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Double-Stop Soloing

In today’s lesson we are looking at how to incorporate double stops (two notes played together at the same time) into your soloing vocabulary. The examples show here are an extract from the brand new book Melodic Rock Soloing For Guitar. Also included in today’s lesson is a free backing track!

Most of the time when we improvise on the guitar, we use single-note phrases to create licks. A common way to add variety to solos is to play two-note double-stops. To hear double-stops in action, listen to the solo from the Wind Cries Mary by Jimi Hendrix, which is a wonderful demonstration of both double-stops and single note Blues-Rock ideas.

Double Stop Soloing – C#m Pentatonic ‘B’ and ‘E’ Strings only

This example shows the scale of C# Minor Pentatonic scale on just the B and E strings. Learn each pair of notes as double-stop shapes, and play them with your eyes closed as soon as you have committed them to memory.

Double Stops - Example 12a

Double Stop Soloing – Sliding Double Stops

Now you have learnt these double-stop patterns it is time to write a lick with them. The first approach we will look at is to use slides as they are an effective way to move between each position.

Double Stops - Example 12b

Double Stop Soloing – Hammer-Ons

The next idea combines the shapes in the first example with single-notes. Bar four is reminiscent of Hendrix’s playing, especially in his solo in The Wind Cries Mary.

Double Stops - Example 12c

Double Stop Soloing – C#m Pentatonic ‘G’ and ‘B’ Strings

The following example shows the C# Minor Pentatonic scale on just the G and B strings. Slowly learn the double-stop pairs with a metronome set to 80bpm. You can play all the ideas in this chapter with Backing Track seen below.

 Double Stops - Example 12d

Double Stop Soloing – Slides PT 2

This example explores a sliding pattern between the double-stops. Although simple, this approach can form the basis of many longer double-stop licks in your own solos.

Double Stops - Example 12e

Double Stop Soloing – Rhythmic

The next idea shows that by adding a rhythmic pattern, double-stops can become a useful soloing tool. Watch out for the Hendrix-style hammer-ons at the end of bar four.

Double Stops - Example 12f

Backing Track

Here is a backing track to accompany all of the double stop examples shown in todays lesson. It is in the key of C# minor. Enjoy!

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Simon Pratt Guitar Teacher

Author - Simon Pratt

Simon Pratt attended the Guitar Institute (now called the Institute Of Contemporary Music Performance) in London where he excelled in his Diploma of Popular music performance and graduated in 2005. His passion for funk music continued while studying privately with top funk player and editor of Future publishing magazines Jason Sidwell. Always keen to learn, Simon has attended…

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5 responses to “Double Stop Soloing”

  1. Chris says:

    Looks like I need to get another one of your books. Each one is the best I’ve seen on the subject (I have several… like 7 or 8). It’s like guitars… who counts after 3? Keep up the good work and I’ll keep buying these things.

  2. Rich says:

    Another fantastic and meaty lesson Simon! Thanks so much for sharing your brilliant understanding of guitar and how to put it all together.

  3. Thomas Brown says:

    Great lesson but i cant find the backing track

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This guy really knows how to write an instruction book that is actually useful. After buying a few titles on Amazon and being disappointed, Joseph’s books have been by far the most useful (at this time I have three of his books).

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