we’ll discuss the benefits of using double stops and provide some additional ideas for incorporating them into your playing.

Benefits of Using Double Stops

Using double stops in your playing provides several benefits, including simplifying your playing, embellishing your sound, and providing versatility to your playing. 1.

Simplify Your Playing: Double stops are a way to simplify your playing, giving you an option to play more notes while using fewer strings. This technique can help you keep your rhythm steady while also adding a complementary melody at the same time.

2. Embellish Your Sound: Double stops can embellish your sound by providing an extra layer of tone to your playing.

Whether you’re playing chords or melodies, incorporating a complementary note using the double stop technique can make your sound richer and more complex. 3.

Versatile Technique: Double stops are a versatile technique that can be used in a wide range of music genres, including blues, rock, country, and jazz. They can be used to create chords, harmonized melodies, and riffs.

Double Stop Ideas

If you’re looking for additional ideas to incorporate double stops into your playing, here are some suggestions. 1.

Arpeggios: Instead of playing the standard chords, try playing arpeggios using double stops. This technique allows you to incorporate complementary notes while playing the broken chords.

2. Bluesy Licks: In blues music, double stops can be used to create licks.

Try playing double stops on the lower strings while using your fingers or a slide to create a bluesy sound. 3.

Melodies: Use double stops to create complementing melodies with your chords. This technique can be used to create hooks and choruses that will make your playing more memorable.

4. Harmonies: Double stops can also be used for creating harmonies with your melody.

Try playing harmonized melodies with complementary notes to your melody using double stops. 5.

Combining Techniques: Don’t be afraid to experiment by combining double stops with other techniques such as vibrato or slides. This technique creates a unique sound that will make your style stand out from the rest.

Incorporating double stops into your playing may take some time and practice, but it’s a worthwhile investment that will enhance your playing skills and make you a better musician. With the benefits outlined here and the additional suggestions for incorporating double stops into your playing, there’s no doubt that this technique can take your music to the next level.

Remember to experiment, practice, and most importantly, have fun with it. In conclusion, double stops are an essential technique that can add richness, complexity, and texture to your guitar playing.

From creating chords, triads, riffs, and melodies to harmonizing melodies and playing harmonies, double stops have many applications across various genres in music. By learning your intervals and incorporating double stops into your playing, you can simplify, embellish and provide versatility to your sound.

Remember to practice and experiment with various techniques, and with time and dedication, you can elevate your guitar playing skills and become a better musician.

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