Double Stops and Chords (Guitar Lesson)

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Mark Kailana Nelson

Double Stops and Chords

Mark demonstrates some additional double stops and discusses common slack key chords.

Taught by Mark Kailana Nelson in Hawaiian slack key seriesLength: 18:30Difficulty: 3.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (10:19) More Double Stops Mark kicks off this lesson with a beautiful slack key piece. Notice how techniques such as double stops and turnarounds are interwoven into the structure of this piece. He also uses some chords and double stops that have not been discussed yet. These new chords and double stops will be presented in this lesson.

Tune Time

All of the examples in this lesson are played in Taropatch or "open G" tuning. Make sure that you are in tune with Mark before continuing with the rest of the lesson. Mark provides a string-by-string tuning comparison at 02:32 so you can check your tuning with his.

If you've been tuning with a digital tuner, you may have noticed that Mark tunes the 2nd string (B) slightly flat. The tonic triad that is primarily used in Taropatch tuning is the open G major chord. When the third of the chord is tuned just a few cents flat, this chord tends to sound a little bit sweeter. Like Mark mentions, you always want to use your ears to determine what sounds in tune. Do not rely on a device such as a digital tuner to tell you what sounds good.

Double Stops

The double stops that you have learned in past lessons are all diatonic sixth intervals from the G major scale. A low bass note can be combined with these chords to imply either the tonic chord G or the dominant chord in this key, D7.

Once again, the double stops in this lesson utilize the notes of the G major scale. Mark demonstrates how to play this scale at 04:25 in the lesson video. Instead of diatonic sixths, the double stops in this lesson are comprised of diatonic thirds. The third interval is a sixth flipped upside down. For example, B to G is a major sixth interval. G to B is a major third.

Note: Open "More Double Stops" under the Supplemental Content tab.

The double stops are found in the upper melody structure of this exercise. Each note of the G major scale is harmonized with the note a diatonic third above. To find the diatonic third above each note in the major scale, skip over the next pitch in the scale. The following note is the diatonic third of the original pitch. For example, the first note of the G major scale is G. Skip over the next note, A. The following note is B. As a result, it can be determined that B is a third above G.

Once again, an alternating bass line can be applied to these double stops to imply a steady I to V chord progression. Listen as Mark plays through this exercise at 05:30. This will give you an example of how these double stops are used in a practical slack key context.

Practicing "More Double Stops"

Learn the double stop patterns before you add in the bass line. Whenever possible, simplify exercises and pieces by breaking them down into their individual components. This will allow you to learn the exercise in the most efficient manner. You will also play the piece / exercise with more musicality since you have perfected each part separately.

Alone Time

Pause the video and practice this exercise on your own. Make sure that you are keeping the rhythm steady. Utilize the metronome tool on JamPlay.com to ensure that you are playing strictly in time. Remember to start as slow as you need to. Do not be afraid to set the metronome as low as 40 beats per minute as you begin to play through the exercise. Once you feel comfortable, return to the lesson video and play the exercise along with Mark.

Balance

When playing any guitar line that involves two parts played simultaneously you must address the balance in volume between these two parts. In the case of "More Double Stops," an alternating bass line is played in conjunction with a melody line played on the treble strings. The upper melody must ring out slightly louder than the bass line.

Ascending and Descending

Remember, when practicing any scalar exercise, what goes up must come down. Make sure that you also descend through this pattern as well. Mark has chosen not to write the descending pattern out for a specific reason. He wants you to do some of your own thinking and work. Determining the proper descending pattern of the exercise forces you to learn where these notes occur on the fretboard rather than simply reading them off of a page. This will also help you to internalize the sound of the exercise since you are forced to rely on the auditory sense more than the sense of sight.

Double Stops on the Fourth and Second Strings

Mark demonstrates how diatonic sixths can be played on the D and B strings. When this occurs, the fourth string must be removed from the alternating bass pattern. Consequently, you can only play a half note bass pattern on the sixth and fifth strings that does not alternate between the root and the fifth. Mark demonstrates this idea at 07:35. The first note he harmonizes is D. The diatonic sixth above this is the note B.

Double Stops on the Fifth and Second Strings

You can also play double stops between the second and fifth strings. This produces diatonic third intervals plus an additional octave in between. Mark demonstrates this at 00:15. These are fairly uncommon in traditional slack key guitar due to the fact that the fifth string cannot be incorporated in a bass line. However, you will hear these sounds in the playing of some of the modern players such as Jeff Peterson.

Combining Double Stops

You can combine two double stop shapes to form a rich chord voicing. Mark plays sixths on the fourth and second strings. The third above each second string note is added to this harmony. The highest and lowest notes in this chord voicing are the same pitch, just an octave apart from one another. The same process of combing double stops can be applied to double stops played on the fifth and second strings. Simply add the diatonic third interval above the note played on the second string.
Chapter 2: (08:14) Chords, Barre Chords, and Experimenting Note: Open "Basic Chords" listed under the "Supplemental Content" tab. This document provides you with chord charts to several common chord voicings played in Taropatch tuning.

Reading Chord Charts

If you are new to reading chord charts, there are several important things to learn. David Anthony filmed a lesson dedicated to this topic. Please visit lesson 4 from David Anthony's Phase 1 series.

The first thing you will see at the top of the chord chart is the name of the chord. This specifies the quality of the chord as well. If nothing is written after the letter name, then it is assumed that the chord in question is a major chord.

The diagram provides a visual representation of the guitar's fretboard. A chord diagram is drawn as if the guitar was hanging on the wall. The dots indicate where you are supposed to place your fingers. At the top of the diagram, there are sometimes numbers listed to indicate which finger is used to fret a specific note. An "x" at the top indicates that a string is muted or simply not strummed. An "0" indicates that the string is played open. A curved line indicates that the notes under the line are barred. The chord charts Mark has listed do not feature fingering indications. Watch as he plays these chords in the lesson video to learn the proper fingerings.

The number on the right side indicates the starting fret. This allows you to write out chords that are played high up on the fretboard.

Studying the Chart

The first chord listed is a G chord. This chord utilizes all of the strings with the exception of the sixth string. The root note is located on the fifth string.

This open chord can easily be converted into a barre chord shape. By barring five strings with the first finger, this shape can be transposed anywhere on the fretboard. Mark demonstrates this concept at 01:50. This barre chord shape can be transposed to any root note. Mark has provided you with the barre chords that are used most frequently on the chord sheet in supplemental content. The I, IV, and V chords as well as the secondary dominant, A, are the most commonly used chords in the key of G major.

Exploring the Guitar

Take what you have learned thus far in this series, and what Mark has shown you in the current lesson and experiment with creating your own slack sounds.

Do not focus solely on chord forms. If possible, try to incorporate a melody as well. If there is no melody, you're not really playing slack key.

Mark demonstrates how to use the double stops and chords presented in this lesson as ways of adding introductions and endings for your own slack key compositions. For example, learn the lick that he plays at 06:08. He also demonstrates an intro based around the sound of the dominant chord D7. The tension created by this dominant chord effectively sets up an intro to a slack key tune. Use the ideas that Mark has provided to create your own slack key introductions.

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Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


KrisIdusKrisIdus replied

This was a really good lesson.

alaamoldalaamold replied

Why am I getting the message no suitable player found?

halgeirsvagehalgeirsvage replied

These lessons make for good music, and the constant reminder to find my own way based on what is written down, to experiment with it. Just that idea alone makes this such a great lesson set. Mahalo

kelekakeleka replied

I love this stuff. I can tell, this is one of the most important lessons I need to learn... the scales, the building blocks for every melody I'll play. This is the first time I've had the stops using the bass strings explained. Thanks so much. On another note (no pun intended), I just recently restrung with "medium" strings and found it much better for my chiming. Maybe I'm just learning to do it right for the first time, but I think I'm getting better volume and sustain.

acousticnookacousticnook replied

Thank you for teaching this, Mark!

paddles26paddles26 replied

Aloha Mark Please explain the right hand fingerpicking technique used in this lesson? Was it Travis picking? Mahalo, Jon

slackeyslackey replied

Scene 2 5:25... was that Blackbird?!!

gregdiehlgregdiehl replied

I was gone to practice for a wedding for a while and was pleasantly suprised to find youve added lessons. Great!!!

Hawaiian slack key

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Hawaiian slack key is a beautiful style of guitar that originated in Hawaii. By blending relaxing melodies with intricate fingerstyle playing, this traditional genre of music is sure to please.



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Intro to Slack Key

Mark Nelson introduces Hawaiian slack key guitar and welcomes you to his lesson series.

Length: 9:11 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Basic Slack KeyLesson 2

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Vamps and TurnaroundsLesson 5

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Turnarounds are very important to the slack key genre. Mark explains what they are and how they are used in this lesson.

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SalomilaLesson 6

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Length: 19:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
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Mark Nelson demonstrates how double stops are used in Hawaiian slack key guitar.

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Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Return to SalomilaLesson 10

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Length: 23:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Return to Old Style SlackLesson 12

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Double Stops and ChordsLesson 13

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Mark demonstrates some additional double stops and discusses common slack key chords.

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Taropatch BluesLesson 14

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Mark Nelson teaches an original song called "Taropatch Blues." He also explains how improvisation is used in the slack key genre.

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Series ReviewLesson 15

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Mark Nelson reviews the lesson series up to this point and discusses its future.

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Mark introduces the concept of the clave rhythm. He explains what the clave is and provides some fun Hawaiian themed exercises to play.

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MalasadasLesson 18

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Double Stops and ChordsLesson 19

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Length: 13:57 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
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Length: 23:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
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Mark Nelson returns to the song "Kowali" and introduces the concept of modulation in this lesson.

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Mark Nelson returns to the world of Hawaiian slack key with a beautiful piece entitled "Sanoe."

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Sanoe ModulationLesson 30

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Mark revisits the beautiful song "Sanoe." He explains how the song modulates in this lesson.

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Series Wrap-up Part 3Lesson 45

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'Ulupalakua Part 2: SingingLesson 50

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'Ulupalakua Part 3: VariationsLesson 51

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'Ulupalakua Part 4: Three SongsLesson 52

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Mark Nelson introduces the catchy "Hula Blues" in this lesson. He asks that you get the song under your belt before moving on to the lessons to follow.

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Hula Blues Part 2: VariationsLesson 54

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Hula Blues Part 3: SingingLesson 55

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‘Opihi Mo‘emo‘e Part 1

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‘Opihi Mo‘emo‘e Part 2Lesson 57

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‘Opihi Mo‘emo‘e Part 3Lesson 58

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B Flat Tuning Part 2: Green Rose HulaLesson 61

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In this lesson, Mark Nelson takes a look at more complex harmonies while teaching the beautiful song "Pua Lilia".

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B Flat Tuning Part 4: ‘UlupalakuaLesson 63

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Mark Kailana Nelson

About Mark Kailana Nelson View Full Biography Ki Ho `alu, or slack key guitar, is a uniquely Hawaiian music. Legend has it that Spanish cowboys hired to teach cattle handling in the 1830's brought the first guitars the Polynesians had seen. Until very recently, slack key was almost unknown outside of the Islands.

Mark's lifelong interest in slack key led him to write "Learn to Play Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar" (Mel Bay Publications), with legendary Hawaiian musician Keola Beamer – the first widely available instruction method for this gentle art. Keola and Mark co-host the Aloha Music Camp – an immersion into the music and culture of Hawaii held each summer in the Hawaiian Islands.

Mark's 2004 CD, "The Water is Wide," brings together the nahenahe sounds of slack key guitar with the sweet sounds of the dulcimer. In 2006 he released "Old Time Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar," nineteen classic Hawaiian songs recorded live in the studio. A book of note-for-note transcriptions in Tab and standard notation facilitates learning the songs.. His most recent book and CD set, "Ke Kukima Polinahe," is the first-ever recording of traditional slack key music arranged for the dulcimer.

Mark began playing guitar and bass professionally at the not-so-tender age of 12. Over the years he's added a number of instruments, including mandolin, `ukulele, bodhran and the Appalachian dulcimer and its European kin.

In the early 1970's Mark was one of a handful of free-spirited musicians who created a whole new vocabulary for the Appalachian dulcimer and guitar. He created a driving flatpicking dulcimer style, playing the instrument with a force and passion seldom heard before. A first place win at the National Mountain Dulcimer Championships in Winfield, Kansas in 1979 led to appearances at festivals, colleges and coffeehouses across North America and Europe, and a recording career spanning over 25 years.

He's an engaging performer, artfully weaving stories and humor with heartfelt music to transport the audience. Mark has performed just about everywhere from Barrow to Boston; Sligo to San Diego. He's shared the stage with performers as diverse as Grover Washington, Jr.; Norton Buffalo; Phoebe Snow, Doc Watson, George Winston and many others. He once worked as a banjo playing gorilla in Dublin, but that's another story...

"Nelson is a musician who possesses that rare combination of insight and talent necessary to successfully transcend conventional concepts of genre and culture."
John Berger, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

"Every once in a while a musician comes along who can make an instrument speak in tongues"
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

"Mark Nelson seems to be on to something new and sweet with his marriage of Appalachian dulcimer and Hawaiian slack key guitar. Drizzle is one of the most achingly beautiful slack key numbers heard in years."
Danny Carnahan, Acoustic Guitar Magazine

"It's my sunset-have-a-martini-on-the-lanai soundtrack every night!"
Duke Walls, Hana, Maui

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A JamPlay membership gives you access to every lesson, from every teacher on our staff. Additionally, there is no restriction on how many times you watch a lesson. Watch as many times as you need.

Live Lessons

Exclusive only to JamPlay, we currently broadcast 8-10 hours of steaming lesson services directly to you! Enjoy the benefits of in-person instructors and the conveniences of our community.

Interactive Community

Create your own profile, manage your friends list, and contact users with your own JamPlay Mailbox. JamPlay also features live chat with teachers and members, and an active Forum.

Chord Library

Each chord in our library contains a full chart, related tablature, and a photograph of how the chord is played. A comprehensive learning resource for any guitarist.

Scale Library

Our software allows you to document your progress for any lesson, including notes and percent of the lesson completed. This gives you the ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.

Custom Chord Sheets

At JamPlay, not only can you reference our Chord Library, but you can also select any variety of chords you need to work on, and generate your own printable chord sheet.

Backing Tracks

Jam-along backing tracks give the guitarist a platform for improvising and soloing. Our backing tracks provide a wide variety of tracks from different genres of music, and serves as a great learning tool.

Interactive Games

We have teachers covering beginner lessons, rock, classic rock, jazz, bluegrass, fingerstyle, slack key and more. Learn how to play the guitar from experienced players, in a casual environment.

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

Unlike a lot of guitar websites and DVDs, we start our Beginner Lessons at the VERY start of the learning process, as if you just picked up a guitar for the first time.Our teaching is structured for all players.

Take a minute to compare JamPlay to other traditional and new methods of learning guitar. Our estimates for "In-Person" lessons below are based on a weekly face-to-face lesson for $40 per hour.

Series
Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 123 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Community
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00
Get Started

Mike H.

"I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar!"
 

I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!


Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"
 

I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg


Bill

"I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students."
 

I am commenting here to tell you and everyone at JamPlay that I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students. I truly enjoy learning to play the guitar on JamPlay.com. Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.



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