The doublestop is a neo-soul guitar staple – learn how it can add harmonies to your solos and spice up your chord transitions

Niklas Myhre plays a Suhr electric guitar
(Image credit: Pickup Music)

If you’re not a fan of neo-soul guitar yet, that’s about to change! It’s a style full of smooth progressions, jazzy melodies, and intricate guitar techniques – what’s not to love? 

There are tons of talented artists putting out neo-soul goodness online and Nicklas Myhre is one of the best. Lucky for you, he’ll be your teacher here in this video lesson from guitar tuition site, Pickup Music

No matter what genre you’re into, the mighty doublestop needs to be in your toolkit. It’s a great way to add harmony to a solo, or simply spice up chord transitions. 

This technique is used heavily in neo-soul, so there’s no better way to get into the flow than by learning some tasty doublestop licks. 

Grab your guitar, set up a clean, sparkly tone, and add a little reverb – it’s time to get into the good stuff. 

Example 1. Lick in E minor

(Image credit: Future)

We’ll start in a key we all know and love – E minor (E F# G A B C D). The lick gets its slippery feel by incorporating plenty of legato and slides. 

The most challenging part is the double hammer-on using your ring and pinky fingers – so pay extra attention to that and work on making it sound smooth. Check out Niklas’ play-through in the video. 

(Image credit: Future)

Here are the notes of E minor centred around the area of Nicklas’ lick. We’ve shown you the interval of each note relative to the E root notes (the black dots here). 

Try playing through the scale following intervals in numerical order (1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7) – there are a few different patterns to discover! 

Example 2. Lick in D Major

(Image credit: Future)

Now we move into the key of D, and this lick has a very major feel – it’s almost like a country/blues run. 

Start with ascending 3rd intervals, then land in the pentatonic box shape for the 4ths. From there, the doublestops get a little trickier as they’re a string apart. Focus on keeping your hand relaxed during those slides. 

(Image credit: Future)

Again, we’re showing the intervals here, this time in D major (1 2 3 4 5 6 7), so, once again, practise running through the scale alongside playing Nicklas’ lick. 

It’s useful to be able to identify the scale being used – it’s how you know which notes will “fit” with what’s being played, and which will contrast. 

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Nicklas has had a big impact on the neo-soul scene in recent years. His smooth sounds and mind-blowingly fluid technique have won him a large online following. Nicklas generously shares his ideas and tips with the guitar community through social media and has worked with Pickup Music to create some outstanding courses.