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One Finger Double Stop

mmaslanmmaslan Santa Barbara, CANew
edited October 2005 in Technique Posts: 87
Yet another humbling experience. . . .

I'm talking about the one finger double stops mentioned on p. 5 of Unaccompanied Django and illustrated on the following page, the ones you do with the tip of your finger. I don't have meaty fingers and this does not come naturally to me. Add on the thumb and I'm in serious trouble.

My question is how best to go about learning to do this. Beginning with a D flat 9 chord is probably not going to work. It seems logical to start with Em in first position and add some chords I can slide into, like F#M and A7 flat 9 flat 5. (Both changes occur in the Nuages outro. )

I'm also considering a prosthetic device. . . .

Advice is welcome!
«1

Comments

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,823
    Hi Mark,

    Like most techniques, careful practice and persistence is the key.

    There are a few things that can help:

    1) Press your palm against the neck. Most Gypsies uses this sort of "vice grip" hold when playing the thumb and 1 finger double stopped chords. Makes the stretches easier.

    2) In classical guitar your fingers are at 90 degree angle in respect to the strings. Gypsies tilt the hand sideways so your fingers contact the strings at a 45 degree angle. This really helps with the 1 finger double stops.

    Good luck!

    -Michael
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    Not owning Unaccompanied..., I can't say I'm 100% sure that I know what you're asking, but maybe this will help. If you're talking about the two-string/one finger chord shapes like this for a 6/9:

    --5 ring
    --5 ring
    --4 index
    --5 middle
    --5 middle
    --3 thumb

    The method that worked for me was to begin by approaching it via Am7 and D9; once I had the usual D9, it was just a matter of rotating my hand a bit to grab the 6/9 shape on the top five strings (see Michael's post about the contact angle). Once I was comfortable with that, I began to add the thumb. It was trying to do it all at once that was my problem.
    mmaslan wrote:
    Beginning with a D flat 9 chord is probably not going to work.
    Hope the above is different enough!
    Best,
    Jack.
  • mmaslanmmaslan Santa Barbara, CANew
    Posts: 87
    Yes, Jack, that's exactly what I was talking about. I actually succeeded in playing the 6/9 chord you give above cleanly last night. In a way, adding the thumb may have helped me angle my hand correctly. But I could use a simple set of changes featuring single-finger double-stops for practice I think. Any suggestions? I'm not sure which Am7 you mean.

    Thanks to both of you!
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    I was thinking of something like this:

    --5------5------5--------------------
    --5------5------5--------------------
    --5------5------4--------------------
    --5------4------5--------------------
    --x------5------5--------------------
    --5------5------3--------------------
    Am7 D9 G6/9


    ...just as something basic. The advantage is that your hand barely needs to move to grab the next voicing, making it much easier to grasp, in both senses. If you've got the Bireli DVD, there are countless examples of similar moves; it really points up how handy (!) it is when you're playing uptempo.

    Good luck!
    Jack.
  • mmaslanmmaslan Santa Barbara, CANew
    Posts: 87
    Thanks, Jack, I'll give that a shot!
  • mmaslanmmaslan Santa Barbara, CANew
    Posts: 87
    Hey Michael,

    When you're talking about a 45 degree angle, are you talking about how to arch your fingers or about the angle at which your fingers should cross the fretboard? I do notice that if I fret the strings at an angle, I can cover two more easily.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,823
    I'm talking about the angle at which your fingers cross the fret board. It's diagonal...most classical players are perpendicular.

    'm
  • joefjoef Wales, U.K.New
    Posts: 35
    [quote="Jack"]I was thinking of something like this:

    --5------5------5--------------------
    --5------5------5--------------------
    --5------5------4--------------------
    --5------4------5--------------------
    --x------5------5--------------------
    --5------5------3--------------------
    Am7 D9 G6/9


    ...just as something basic. The advantage is that your hand barely needs to move to grab the next voicing, making it much easier to grasp, in both senses.
    Good luck!
    Jack.[/quote]

    Also I would work on:

    --5------5------5-----------------
    --5------5------5-----------------
    --4------4------4-----------------
    --5------5------4-----------------
    --5------4------5-----------------
    --3------5------5-----------------

    regards
    Joe
  • Bill McNeillBill McNeill Seattle, Washington, USANew
    Posts: 70
    I've been using Jack's fingering suggestions above for the past couple of days and they help a lot. In particular, approaching the 6/9 chord as just a 9th chord that's been moved up a string and rotated slightly makes this voicing much easier to play. Thanks.
  • Bill McNeillBill McNeill Seattle, Washington, USANew
    Posts: 70
    [quote="joef"]Also I would work on:

    --5------5------5-----------------
    --5------5------5-----------------
    --4------4------4-----------------
    --5------5------4-----------------
    --5------4------5-----------------
    --3------5------5-----------------

    regards
    Joe[/quote]

    Which fingers are holding down which strings in the middle chord above? I'm having a hard time finding an efficient way to hit this.
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