Make Guitar Double Stops Sound Awesome | Lead Guitar Tricks

by Tom Hess


 
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One of the best lead guitar tricks to know when you play rock & blues lead guitar is guitar double stops. Specifically – how to do double stops on guitar WITH vibrato.

When you know how to play guitar double stops with vibrato, you can make guitar double stops sound awesome, gritty, and aggressive.

“Ok, great”, you say. “But how do I do it?”

Fortunately, you don’t need to be advanced to begin doing double stops on guitar with vibrato.

If you can play one pentatonic scale box and can do vibrato on just 1 note, you know enough to make guitar double stops sound awesome.

To begin, practice the lead guitar tricks I show in this video on how to do blues double stops with vibrato:


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Emotion To Any Guitar Lick
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If you can play one pentatonic scale box and can do vibrato on just 1 note, you know enough to make guitar double stops sound awesome.

Ready to begin?

Great!

Practice the lead guitar tricks I show in this video on how to do blues double stops with vibrato:
 


Now that you know the technique for doing double stop vibrato on guitar, here are a few more advanced lead guitar tricks to take your guitar double stops to the next level:


Guitar Double Stops Lead Guitar Tricks Idea #1: Learn The Pentatonic Scale All Over The Guitar Neck

Most guitar players only know 1 shape of the pentatonic scale … the very first one.

This creates a big problem when it’s time to play guitar double stops.

That problem is that it’s hard to know which notes you can combine together to create guitar double stops.

But there is a simple solution:

Learn *all* 5 shapes of the pentatonic scale.

It’s like this: the pentatonic scale has 5 notes.

And as far as playing guitar double stops goes, this means:

There are 5 pentatonic scale positions you need to practice and memorize. Each of these shapes begins from one of the 5 pentatonic scale notes.

The better you know all 5 of the pentatonic shapes, the easier it becomes to play blues double stops with vibrato.

The good news is: there are only 5 pentatonic scale shapes to learn.

Once you learn them – you can play blues guitar in all 12 keys.

And you’ll be able to create your own blues double stops with vibrato using these scale patterns - similar to the ones I just showed you in the video about playing guitar double stops with vibrato.


Question: “Tom Hess, how can I best memorize the 5 shapes of the pentatonic scale (and begin playing guitar double stops with vibrato and other lead guitar tricks) most quickly?”

Answer: There are many good ways that work (there is no one best way).

Here are a few of the best ways to memorize scale shapes:

- practice writing out the fingerings for the pentatonic scale shapes to get all your senses involved in memorizing the notes. (This will help you play guitar double stops much better than simply playing the scale shapes up and down.)

- practice memorizing scale shapes every single day (even if just for a few minutes). It’s better to do that than to try to work on this skill for 90 minutes per day on the weekend.

On that note:

- use your time away from the guitar to memorize pentatonic scale shapes faster.

This approach helps you memorize all lead guitar scales – not just pentatonic scale shapes.

Also, check out this lead guitar lesson about memorizing major scales patterns:
 


Guitar Double Stops Lead Guitar Tricks Idea #2: Study Harmonizing And Chords

The “secret sauce” behind the gritty sound of guitar double stops is…

The intervals between the notes you are playing together.

(This is one reason why double stop vibrato on guitar sounds more intense than regular single-note vibrato).

So, if you want to have an easy time coming up with lead guitar tricks and licks that use guitar double stops, you need to know 2 things:

1. What intervals you can use for your guitar double stops (that will sound good while staying in key).

2. What guitar double stops will sound best over the chords in the backing track or song.

This is how you make guitar double stops sound awesome.

Hint: the grittiest guitar double stops use imperfect intervals. Imperfect intervals are the intervals of a 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th (especially the major 7th). The intervals of a 4th and 5th are a lot more stable. (Hint: this is why they are often used in guitar riffs, but less often in lead guitar tricks or guitar double stops.)

When you play double stops on guitar with vibrato – you maximize the tension present in the interval between the 2 notes.


Question: “But Tom Hess, the minor pentatonic scale doesn't have the 2nd, 3rd or the (major) 7th! How can I use those intervals when practicing double stops on guitar with vibrato? Are these lead guitar tricks impossible to use in blues playing?”

Answer: You can use imperfect intervals when playing blues double stops with vibrato. You simply do it by adding other notes (that are not in the pentatonic scale) to create guitar double stops.

If you use the pentatonic scale for the rest of the solo – your playing will still sound bluesy (no matter what additional notes you use in your guitar double stops or other lead guitar tricks).

That said, you can also use other (non-pentatonic) scales to create your blues guitar solos.

Check out this video to see one example:
 


Advanced tip, when it comes to blues lead guitar tricks, you can use many techniques commonly not found in blues.

Take arpeggios for example. Most blues guitar players (like the ones you’re most likely to hear using blues double stops with vibrato) turn their nose at arpeggio playing in blues solos.

When you know what you’re doing you can use arpeggios in blues guitar soloing (without sounding like you are shredding or playing metal).

When you combine lead guitar tricks commonly found in other styles with more traditional blues-based lead guitar tricks (such as blues double stops with vibrato), the result is: excellent blues & rock guitar soloing that sounds uniquely your own!
 

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Guitar Double Stops Lead Guitar Tricks Idea #3: Advanced Lead Guitar Double Stops And Double Stop Bends

Want even more ways to make guitar double stops sound awesome?

Move beyond the unison double stop bends that every blues guitarist knows and start using advanced guitar double stops.

This video shows you how:
 


Question: “Tom Hess, how do I know which of these blues guitar double stops to use when in my guitar solos? I feel like I'm getting too many “weapons” in my lead guitar tricks arsenal.”

Answer: First, the better you know intervals – the easier it’ll be to decide which of the many blues double stops with vibrato to insert into your guitar licks. (That’s because you’ll know what notes are in what chords you are soloing over, and this helps you choose the ideal guitar double stops with vibrato to use in your guitar licks.)

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Second, these ways to make double stops sound awesome are equally valid. And that means: you should create a lot of variations on a single lick to experiment with all the ways to do double stop vibrato on guitar and play guitar double stops with vibrato.

Like this for example:

Play a guitar lick and insert one (or more) of the blues double stops with vibrato you learned in this article. Then pause and mentally play back the lick in your head. Ask yourself how much (on a scale of 1-10) you love the sound.

Then decide: should you keep this idea of doing double stop vibrato on guitar? Or should you replace it with another idea from your long list of ways to make guitar double stops sound awesome?

Go through this process many times until you are playing guitar double stops with vibrato you are 100% happy with.

Note: if you are unhappy with the sound of your guitar licks, it may be that what you dislike isn’t the guitar double stops variation itself, but rather: the way you do vibrato on double stops.

If that’s the case, read below and practice the following idea:


Guitar Double Stops Lead Guitar Tricks Idea #4: Make Your Guitar Vibrato Sound Great

The way you do vibrato on double stops has a significant impact on how much you’ll love the sound of these blues double stops with vibrato.

The better your vibrato, the easier time you’ll have learning to do double stop vibrato on guitar.

So, here are some tips for making your vibrato better (that apply perfectly to guitar double stops and help you do vibrato on double stops the best way):


1. Bend the strings when doing vibrato (instead of shaking the strings from side to side).

Rock (or blues) vibrato on double stops is about raising the note’s pitch (by bending the string) and then releasing it. Instead of shaking the string from side to side, you make the note flat. This not only does not sound like rock or blues lead guitar, but it also makes your vibrato on double stops sound soft and weak.


2. Sync your vibrato with the tempo of the music.

When you do vibrato on double stops, remember this: part of what helps you make guitar double stops sound awesome is locking them in with the song’s tempo.

So, when you practice vibrato (whether it’s on guitar double stops or single notes), think about what note values you want the vibrato to be in and do vibrato with that rhythm.

Watch this video to see how:


3. Use Delayed Vibrato

Most lead guitar players do vibrato instantly, like an opera singer. That means: they layer vibrato on top of a note the moment they play it.

And you can undoubtedly make guitar double stops sound fantastic when you do vibrato like this.

You should also add delayed vibrato to your bag of lead guitar tricks.

Here is how:

- strum the notes of your guitar double stops (or arpeggiate them), let the sound sustain for a moment, and then add vibrato to both notes.

- you can also play guitar double stops with vibrato this way: play your double stop (without vibrato), let it sustain, then hit it again and add vibrato.

Delayed vibrato with re-articulation is especially powerful in guitar double stops with vibrato that use string bends.

So, add it to your list of ways you do vibrato on double stops.


Guitar Double Stops Lead Guitar Tricks Idea #5: Learn Other Scales On Guitar (Beyond The Blues And Pentatonic)

You’ll have an easier (and more fun) time playing double stops on guitar with vibrato when you know multiple scales.

This is especially true if you learn scales that contain more than five notes. 7-note scales allow you to play guitar double stops with vibrato using imperfect (the most tense) musical intervals.

That said, there is one mistake you want to avoid when practicing other scales to help you play blues double stops with vibrato:

Learning scales on a surface level.

This means: only learning one shape of a scale and moving on to learn more scales.

This way of “learning” is a waste of time. It doesn't add anything to your bag of lead guitar tricks (because you can’t honestly use any scale you “know” in only one position on guitar).

And this doesn't help you to make guitar double stops sound fantastic.

A better approach?

Take your time and learn all shapes of the new scale before you start learning another new scale.

Create dozens of guitar licks using the new scale. Discover lots of ways to do vibrato on double stops using that scale.

And after you are satisfied, you can genuinely use the scale you learned and play double stops on guitar with vibrato using licks from that scale; then, it’s time to look for more new scales.

This approach will help you make guitar double stops sound fantastic and make all guitar scales usable in the rest of your guitar playing.

Now that you know how to make guitar double stops sound awesome, the next step is to learn even more ways to add fire and expression to your lead guitar playing.

I show you how in my free eGuide “How To Add Fire & Emotion To Your Guitar Licks, Even If You Can’t Play Guitar Fast Yet”. Grab your copy today and discover the lead guitar playing secrets most guitar players will never know.


Tom HessAbout Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He teaches rock guitar lessons online to students from all over the world and conducts instructional live guitar training events attended by musicians from over 50 countries.

Become a better guitar player much faster with the world’s most effective electric guitar teacher online.

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