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Blues Guitar Lessons: Double Stops 2

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like that.
If you listen to the radio, rhythm and
blues radio, or even rock radio,
or whatever radio they had back then,
1961, you might have heard that song.
That was a golden era for radio,
where they actually played
blues as a part of the mix.
That was Freddie King's immortal
guitar classic called Hideaway,
that was a little bit
different take on it.
But what caught people's attention,
especially guitar players,
was he threw a lick in there.
Use the Robert Lockwood 9th chord.
then he went
Now that lick ran the entire length
of the neck, and it was really fast.
And it was the kind of thing
that later on, decades later,
you heard Eddie Van Halen do Eruption.
You say, what the?
How did he do that?
It had the similar effect back in 1961.
The guitar player said,
wait a minute, what?
What's going on there?
Now Freddie King played with
a thumb pick and a finger pick, so
he snapped those notes.
Using two fingers like that.
I use a flat pick and my bare finger.
Now, he uses the open string and you have
to do that when it's going fast like that
but the point is not the lick.
I'll show you the lick in a second.
The point is the sound.
What is that sound?
And the sound is sixth intervals.
Now, we just got done messing
with third intervals and
there's a lot of information
to absorb there.
You've got the seven note scale.
The dominant scale.
You're harmonizing the scale,
with the note a third below,
and you come up with all these shapes with
two fingers, and two frets, one fret.
It takes a minute, it takes a minute.
And you start to hear melodies, and
you listen to Chuck Berry, say okay,
I hear the third intervals there.
And then you start to hear them all over
the place, they're extremely common.
The same thing is true of sixth intervals.
And we have already employed sixth
intervals in a couple of different places.
Remember this?
Yeah, that wasn't very long ago.
Well, those chords
if you take out the middle note
that, ladies and gentleman,
is a sixth interval.
So we've been using it in
the context of rhythm parts.
We've also used it
in our turnarounds.
Those are sixth intervals as well.
So, what is a sixth interval,
and how can you apply it?
A sixth interval is, in theory, the same
exact concept as the third interval,
except that the distance
between the two notes is wider.
So, If I take the same scale that we used,
G dominant scale,
as we would use in blues,
dominant chords, dominant scale.
[SOUND] With third intervals [SOUND],
I harmonize the top note, the melody, with
the note that was two steps below in the
scale, which comprises a third interval.
Now, I'm going to harmonize that
melody note [SOUND], same note,
with the note that's six steps down.
One, two, three, four, five, six.
[SOUND] Now,
if I was to go through the scale and
do the same process on each note, I would
arrive at the harmonized scale in six.
And so on.
Time consuming,
I don't need to do all that stuff.
All I have to do is learn the shapes.
And so
the way I'm going to play it is like this.
I'll use [SOUND], first finger on the G.
Second finger on the third string,
which is B [SOUND], and it's
it's like I'm playing a little piece of
the chord there.
Now to pick it,
I'd have to separate the notes.
I can strum it by muting
the middle string, but
it's more common to pluck
the notes separately.
Downstroke with the pick,
upstroke with the finger.
And just by following the shapes, I'll
show you the shapes, you'll hear them.
And that way, you don't have to
go through the scale routine.
You just memorize the pattern.
So think of this as on separate frets.
Two notes on the same fret, fifth fret.
I'm gonna keep my second finger on
the third string the whole time.
And I'll just switch between my first
finger and my third finger, as needed.
Go up two frets, same shape.
Now, separate frets,
first and second finger.
Same fret, same fret,
different frets, different frets.
So if you think of them as shape
number one and shape number 2,
it would be one, two, two,
one, two, two, one, one.
Whatever works as kind of a way
of memorizing the order, and
it works obviously in the same
So I'm playing the
playing the melody, the scale,
in two places at once,
and that forms that little
harmony, which we know as the double stop.
So, that's the principle of it.
Now, as with third intervals,
here's the tricky part.
When I'm in the key of G, and
I'm playing my twelve bar, and
I go to the four chord C7, I have to
play those intervals based off of C.
I have to understand the difference
between G seven and C seven.
They represent two different
scales in this case,
the key center idea doesn't work.
So I have to say, if I'm on G
and then I go to my C chord,
what's gonna happen?
I have to change that note [SOUND],
to that note [SOUND], to fit the C.
There's my C sound.
It's the same shapes, it's just I'm
starting from a different tone, and
so it changes the way I
see them on the neck, but
it's the same shapes in the same order.
If I start from the root of the chord,
identical, identical.
And then back to G
So the, kind of, the pain and suffering
aspect of learning sixth intervals is
to play those patterns,
up and down in all the keys.
And learn how the shape number one,
shape number two, how they fit together.
And after a while, it's so
repetitious that it just sinks in, and
you see it, and
it's really not hard to follow.
We've got the experience of
playing our rhythm parts.
[SOUND] I find a G.
There's a sixth interval right there.
[SOUND] There's the sixth interval there.
[SOUND] There's C.
So that gives me a leg up.
I've also got
my turnaround.
So I can sort of call back on things
that I'm already familiar with and
help me kind of cement
this idea in my brain.
Now, Hideaway.
What was Hideaway?
Well, he was playing over an E chord, and
I use a different fingering there,
I use my third finger,
second finger, and
then first finger, second finger,
[SOUND] same shape, [SOUND] same shape,
[SOUND] same shape [SOUND] open.
All right,
something like that.
So, what made Freddy's thing so
cool was it was so fast, and
he just zipped up and down the neck.
And when you practice it, you don't have
time to think about that, at that rate.
You just have to memorize the pattern and
just get your hand to snap into position.
Now, we'll use it in a slightly
more reserved way for the moment.
And I'm gonna play a solo for
you, in the key of G [SOUND].
And sort of give you some ideas for
how these sixth intervals can be moved
around the neck, and played over
the different chords, and it will talk.
was I
more or
less on
I didn't really plan out where
I was gonna go with that.
I had a basic theme in mind,
and then just went from there.
And because I know the shapes and
I've played the connections enough times,
I can sort of anticipate where
I'm gonna go as it develops.
So the idea was, now,
phrasing wise what I'm doing is I'm
playing these in a very typical style,
which is pluck the third string.
And then pluck the first string.
You separate the strings.
And it emphasizes the melodic
quality of the phrase.
This is something that you hear not
necessarily in blues, as in rhythm and
Think of the soul songs that came out
of Memphis in the 1960s,
Otis Redding, and so on.
Guitar player Steve Cropper was famous for
playing sixth intervals.
But it's certainly part of
the blues spectrum as well.
because I'm playing out
of the diatonic scale,
the dominant scale, the seven note scale,
my melodic ideas, they sound more melodic,
I guess,
than you might think in a blues context.
Where you've got that scale in the middle
that's sort of a compromise scale, and
you're shading it this way or that,
when you're playing the sixth intervals,
you're committing directly
square on to be major.
Another typical phrasing idea,
slide up, slide down and
then play the same basic.
Listening for my resolution,
how do I get to the next chord.
Another typical phrasing idea.
And a straight
up turn around.
And to be honest with you I can't
remember exactly where I went after that.
But I was using all the same ideas.
And just kind of as
the chord change approaches,
as we talked about when we were talking
about playing from one to four and
from one to five and
using the thirds and the sevenths.
That's exactly what I'm doing.
I hear the chord change coming and
I say, okay, here I come.
Here comes the chord change.
Where are we gonna intersect?
And let me make the adjustment
that's necessary to nail it down.
That takes a little bit of practicing.
You go back and forth and try it out,
and you make mistakes, and
you come up with solutions.
[COUGH] I did something in there,
I cheated a little bit.
I think, I crossed over, and
I put the melody on the second string.
And harmonize it on the fourth string.
Same exact ideas, just the shapes,
you have to then cross over the neck and
learn a different set of shapes,
but that comes over time.
You can,
If you're drawn to this sound,
I really like that sound,
so I put the time in,
because I just wanna be able to do that.
And I find that it's very useful when I
play over anything that has changes other
than one, four, five, cuz with the sixth
interval I can immediately nail
the new chord sound without using a scale.
It helps me kinda get to the heart
of the matter more quickly.
So we'll see that in action, [COUGH]
a little bit further down the road when we
play some progressions that have
other than one, four, five in them.
But there's an example for you, and I'll
make sure that you've got access to that
thing, so you can study it a little bit.
I'd like you to play a solo for me and
send it to me that includes thirds and
I'll say and/or sixths,
meaning if you really like
the sound of thirds, just work it,
and come with a one or
a two chorus solo that uses
those thirds up and down.
If you like the sixth, you can go
ahead and work with that, but ideally,
give me one chorus of thirds and
one chorus of sixths, and
listen to the difference in the sound.
The thirds are gonna be more
aggressive generally, and
the sixths will be more open and melodic.
But they're two different colors,
and they really give you a variety.
I like to use them as just a break from my
standard single note stuff all the time.
So think of this as adding
to your palette of sounds.
It's just gonna make you
a more well-rounded player.
Have fun with that one,
and we'll come back and
talk about another variation
on that same idea.