Double Stop Technique | Hub Guitar

Double Stop Technique

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Let's talk about double stops.

This is the name for the technique of playing two strings at once with the pick.

You can use this to play intervals up and down the neck, like major and minor thirds. Just play one interval across two strings, then let each note go up to the next note in the scale. Like this one in E major.

You can also use it to play patterns across strings. This is often used to play fourths in the pentatonic scale.

Practice this technique and whenever you come across a need for it, you'll have no problem with the execution.


  1. Fret the needed notes, normally on two adjacent strings
  2. Using the pick, pluck both notes at once with a downward moton
  3. Take care to avoid unwanted noise from other strings

What is a “Double Stop”, Anyway?

A double stop is two notes played at once, typically with the pick. This term comes from a similar technique for violin. Since a double-stop occurs on two adjacent strings, it will usually take shape in the form of an intervalAn interval refers to any melodic distance between any two pitches. that is comfortable to fret. Thirds and fourths are both common, though other intervals aren’t unheard of.

Let’s begin our study of the double-stop technique by playing diatonic thirds up the fourth and third strings, in the key of E Major. The progression will contain two types of third: the major third and the minor third. The type of third will be determined by which fits into the E major scale. From E to G♯ is a major third, but from F♯ to A is a minor third.

Double Stop Example #1 – E Major

Because the pentatonic scale can be easily played as double stops, the technique is often used with pentatonic scales. Let’s try using a G major pentatonic scale from the second fingering.

Double Stop Example #2 – G Major Pentatonic Scale

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d natural
a natural
e natural
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g natural
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Exercises

  1. Play the “E major” double stops all the way up and down all four string pairs.
  2. Play all five pentatonic scale fingerings using double-stops (fourths and thirds).
  3. Play pentatonic double stops up all four string pairs, as in the major scale example.

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