This lesson covers how to improve your Double Note technique and increase your speed and stamina in the picking hand.

What Are Double Notes?

Double notes, or repeated notes, are found in loads of different styles of music from classical to metal. They are also found in solos and melodies as they can add an interesting flare to a simple line.

When you first learn to play double notes, you may need to build up your stamina to get them up to speed. Instead of practising them on their own, we can incorporate double notes into scales, arpeggios and other sequences so it is a bit more interesting and targets more than one area for improvement.

Tips

  • Start slow
  • Use alternate picking
  • Start with the basic exercise first and nail that before adding any double notes
  • Try doubling just a few notes at first if keeping the rhythm steady is a bit hard
  • Stay in one position to minimise effort for your left hand
  • Make sure the notes are a consistent volume and each one cuts through clearly

The Major Scale

Scales are something that you need to know inside out and be able to play with your eyes closed, so adapting your scale practice to include double notes is an easy way to improve in both areas at once and save time. Let’s start with the C major scale – play it through using single notes at first and then take the speed down and double every note.

Sequencing In Fours

Using sequences that go up and down scales is another great exercise that you can easily slip some double notes into. This first sequence simply ascends the first four notes of the scale, then drops down two notes and does the same thing again until the scale is complete.

Sequencing In Threes

This sequence also goes up and down the major scale, but this time you play the note a third higher after every scale degree.

You can come up with your own variations like this – simply use the major scale and find different ways to cycle through it. Trying out more combinations will really cement the technique in your mind and you will find navigating scales a lot easier.

Arpeggios

Modes

There are two examples below of a Dorian and a Lydian scale, but you can do this exercise using any mode.

Pick a key and try to run through every mode of the major scale – this will give you a much better understanding of that key, as well as improving your scale knowledge and double note picking speed.

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