How To Use DOUBLE STOPS For Your Guitar Solos


Tommaso Zillio

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double stops guitar

A generic question that I am often asked:

"How can I make my guitar solos more interesting?

It’s a question that most guitar players have probably had at one point or another, and as you can imagine… there are a lot of different answers, very few of them particularly helpful.

But you see, that’s the problem with “generic questions”: we can only answer them with “generic answers”.

And generic answers really don’t help you get better at playing guitar.

On the other hand, if we get down to details, I could go on for thousands of years with all the different ways you can make your guitar solos better…

… so for today, in the interest of my own sanity and saving you thousands of years (you’re welcome), I’m going to focus on one.

“What is that one thing?” You ask, impatiently.

Good. You’re learning. That’s not a generic question anymore! It’s, in fact, a rather precise one!

So I can answer with a rather precise answer: that thing is double stops.

Have you heard of them before?

  • If not, great! Click on the link below, and I’ll tell you what they are and how to use them.

  • If you have, great! Click on the link below, and I’ll tell you how to use them, but NOT what they are (just cover your ears for that part). Wouldn’t want to waste your time!

Either way, that’s your video:

Want even more ways to make your guitar solos better? There are plenty more tips like this one in my free eBook on how to make better pentatonic solos, check it out!

Video Transcription

Hello internet so nice to see you. When we learn how to play lead guitar, we usually learn to play one note at a time. And that’s great, it works great. But as you guys know we can also play two or more notes at a time and so we can play what we call double stops.

Now I found that when people learn double stops, they can play single note lines they can play double stop, but they have problem integrating those two and making those double stops sound good? They’ve also had problems understanding where they can play double stop what notes go well together no problem right now we’re gonna see a lot about that.

Students some time ago asked me to review his lead playing and then we work on integrating the double stop so let’s go and see how to do that. I think my phrasing has become quite good. I want to see what’s next in phrasing.

Fantastic. Okay, so any key you like better than the better than the others? A minor is easy. Sure. Mine was easy but then I’m giving you something like that Alright. There are no mistakes so it’s pretty good. Yeah, yeah, yes, yes. Yes. Yes, that’s good. What do you think you’re weaker in phrasing.

I think they’ve the basics pretty much down it’s just sometimes I’m in the habit of doing one thing over another. So like slides hammer ons, pull offs, bends are pretty comfortable. Vibrato is if I go if I go wide, like really aggressive vibrato and I’m not very strong on that meant not very broad. I’m not struggling that I’m just starting out doing that. And then pinch harmonics. I tried to every now and then but it’s annoying to go through to start.

So let me hit a few bends. Same similar deal but try to bend everything The sound pretty much in general. Yep. So there’s there’s no problem there. Okay. I haven’t found a double slide or multiples live whatever if you’ve typed Yeah, okay. That’s very lucky.

It’s pretty good. It’s pretty good. I mean, considering our recently he started playing guitar these many years ago, I think double stops about those. Not very well well versed in double stops, like if I if I have to choose a specific double stop. That might not come like like this. Okay, first, I have to put the pick. But technique wise, it’s pretty okay. Okay, When I try to improvise, sure, only that will stop and they say oh, it’s going 123 and four.

Pretty good. The next tab is a sliding double stops. That sort of thing become interesting. So you can have stuff like that. Okay, sounds good. No. So what I’m doing here is index finger on the D. needle on the G. I’m hammering on on B to E to E.

Oh yes, yes, yes. So it’s hard to get the emphasis drive. Okay. That’s pretty much it makes sense. Yep. So I’m gonna slow down the backing track. Okay, because that’s more long easygoing thing when you’re to experiment with these and then you can improvise a single notes around but try to get back to that little leak just to have no idea what’s happening okay.

The good only comment I have is whenever you have want to stomp, hold that note longer longer because I mean if you want to cut it short, cut it really short. If you lost note you want to play staccato Yeah, and just cut it really short. Okay, get get to the end, oops.

But if you wanna hold it, hold it. Don’t Don’t do that. Another thing in between, okay, it’s either one or the other. Otherwise, it feels like a mistake. Right? Make sense? Either you hold it, and you make it or you cut it short. And then the silence and then in Boca, we do an accent dating. Staccato is an accent. So right? You just put a little bit of an accent dynamically, but I mean, even just right.

Okay, pretty much everything else is good. You need to get used to this kind of strange different phrasing if you want to double stop and apply the center and it sounds good in your hand. Okay, what kind of style you are going for? That’s tough question. I mean, I guess I keep the years ahead of me probably. So I take one at a time and knowing.

Dude, that’s the answer. I expected indeed. Okay, but yeah, who’s been going there? The tone is good, the fingers are frightening everything correctly, the no choice is good, you have a good rhythm. And again, I know you play the piano. So some of those keys are transferred from there, but you don’t have any evident problem.

Okay, so the thing you want to do at this point is take stock of where you are, okay? And decide where do you want to improve the most. So if you want to add more speed, or you want to add more complex scales or harmony, or you want to add more kinds of different kinds of phrasing, okay.

And yes, it’s not everything isn’t perfect, but again, the, the, the imperfections are quite minimal compared to the overall picture. Okay, so, if I were you, I will record a few solos, just improvise a few solos, wait for a few days, play them back and listen to them and then see what you like best and like worst about them, essentially.

And start practicing based on that. But I have no specific direction to to direct you in this in this moment. Because your balance? Yep. Okay. There’s no, there’s no big gap. Okay. You’re, you’re not a virtuoso yet. But you are balanced in where you are. Right?

Okay. Make sense? Yes. But that’s my, that’s my answer, right? Probably not what you were expecting. It’s not what the wife was expecting to give you. But you’re much better than they expected after after trying this insert. Yay. Fantastic. Congratulations. Thank you very much.

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