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Double-Stops occur when two strings need to be struck simultaneously. While it happens very frequently in Finger Picking, it also happens a lot with the use of a pick.

How to execute a Double-Stop

Finger-Picking Double-Stops

Double-Stops are fundamental when it comes to fingerpicking. You use them in almost every single song. They occur on non-adjacent strings more often then not and you should be prepared to strike not only two but three or sometimes 4 strings simultaneously (a triple or quad stop?).

Guitar Picking Double-Stops

Double-Stops with a pick are almost always on adjacent strings, and are executed by simply picking both strings with one motion. In which case the double-stop does not occur with adjacent strings, you can mute the strings inbetween(see below).

Double-Stops with muting

You can also play Double-Stops on nearby strings by muting the in-between strings with your left hand. Like this, for example:

e|--------------|
B|--------------|
G|-------7------|
D|-------x------|
A|-------5------|
E|--------------|

Tablature Notation

There is no actual symbol in tablature to indicate double-stops - they are inferred. Here is an example:

e|----------4------|
B|-----------------|
G|-------5-------7-|
D|-------3-------x-|
A|----------3----5-|
E|-----------------|

Notice that double-stops can occur on adjacent strings or non-adjacent, and that the fret positions can be anywhere (but are generally close to one another).

Example Riffs

A riff from Iron Man - Black sabbath:

e|--------------------------------|------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------|------------------------------------|
G|--------------------------------|------------------------------------|
D|5-------8-------8---10--10------|13-12-13-12-13--8---8---10--10------|
A|3-------6-------6---8---8-------|11-10-11-10-11--6---6---8---8-------|
E|--------------------------------|------------------------------------|

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