Harmonized Blues Lick using Double Stops
The Lick explained
Here’s a pretty straight forward double stop blues lick for you. Double stops, as you probably now by now, are two notes played together. These happen to be on adjacent strings but any two notes played at the same time are double stops. There are ‘thirds’ and ‘fourths’ in this lick — the 3-5 and 4-6 are thirds; the 5-1 is a fourth. If you count up from the lowest note of each, you’ll see why they’re called thirds and fourths: it’s the scale degrees we’re counting here. 345 and 456 are both groups of three numbers — thirds; 5671 is a group of four numbers — fourths. That’s the easiest way I know of explaining intervals. (Just to confuse you even more, that 4-6 interval can (and probably should) be seen as a 1-3 interval of a momentary D chord.)
You don’t need to know all this stuff, but playing becomes a lot easier and progress a lot faster when you do know. My PlaneTalk Package goes into all of this in a very user-friendly way and reveals the simple ‘trick’ to quickly seeing it all down there on the fretboard.
Back to the lick — Notice that I play all of the double stops as mini-barre chords. The first is done with my middle finger at the 7th fret; the other two are done with the index at the 5th fret. For the 3-5, I barre with the index (which gives me a b3 and 5) and hammer that 3 on with my ring finger.
This a great example of a ‘chord-tone’ lick. If you consider that 4-6 double stop to be the 1-3 of a D chord (which it i,s really), then all notes are chord tones. The b7 qualifies because the A is really A7, all others are 1s, 3s and 5s — chord tones. Seeing the fretboard as an array of chord tones is one of the most important lessons you can learn — if not THE most important — and it’s the main lesson PlaneTalk teaches, so order it now if you haven’t already. You won’t look back, I guarantee it.
Experiment with it all — try different sequences of the notes/double stops, listen to it all, review some of the other licks from this series and see how you can move between them, etc., etc. There is no end to how you can juggle these bits and pieces around. I know because I’ve been doing it for 53 years now and I’m nowhere near being done with it all.
Guitar Lick by Kirk Lorange
As well as putting together these guitar licks and lessons, I am also the author of PlaneTalk - The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Package, which teaches a mindset, a way of thinking about music and a way of tracking it all on the guitar fretboard. Yes, there IS a constant down there in the maze of strings and fret wire, a landmark that points to everything at all times. I call it The Easiest Yet Most Powerful Guitar Lesson You Will Ever Learn and many testimonials at my site will back up that rather superlative description. If your goal as a guitar player is to be able to truly PLAY the guitar, not just learn by rote; to be able to invent on the fly, not memorize every note; to be able to see the WHOLE fretboard as friendly, familiar territory, not just the first 5 frets and to do it all without thinking about all those scales and modes, then you should read more here.