How to hold down two strings at once?

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Re: How to hold down two strings at once?

Postby John Knowles » Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:43 pm

There's one move that Chet could do that always escaped me. Make a C7 so that your 4th finger is on the 3rd string at the third fret. Now lay your 4th finger down to pick up the 2nd string. That move from C7 to C9 is pretty useful. Chet could go C7 to C9 to C7 while leaving the 1st string open.

I can go from C to C6 to C by flattening my second finger. I saw Chet and Lenny make that move. I saw Lenny make all kinds of partial, inside barre-chords to get the voice motion he wanted.

And let's not forget Jerry's pinky barre in Struttin'… three strings!

John
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Re: How to hold down two strings at once?

Postby mattburnside » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:48 am

John Knowles wrote:There's one move that Chet could do that always escaped me. Make a C7 so that your 4th finger is on the 3rd string at the third fret. Now lay your 4th finger down to pick up the 2nd string. That move from C7 to C9 is pretty useful.
...
John


That's a great one, John. He does that on "She's A Woman" at the end of the A section and it killed me to learn it, but it sure has come in handy. I never have mastered leaving the first string open with that trick, I guess I'll burn that bridge when I cross it or whatever.

I've frequently seen Chet wrap the thumb around to grab the 5th string on electric (you can see him do it at the very end of the "Mr. Sandman" video on youtube when he plays those amazing descending whole-tone scale chords), but it seems like when he was playing nylon-string he would just magically do something different and awesome without really thinking about it, one of those things I file under "he's Chet."

Thanks again for all your awesome work, arrangements, transcriptions...everything.
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Re: How to hold down two strings at once?

Postby albertgen » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:50 pm

Very well stated Craig, I first learned the double stop thing from Ted Green's fantastic chord book "Modern Chord Progressions" I still love that book although I haven't really found a way to use a lot of those progressions. But it is a great book for learning to finger chords. Ted Green teaches like Craig said, put your finger right down in the middle of the strings and gradually your finger will stop both strings. It does work but takes a long time. I think you should learn to play chords with the thumb wrap as well as the grand bar method. Chords sound different with the wrap around method as opposed to the Grande Bar method. Al
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Re: How to hold down two strings at once?

Postby Jingo2013 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:48 am

Hi y'all, just wanted to let you know that thanks to all the good advice and after practising for hours on end, I'm finally able to hold down two strings at once! As the late great Marcel Dadi said, being able to fret two strings with one finger is something you can't avoid if you want to play in the style of Merle Travis. It's all about finding the sweet spot and the right angle. Wrapping the thumb around the neck in order to catch one or two strings is quite easy in comparison. I have to admit, though, that I use a 6120; never tried it with a wider fretboard.

Now I want to tackle barring the top three strings with my pinkie like John Knowles mentioned above. All suggestions are welcome.

Jingo
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Re: How to hold down two strings at once?

Postby Larry Marchino » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:44 am

I've enjoyed reading this thread and find most of the described positions very familiar to me. Another one I use a lot and didn't see mentioned is adding the sharp 5 to a F shape by rolling my third finger down to catch the second string for the augmented or sharp 5 chord. It is a little easier from the barre position than with the thumb over, but you can do it from either position. Another one I use is a sharp 5 or augmented C chord in 1st position using your first finger in the first fret on both the second and third strings. I use this on steel string and on my 2 inch wide neck nylon too, but it is tougher on the nylon and this one took some practice for me to be able to do.
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