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Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #1 

Hello all, 

Just discovered Ted Greene one week ago, already purchased his book Modern Chord Progressions, and he talks about a double stop where you "come down with the tip of your finger right between two strings so as to sound them both." And he distinguishes it from a bar "there are certain types of cases... that it is more advantageous to flatten your finger across both strings instead of trying to come down between them in the manner of a double stop"

Is this even a real thing? My fingers are very thin and can fit right in between the strings while barely hitting either, and this is on a steel string. He suggests practicing on a nylon string, no way my fingers are thick enough to do that.  

Do you angle your wrist in a way that causes your fingernails to point towards the body of the guitar? He emphasizes that you will create more skin, but that's only if I'm able to hit two strings in the first place. Does he really mean fingertip? Thoughts? 




Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #2 
Try the tip of your finger at more of an angle- where your hand is almost sideways. 

Also, watch some videos of Ted's left hand. That should help.

Ted was such a beast. 

There is no sound in space......

Posts: 1,773
Reply with quote  #3 
This is a very doable technique and I use it constantly. I can't even imagine playing a lot of very basic chords without this technique. It's second nature to me. I think I first learned this when Ted gave a seminar at GIT when I was attending in 1978. I used to teach, and I never found a student who couldn't learn this double-stop. 
If you're having difficulty doing this then I would suggest starting on chords that are high up on the neck, like above the 12th fret.  It's easier to do up there.  Once you learn the correct angle and the idea on putting your finger between two strings and not on just one of them, it becomes much easier.  Then you can do it for chords lower on the neck. Good luck.


Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #4 
Wow, fast responses. Very much appreciated.

One clarifying question, does the tip of the finger press against the lower string (such as the 6th string) and then the higher string (5th string in this case) is pressed down by more of the pad of the finger. Not flattened like a barre, but not quite on the tip?

Thanks for the encouragement and tips! I actually found it easier though to do double stops at the lower frets, they're coming along after some practice!

Posts: 197
Reply with quote  #5 
Originally Posted by austinef
One clarifying question, does the tip of the finger press against the lower string (such as the 6th string) and then the higher string (5th string in this case) is pressed down by more of the pad of the finger. Not flattened like a barre, but not quite on the tip? 

I'd say you're on the right track. I had a tough time with this technique at first too, probably because I was mainly a 'classical' guitarist and was so used to "proper" fingering. It was just a matter of doing it and eventually it got to be natural.


Posts: 337
Reply with quote  #6 
Your finger tip is more like an oval than a circle, yes?  Normally when you play, the longer "side" of the oval is parallel to the string.  But for the double stop, you want it more diagonal to the string so that you can get more of the length of the oval between the two strings.  Another trick is to squeeze the strings together with the right hand a little so there is a little less distance between the strings.  This is not ideal since you are essentially putting the strings out of tune a little.  But it is a cheat that can help you get started with the technique.

Also, our normal way of playing is for the fingers to be arched and the joint that has the fingernail to be nearly perpendicular to the fretboard.  With double stops, you want to experiment with playing a little flatter.  The finger is still curved but a little less so.

Everyone is different and the double stop may simply not work if you have really tiny fingers and play a normal size guitar.  I once had a football player for a student with enormous hands.  He couldn't NOT double stop!  He got the biggest nylon string guitar he could find and still struggled to press one string at a time.

Posts: 455
Reply with quote  #7 
Many of Ted's students heard the following advice:
"Just keep trying it and your fingers will get it"  meaning keep doing what you're doing and gradually what doesn't seem to make sense at first becomes natural.

When you come upon another challenge like this from Ted, just apply the same rule. (Like playing two strings, on two different frets, with the same finger . . .)

"May the force be with you."
"Live Long and prosper."

"Use the forum."   [smile]

Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #8 
Heavy strings will help with this too, since your finger won't push them apart as much.

Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks everyone! A little stunned but very appreciative of the number of replies on and members on this forum.

Update: definitely difficult but I'd say my double stops are coming along! At first I had just never heard or seen such a thing and wanted to check in with the rest of the world to see if it was even possible for the layman guitarist.

It still feels blasphemous to me as I watch my fingers do double stops! haha.
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