Music is one of those things that as long as you play, you can never truly master. Sure you may be great in one aspect, or at one specific technique, but there is a whole other sea of techniques, most of which you may never have even heard of. One of those techniques may very well be the double stop boogie.
In this article, we’ll go over the basics of double stop boogie for bass guitar so that you can start to understand just how this certain technique can be used in your music.
Well, despite the name, the double stop has absolutely nothing to do with stopping a note. In fact, the stop part of the name refers to depressing (fretting) a note, note actually stopping it at all. A double stop is simply playing two notes on two adjacent strings as one, then either picking, plucking, or strumming them together as one note.
For instance, if you were to play a double stop on the high E string, you would have no choice but to use your B string as your double stop because there are no other adjacent string to choose from. If you fret the first fret of the E string, giving the note F, you would have to also fret the first note of the B string to get the note C in order to make it a double stop.
This means that the name simply refers to the amount of strings simultaneously fretted and played as one note within a melody. This can also be referred to as a harmony.
A double stop isn’t very difficult, but it may be difficult to find proper usage for it. Playing boogie music is a great way, as the boogie is a slow, meandering type of rhythm and makes it easy to use simultaneous notes, or double stops.
Another style of music that makes good use of the double stop is the blues. In fact, Chuck Berry may very well be one of the first guitar players to have utilized the double stop in his playing, and he definitely was the guitarist who popularized its musical usage.
The best way to get familiar with playing double stops is by practicing double stops. Try playing some scales that you know well, and add a double stop to each note. Notes on the low E string will have to have the A string as their double stop, and as we showed above, notes on the high E string will have to have the B string as their double stop.
But other than that, you have two choices for each string, and can use whichever one you feel sounds the best for that particular place within the scale. Once you feel that you are familiar with using double stops, try creating some licks and some riffs. Remember to keep it simple until you are comfortable, have fun, and good luck with your double stop bass guitar playing!
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