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Playing more than one note at a time

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(@chiyo)
Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 13
Topic starter  

Hey again everyone.

I haven't picked up the guitar in ages due to so much work etc, and was a beginner in the first place as well. :oops:

I'm trying to learn how to play some songs now, after such a long time, but I'm having trouble. Before I was just learning a few chords.

From looking at a tab, I'm just wondering how I go about playing more than one note at a time... usually with just one note I use my thumb, does this mean I have to use the back of my finger(s)/nail(s) to strike the other string?


   
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(@dayzd)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 138
 

Okay...I'm not sure what you're asking but I take it you play with your fingers. When playing a chord you might as well just strum the whole lot with your thumb. Now if you're talking about playing for example a low note and then immediatly after a high note (believe its called hybrid picking) I would play the low note with my thumb and with my other fingers already in position by the right strings pluck the higher notes with those.

Hope I made sense... :wink:

Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung

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<--=-.._DayZd_..-=-->


   
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(@chiyo)
Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 13
Topic starter  

So when you 'pluck' the notes how do you do that? :oops:

Just wanted to elaborate on what I mean, hehe I just re-read my first post and it didn't make much sense.
Eb-------------|----------7-----7--------|-----5-----------3-------|
Bb-----7-----5-|----------------8--------|-------7-----------5-----|
Gb-----7-----5-|-------------9-----------|---------7-----------5---|
Db---7-----5---|-------------------------|-------------------------|
Ab-5-----3-----|-------7-----------------|-5-----------3-----------|
Eb-------------|-0-----------------------|-------------------------|

say you have the 7 and 7 underneath in a straight line, how do you play that?


   
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(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

There's three basic ways:

1. With a pick:

You have to control the pick... it's like strumming a chord, but you stop short. Playing two notes at a time with a pick is called a 'double stop' - Chuck Berry did it a lot, and lots of other folks. You can pick up or down.

2. With the fingers:

You can do that a bunch of ways. You can play the lower note with your thumb, and the upper one with any other finger (index, middle, ring). If they're both on treble strings (E, B, G, even D), you can use two fingers, like index and middle. You pluck down with the thumb and up with the fingers.

3. With a pick and fingers (hybrid picking):

The pick gets the lowest note, and a free finger (middle or ring) plucks the higher note.

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(@djdubb)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 222
 

Thanks, Noteboat I finally know what a double stop is.

"Failure is the key to success" Lee Wen; Champ vs Champ


   
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(@chiyo)
Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 13
Topic starter  

Thanks for the help everyone. Just another quick question!
When plucking, would I use the backs of my fingers, i.e the nails? Cos I feel uncomfortable doing this, have I got it totally wrong?


   
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(@dayzd)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 138
 

Don't use your nails for plucking, use your fingertips (the underside of the tip of your fingers if thats better understood...)

Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung

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<--=-.._DayZd_..-=-->


   
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(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

The only time the backs of the nails are used is for a flamenco technique called rasgueado. If you're not doing flamenco type strums, you use the underside of the nail, or the fingertip underneath the nail.

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(@chiyo)
Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 13
Topic starter  

Ah right, thanks again :)
I think it's because when I use my fingertips it seems weird, as usually I just use the thumb or a pick.


   
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(@forrok_star)
Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2337
 

Double stops are a fascinating and very useful voicing. Something to practice would to pick two or three notes out a chord. By understanding and learning the notes that make up the chords, you'll be on your way to visualizing what's called inverted chords or inverted voicings. An inverted chord is still the same chord.

An inverted chord is combination of two or more notes that blend harmoniously when sounded together. Which has a different note other than its root note as a bass note. Once you get use to the sounds they create your playing will improve greatly. You won't want to put your guitar down.

Joe


   
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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

One thing for shure, if you are wanting to play fingerstyle you will have to get used to using more than just your thumb.
Typical thumb use for most finger style is to pluck the lower 3 bass strings and some strumming.
A very common picking pattern and a great way to practice using other fingers is to pluck the root note of a given chord with your thumb and then play the 3rd string with your index finger,2nd string with yor middle finger, 1st string with your ring finger, back to the 2nd string with your middle and finally back to the 3rd string with your index. Change chords and repeat.
like I said this is a comon fingerpicking pattern and is used in full or in part in quite a few songs such as.
House of the Risin Sun
Scarborough Fair
Nothing Else Matters
I have even seen it used in a version of Silent Night.
At any rate it is good exercise to get used to picking with your fingers.


   
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(@shalashaska)
New Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4
 

As the others have said, you need to use the tips of your fingers to pluck the strings, if you are unsure what we mean by this then have a look on the music channels and you'll see what we mean.

Most musicians use their fingers for the G, B, E and sometimes D strings and their thumb to play the low E and A strings. Getting used to using your fingers is one of the best things that a beginner can do because there are many pieces of music that you will come across in the future that will be way to difficult to play if you are using a pick.
The only time the backs of the nails are used is for a flamenco technique called rasgueado.
Ive got some bad experiences with that technique, think along the lines of shredding the back of your fingers due to improper technique and very thin strings!


   
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(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

It's meant for nylon strings :)

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(@shalashaska)
New Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4
 

Yeah, i soon realised that!


   
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