Double stops are two note melodic phrases that add rich, harmonic flavor to solos, hooks, and motifs. In these free guitar lessons, Robbie Calvo will show you some great double stop moves to broaden your vocabulary through performance studies, highlighting the use of double stops throughout.

Below, you’ll find a guide to the different types of double stops (3rds, 4ths, 6ths, etc.) and performance studies inspired by R&B and beyond. And, if you’re still looking for more double stop inspired playing, make sure to check out the full course on TrueFire. Let’s get started:

Types of Double Stops: Demonstration

Download the chart and diagrams for this lesson on TrueFire.

In this double stops guitar lesson, we’ll be looking at major and minor 3rds, 4ths, major and minor 6ths, and octave double stops. I’ll show you where they’re located within your major scale patterns in position and along the length of your fretboard so that you can flow easily through them all in any given key. I’ll also advocate that you focus in small group areas and establish some core licks and moves around a given chord or progression. You may find that some of these ideas become signature moves within your playing style.

Double stops have become a major part of my style and playing now, and I’ve found that really enhances my live performances when I’m playing solo, as the double-stops have more harmonic and melodic content and seem to fill out the sound more in that musical context.

Combining 3rds & 6ths: Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this performance on TrueFire.

Mixing our major and minor 3rds and 5ths will open up a whole new sound and ideas for you…let’s check that out!

R&B Tonality – Minor Flavor: Overview

In this guitar lesson, I’ve created a backing track using an A7 groove. This means the harmonic structure is bluesy and dominant in flavor. I’ll show you some typical moves from within a minor framework and some of the major framework ideas we’ve discussed in the previous sections.

You’ll hear how the minor approach sounds typically bluesy whereas the major/dominant approach sounds sweeter and more “in”. Mixing these two elements is going to give you lots of ideas – almost infinite – so let’s explore some of them and then you can go to work on finding some lines of your own.

R&B Tonality – Minor Flavor: Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this performance on TrueFire.

Let’s take a listen to some nice double stop moves over this static A7 chord vamp. This will give you ideas that you can transpose to other dominant chords. Remember that everything we’re doing in this course can be used in any key, you just need to know what shapes and intervals relate to each chord.

R&B Tonality – Minor Flavor: Breakdown

I’ll be taking what appears to be the A minor pentatonic shape at the 5th fret and showing you some nice double stop 4ths and 6ths in position. I advocate that you learn these shapes in position and reference the A7 chord to check your tonalities. How you approach this artistically is going to be key – you have to “own it”. If you don’t, the phrasing and articulation may come off sounding out of tune or out of context. Let’s take a listen.

R&B Tonality – Mixing Flavors: Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this performance on TrueFire.

In this performance, I’ll be mixing major and minor tonalities to create nice melodic double stop hooks and motifs. Let’s take a look.

R&B Tonality – Mixing Flavors: Breakdown

We’ve seen all of these moves in previous segments, but let’s make sure you can hear and see the flavors of major and minor tonalities and how we can combine them for our own improvisations.

R&B Tonality: Double Stops & Single Notes: Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this performance on TrueFire.

Here’s a nice performance using single note melodic hooks combined with a few double stop 5ths and 4ths, something I do a lot as part of my personal style of playing.

In the full version of Robbie Calvo’s Double Stop Chops, you’ll find even more applications and examples of using double stops in every facet of your playing. And, as always, the course includes all the multi-angle video guitar lessons with tab, notation, and jam tracks to help you along the way. Let’s get choppin’!