Double Trouble with Double Stops

Chuck Berry - Double Stop Demon!Want an easy way to double your guitar solo notes? Double stops will get you out of trouble! Double stops on guitar are when 2 strings are ‘”stopped” by the fingers to play 2 notes together. The most famous guitarist who uses double stops extensively was Chuck Berry. Many of his tunes including the hit song Johnny B Goode use double stops in the intro and throughout. Double stops can help to vary your lead guitar playing by adding 2 note chords (AKA Dyads) to your solos. In this guitar lesson we will look at several ways you can use double stops in your lead guitar playing.


Chuck Berry Riffs
One of the most famous riffs in rock n roll is the intro to Johnny B Goode. This riff features a repeated double stop that is slid into on the first 2 strings. This part of the intro sounds great and is easy to play only requiring 1 finger. Many other Chuck Berry tunes use this double stop and it is copied by many others including the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and Guns n Roses.

Double Stop - Johnny B Goode Intro

In the chorus of Johnny B Goode another commonly copied double stop is the riff played between the lines “Go Johnny Go Go Go!”

Double Stop - Johnny B Goode

The final example of a Chuck Berry style double stop lick is one using a double top bend on the 2nd and 3rd strings as featured in the song Carol & Back in the USA

Chuck Berry Double Stop Bends

Double Stop Slides
Apart from bending double stops you can slide between them just as you can with single notes. A great example of this is David Gilmour’s solo from the intro to the Pink Floyd classic Wish You Were Here. Here is a lick in the style of the song. Watch the fingering below to ensure that the lick can be played smoothly and effectively.

Double Stop Slides

Major Scale Double Stops
So far the examples have been based on the minor pentatonic scale. However double stops can be played in other scales too. The following example shows the G major scale played using double stops which results in it being harmonised in 3rds.

Double Stop Harmonised 3rds Major Scale

Here is an example of a lick similar in style to the intro of Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison that uses double stops to play 3rds with the G major scale.

Double Stop Brown Eyed Girl

Hendrix Style Double Stop Hammer Ons
You can also incorporate hammer ons with your double stops. Jimi Hendrix was a master of this technique creating chordal style riffs and licks in songs such as The Wind Cries Mary, Castles Made of Sand and Little Wing.

Double Stop Jimi Hendrix Style

Now you know how to double your guitar solo notes with double stops there will be no trouble stopping you rocking!


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