Delta Blues Lesson 3 -- Double Stops

With this Delta Blues video guitar lesson I show you how to add a familiar rock and blues double-stop into your growing arsenal of fingerstyle blues licks. If you don’t know the phrase “double-stop,” it just means that you’re playing two different fretted notes at the same time.

In the old language of musical instruments -- like from back in Mozart’s day -- pressing your finger down on a string anywhere on an instrument’s fretboard is called “stopping the string.” Consequently, when you put down two fingers, you’re doing a “double-stop.”

I guess that means that when you play a six-string barre chord, you’re playing a “sextuple-stop,” doesn’t it? Yes, but no one ever talks about sextuple-stops, at least not in public, so let’s keep that on the hush-hush.

Anyway, take some time to work this easy double-stop into your fingerstyle acoustic blues. And take it nice and slow, nice and easy. Picture yourself sittin’ on the back porch on a hot summer day, a nice, cool glass of lemonade at your side, watchin’ the paddle-wheels roll by on the Mighty Miss...

Click on this image to go to the video.Click the image at right to open the video guitar lesson in a new browser window, then refer to this window for the tab, notation, and tips.





Exercise 1

In the video I show you the basic double-stop phrase in Exercise 1. Notice the two notes with the little noteheads and the slash through the flag -- and the smaller-than-usual tablature numbers (2/3).

These are called "Grace Notes" and they are only there to show you where to place your fingers for the slide into the B and D notes (at the 4th fret on the third string and 3rd fret on the second string, respectively).

Grace notes don't actually take up any time, in a sense. Just put your fingers on them, then pluck them and slide up one fret to the B and D simultaneously with plucking the low E string with your thumb.

Here is how that is played:

Delta Blues Lesson 3, Exercise 1

Exercise 2

In Exercise 2 I add on to the double-stop, in this case, adding an open E note on the first string. Here is how that is played:

Delta Blues Lesson 3, Exercise 2

Exercise 3

In Exercise 3 I alternate that double stop lick from Exercise 2 with a phrase I taught in my previous video and lesson in this series, Lesson 2. Click here to see that lesson. 

Here is how Exercise 3 is played:

Delta Blues Lesson 3, Exercise 3


Click here to go to Lesson 2

Click here to go to the video for Lesson 1. 

If you have questions or comments, please reach out to me through my profile:
Adam St. James on

Find Out More:

Follow Us: on Facebook 
Follow Us: on Twitter 
Follow Us: on YouTube 
Follow Us: on Instagram is a free website, with an active and friendly forum community, lesson videos, guitar news, and the most in-depth interviews in the guitar industry. Join the community: Register for a free account today and post some pics of your guitars, videos of your band, or whatever you think other guitarists will find interesting.

Click Here To Register for a Free Account

Just can't get enough? Check out...