Double Stops for Funk Piano Solos

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Left Hand Techniques for Funk Piano Solos....5

Learn how to play double stops for soul funk piano solos with jazz piano concepts and techniques. Learn this and more in this free online piano lesson taught by professional composer and pianist Jonathan Wilson.

Part of the Video Series: How to Play a Funk Groove on the Piano
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Video Transcript

We're learning how to play an advanced funk groove on the piano. Last time we learned our first right hand solo technique, which is just a little tremolo, that you've all heard a million times. We're going to something else that you've probably heard many times. This is actually a series of blues licks that you've heard a million times on the guitar. Players like Stevie Ray Vaughn used something called a double stop, is the official name for it. It's also done on piano all the time. And the thing that makes it a double stop is the fact that it's got two notes. It's usually a basic blues scale pattern, sort of on the bottom part of the lick and then you double all those notes with like the tonic up on top with your pinkie. Now you can also do it with the seventh. But you basically play a series of notes that are chords, when the bottom one is a little moving blues scale line and the top note is a repeating tonic. And you hear it all the time on the guitar because somebody plays two strings. These are commonly kind of something done with hybrid picking. Stevie does this all the time and you hear it on piano as well. So here's one particular example of a double stop lick on the piano that I've kind of written out. There's a million variations on this, but here's one that we can do that's sort of a concrete example. Very slowly, with the metronome. Okay. It's really not very complicated. The trick is to play those notes together. It's some kind of pattern with a blues scale with your thumb and lower fingers and you usually use your pinkie for that upper note just to sort of keep that thing going. These usually aren't very complicated licks in terms of the number of notes per second. But they've got this neat classic blues-y sound to them and it works great over a funk groove. Alright, so in this case, let's hear that with the bass line and the drums. How does that all go together? It sounds something like this. Okay. So that's the double stop pattern for right hand solo licks. By the way, you can use these licks outside of funk. Of course, they're good blues things. They're good solo things when you're not playing the bass line by yourself, if you're playing in a band and you have to take a piano solo, double stop blues licks will work every time.

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