Watch the Double Stops Licks: 1 online guitar lesson by Johnny Hiland from Ten Gallon Guitar
Now that we’ve learned the double stop exercises, we will cover some licks. Double stops are everywhere. It doesn’t matter what key you play in, you can find a double stop that works. One of my favorite licks uses my fingernails for a lot of this on the right hand and ghost notes (watch the video for a sample). This scale is very fun … its not really a scale but it sound scale like in its own way since it flows low to high. Before we go through this whole thing, there are guys in Nashville that use just parts of this, like my guitar hero Ray Flacke, where he’ll use just the first two positions. So the double stops that we started in A (which if 5 and 4), we are going to walk into that. So, we’ll be on 4 and 3 walking into 5 and 4. Then I hit a ghost note, on the 5th fret (low E string). Now, I’m going to change finger positions so my 1st finger is on the A string (3rd fret), and the 2nd finger is on the D string (4th fret) and then we’ll slide that up a half tone, and I’ve ghost notes the 4th fret with my 1st finger (basically I’ve just deaden the note). Try that back and forth. It’s got a really cool, fun sound to it. If you crank up your amp, and more of your pick up it can sound really spanky. You can use the first two parts of that scale to create your own lick with it. I have started many a solo with that lick there by itself.
Let’s now carry on the whole thing. Let’s start by playing the first half of the lick we just learned. We’ve ended with the 1st finger 4th fret (A string), 2nd finger is on the 5th fret (D string), now we will slide down with a bar from the 6th to the 7th fret on the A and D string. I’m ghost noting before that and after that. We are going to slide down again. Our 2nd finger will be on the 6th fret (D string), 1st finger on the 5th fret (G string). So 6th fret and 5th fret and sliding into the 7th and 6th. When you get into this section you are going to find you’ll want to ghost note on the A string which is ok to do. We are going to do the same finger position, but slide it down to the G and B string. We’ll be sliding down from the 5th to the 4th fret into the 6th and 5th. Now, I ghost noted again on the D string this time, which is up above the double stop we are working with. Try playing up to that point. Then we’ll hit another ghost note and we’ll end up with a bar on the 4, sliding into a bar on the 5 (n the B and E). We can end that actual scale there, like I taught, but you can connect that to any other lick that you want to finish it off. You could go back down to A in another registry if you wanted to. Can you continue that since double stops can be continued? Yes, I carried that with my knowledge of how A works on the actual G and E string. Yes, there are double stops there (you can use string skipping in double stops) but what is cool is that I hit a ghost note again on the G string. Then I slide from the 8th to the 9th fret on the G and E string, hit a ghost note again on the G, slide up again. Slide from the 9th and 11th fret on the B and E string up to the 10th and 12th fret. Then hit a ghost note again on the B and slide with a bar from the 13th and 14th fret on the G so I can get back to carry the A horizontal bar scale back down if I wanted to. So, you can then connect all that together. Now, that we’ve accomplished all of that, let’s play it a couple times very slow and then speed it up. Its very hard to get the percussive sound when played slow. Sometimes, I recommend you practice something like this at the highest speed you can, even if it doesn’t quite sound good. It is brain to hand coordination or connection that you want to maintain. I always to try find licks that connect to each other so you don’t have to jump all around the fret board and you can play without looking at the frets. Everything on the fret board can be connected. In the double stops realm I like to do that. I like to teach that every A connects to itself. You can connect every A without lifting my fingers off the fret board. I like to think that way when playing the double stops.
Next, let’s go to a double stop lick which goes from a higher register to a lower register. When I’m thinking double stops, I’m thinking about scale patterns and A note to A note to A note. What I’m mostly thinking is how these actual scales connect. When we discuss the actual vertical A scale, these scales can work on every string set on a horizontal way as well as vertically. So when we play this scale (in the video 9:17) that can be played on the B and E string only the A is on the 10th and 9th fret and we are starting with a different fingering. Then again, the formula I gave you before still applies. Or you can carry it down to a lower register. Every string set, B and E, B and G, G and D, they all have a set of A scales within themselves. You have to know where all of those are as well. I used to sit for hours and just practice the horizontal A scale over the E and A string. Then play it over the A and D string. Then in the D and G string, the A is on the 7th and 6th fret. Then the G and B and the B and E. The reason I am showing you all these scales is to help you realize these double stop scales are everywhere. It does not matter what key you play in or how you approach them, but it is important that you know where these different A sections are so you can connect one to the other.