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An approach to Jazz Guitar improvisation utilizing a set of double stopped

intervals as the basis.

This thesis investigates the process of developing???? harmonized
(double stopped) melodic lines using intervallic structures of 3rds,
4ths, and 6ths on the guitar . The intended aim being, the utilisation
???of any one of these intervals rewrite!! as the basis for a complete ?
improvisation in of itself. ??




Brief Lit


Research Q

It?? is divided into three sections, the first section??? explains
??the harmonised interval/double stop concept and the geometric
of these three harmonic intervals on the guitar and are and
how they organised into segments on the fretboard.

concerned with questions of shape, size, relative position of figures, and the
properties of space on the guitar neck.
Formatted: Highlight
Formatted: Highlight
The second section undertakes??? a historical examination
underpinned by relevant transcription of intervallic double stop
approaches utilized throughout the evolution of the Jazz guitar by
influential figures from the late 1920s to the present day so a
precedent can be established.
The third section addresses a pedagogical approach?? to
learning these intervals through a series of structured exercises and
short compositions based on a jazz standard designed to imbue the
guitar student with a deeper understanding of how to employ these
devices. The etudes will then be discussed with focus on the
compositional process undertaken, problem solving, technical issues,
vocabulary development, dissection, cross-utilisation and
Glen Hodges, Co-ordinator of Contemporary Music at the
Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music and author of The Analysis of
Jazz Improvisational Language and its use in Generating New
Composition and Improvisation. (2007) articulates the legitimacy of
this intended project through the following statement:
Both musical composition (with written commentary) and
analysis of existing musical works (transcriptions) have traditionally
been accepted as valid research products. The composition of new
works based on knowledge gained from the absorption of preexistent
material consequently can represent a true research outcome
combining both activities. SO>>>>

You need to explain what your lit review is achieving. Also, dont just
quote explain the importance of the quote
The ongoing?? search by guitarists in the
improvisational/compositional realm for new sounds and textures
has led them from the early explorations by Eddie Lang and Dick
McDonough in the late 20s experimenting with using intervallic 3rds
within their compositions and solos (Sallis 1996), through to Kenny
Burrells use of 3
s and 4ths as an integral part of his blues based
style (Marshall 2009), through to George Bensons use of 6ths as a
melodic/harmonic device (Khan 1997) and eventually, John
Scofields application of dissonant intervals like the seventh as a
useful soloing tool (Heinitsh 2013). In all cases, these intervals are
used only sporadically and as a textural device rather than a
complete vehicle in their own right.
By examining the pedagogical, compositional and improvisational
aspects of harmonised intervals, there is a three tiered structure to
this thesis, as such the process and methodology for this study will be
taken and amalgamated from several sources. These range from texts
that deal with the analysis of Jazz improvisation/Composition,
through to pedagogical material dealing with guitar specific
techniques/improvisational approaches which includes aspects of
method from the classical guitar tradition. The methodology, dealing
specifically with an approach to self composed musical studies, was
aimed at creating a constant flow of material (mainly eighth notes)
over the chosen chord progression, thereby packing in as much
harmonic information per bar as possible. This pedagogical method
???has precedents set by Jazz guitarist/educator Joe Pass as seen in
The Joe Pass Guitar Style (2006) who stated These solos (referring to
his written etudes) are in straight eight notes. By eliminating
rhythmic variety, you force the ear into building better melodies..
Pass elaborates further ..that was the way I learnt to play, by actually
playing a lot and filling in all the spaces and not leaving gaps in the
music. This method also lends itself to developing strong endurance
and speeds up the ability to play the extremely demanding material
set out in the composed studies in a musical setting.
Guitarist/Educator Mimi Fox (2004), who has an instructional text in
the same vein, elaboratesthe continual eighth-note rhythmswill
train you to develop strong musical lines and rely on your ear (p.9).
Each of these texts have been used to create a hybrid approach that
best suits this studies intent, that is, to create a solid process from
beginning to end from conceptualizing, composing, memorizing and
performing the studies that hopefully allows the integration of
double stop intervallic ideas to be fully formulated and utilized freely
when improvising.
Educator and Guitarist Bruce Saunders (2005) describes this
pedagogical approach more eloquently in regards to its intended
musical end result the methodis totally inorganic and to improvise
mechanically using only patterns such as these (referring to his own
etudes) will produce an unmusical, stiff solo. The student should
practice inorganically and improvise organically (p.3)
The pedagogical legitimacy of composing studies, or etudes, to
improve aspects of ones technique or musicianship has been
validated for over 400 years.
The grove dictionary online describes a
study as:

Although the title study rarely occurs in early keyboard music, much of the
repertory was avowedly didactic in aim. Thus the many variously named pieces
in instrumental treatises and instruction manuals may be considered studies,
including the toccatas in Dirutas Il transilvano (1593), the lessons (i.e. dances
and airs) in Lockes Melothesia (1673), the preludes in Franois Couperins Lart
de toucher le clavecin (1716), the Probestcke in C.P.E. Bachs Versuch ber die
An instrumental piece, usually of some difficulty and most
often for a stringed keyboard instrument, designed primarily to
exploit and perfect a chosen facet of performing technique, but the
better for having some musical interest. Although a study was at one
time the same as an exercise (Fr. exercice; Ger. bung; It. essercizio),
the latter term now usually implies a short figure or passage to be
repeated ad lib, whether unaltered, on different degrees of the scale
or in various key The French word tude (as well as the English
study) was used as the title of a number of 20th-century works,
some requiring unusually facile technique or exploiting particular
aspects of the composers craftsmanship.
Composer Richard Danielpour who composed several etudes
for pianists studying at the Blair School of Music in Nashville
elaborates: etudes usually offer a different musical challenge in
each piece; they are both instructional and artful Two sets of piano
etudesby Chopin and Debussyare kind of the holy grail for me.
They affected me very deeply as a young composer and pianist
because they were not merely exercises, but complete musical works
in their own right.

Within the classical guitar world, there has been a tradition
of within the published literature to first have students break up a
technical problem by first performing it through a diatonic scale,
then, once it has been mastered in this manner, the technique is then
put into a musical setting in the shape of a study/etude with the

wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen (1753) and the Handstcke in Trks
Clavierschule (1789).

intent being, to create a musical work using that technique that
should be ..technically rewarding, musically stimulating, and
artistically enriching. (Kronenberg 2013).

Example from The Complete Carcassi Guitar Method (1884)
firstly instructing the student to play the C major scale in harmonised

Then using the 3rds in a musical study

Over the course of the nineteenth century and later, a number
of comprehensive methodologies, including dedicated study material
were developed, many of which remain in use. Sor, Aguado, Trrega,
Pujol, Guiliani, Carcassi, Carulli, Diablelli, Mertz, Villa Lobos, Segovia,
Quine, Papas, Brouwer, Noad and many others are pioneers in the
historical development of the instrument.

This pedagogical tradition seems to have been accepted by
pedagogues in the Jazz tradition also with noted authors such as Alan

Kronenberg. C.K. (2013) The pedagogical value of Lo Brouwer's tudes Simples:
A perspective on preserving an exquisite, yet neglected custom. International
Journal of Music Education
de Mause, Joe Pass, Steve Herberman, Jody Fisher and Bruce
Saunders amongst others, following the same trajectory of
technique/scale association first, then etudes/studies composed to
bring out the techniques real value in a musical setting.

Example from Jody Fishers Beginning Jazz Guitar (1995)
instructing the student to firstly play the C major scale in a diatonic

Then using the C major scale in a Jazz style etude:

This structure will be used in the later section of this thesis
dealing specifically with the studies/etudes, but with the Jazz
tradition incorporating the practice of improvisation, the Jazz student
must go a step further than the Classical student as the goal is to
improvise freely using the materials laid out in the studies. For the
Jazz student, the study is not the end in itself, merely the springboard
for ideas and providing the correct technique to be able to use the
ideas. This means the Jazz student must extend on the etudes on
his/her own.
Houston based trumpeter/composer and author of Daily
routines for Trumpet (2008) Eddie Lewis explains the self composed
etude/study concept as it relates to the improvising musician and
how the author invisages his own pedagogical method for this thesis:
8 makes for an excellent transition from a more theoretical
approach to something more feeling or sound basedWhen I practice
the etudes, I memorize them after I compose them. This is important
because nothing we do in jazz improv is read. The music must
originate from within us. So when we memorize the etudes it
internalizes the wish list, turning it into something accessible to us in
performanceAfter the etude is memorized, I will use it as a stepping
off vehicle for improvisation. I begin by playing the etude and then
continue the improv while trying to maintain the same feel, sound
and styleWhen I feel like I have finished learning the tune, I will put
the etudes away at least for a while. When I come back to that tune
later, I may pull the etudes out again, but as my musicianship
matures on that tune, I will eventually get away from the etudes

Literature Review: (will be expanded upon)

Jazz educational material that covers intervals can be divided
into two distinct catagories: The first is the group that deals with
melodic intervals as a basis for improvisation. These cover lick
based texts such as Intervallic Improvisation - The Modern Sound: A
Step Beyond Linear Improvisation (2010) by Walt wieskopf,
Intervallic Fretboard - Towards improvising on the Guitar (2010) by
Dave Murdy and Ashkan Mashoour, and Intervallic Designs for Jazz
Guitar: Ultramodern Sounds for Improvising (2000) by Guitar
pedagogue Joe Diorio. Texts dealing with etudes/studies using
melodic intervals as a basis specifically, are less common: Jazz

Improvisation: The Best Way to Develop Solos over Classic Changes
(1996) by Flutist Sam Most, Jerry Bergonzis Thesaurus of Intervallic
Melodies, and Technique Development in Fourths for Jazz
Improvisation by Ramon Ricker all focus on developing an intervallic
approach in unique ways.
Texts in the second category, dealing with harmonic intervals
(double stops) as an approach to jazz improvisation are much less
common. Gil Parris : The Double Stop Guide (2006) and Steve
Herbermans instructional video Double Stops for Jazz Guitar (2012)
are the only jazz based instructional material published specifically
on the subject at present. Jazz pioneer Barney Kessel deals with
double stop 3rds, 4ths and 6ths in a fairly straight forward way
relating to one particular pre-composed phrase as an example on his
instructional video Jazz Guitar Improvisation: Chord Melody Style.
Various websites touch on the subject in a meaningful manner such
as Matthew Warnocks Jazz Guitar Corner: Double Stops for Guitar
which focuses on Dominant based phrases only. There are other rock
and blues based materials such as Truefires video course Interval
insights by Charles Chapman that investigate Double Stops which also
covers soul/funk material but these fall outside the scope of this
The Methodolgy of composed studies and etudes examined
here are situated next to the preceding material with a focus on
developing each of the aforementioned intervals as double stops and
used as a complete vehicles for an improvisation in themselves. This
is the critical difference The approach here is also heavily visual in
orientation. This differs from the other methods in its association of
double stop scales and studies related to chord shapes and
positions on the guitar fretboard.

Key Terms:

Musical improvisation (also known as musical
is the creative activity of immediate ("in the moment") musical
composition, which combines performance with communication of
emotions and instrumental technique as well as spontaneous
response to other musicians. Thus, musical ideas in improvisation
are spontaneous, but may be based on chord changes in classical
music, and indeed many other kinds of music. One definition is a
"performance given extempore without planning or preparation."
.Another definition is to "play or sing (music) extemporaneously,
especially by inventing variations on a melody or creating new
melodies in accordance with a set progression of chords.

Encyclopedia Britannica defines improvisation as "the
extemporaneous composition or free performance of a musical
passage, usually in a manner conforming to certain stylistic norms
but unfettered by the prescriptive features of a specific musical text.
Music originated as improvisation and is still extensively improvised
in Eastern traditions and in the modern Western tradition of jazz."

Gorow. R. (2002). Hearing and Writing Music professional training for todays


Intervals are the building blocks of melody and harmony. A
melodic interval measures the distance between two separate notes,
while a harmonic interval measures the distance between two notes
played simultaneously. Chords contain three or more notes, so there
are compound intervals within chords. When one chord moves to
another chord, the root motion the distance between the two
chords roots can be measured in intervals. Intervals provide a way
to measure and communicate the relative distances within music.
Thus, any melodic or harmonic structure can be described in terms of
its intervallic shape.

In physical terms, an interval is the ratio between two sonic
frequencies. For example, any two notes an octave apart have a
frequency ratio of 2:1. This means that successive increments of pitch
by the same interval result in an exponential increase of frequency,
even though the human ear perceives this as a linear increase in
pitch. For this reason, intervals are often measured in cents, a unit
derived from the logarithm of the frequency ratio.

In Western music theory, the most common naming scheme for
intervals describes two properties of the interval: the quality
(perfect, major, minor, augmented, diminished) and number (unison,
second, third, etc.). Examples include the minor third or perfect fifth.
These names describe not only the difference in semitones between
the upper and lower notes, but also how the interval is spelled. The
importance of spelling stems from the historical practice of
differentiating the frequency ratios of enharmonic intervals such as
G-G and G-A

For a guitar-oriented slant on the concept of intervals,
understanding the division of the fretboard is important. Jesse Gress
author of The Guitar Cookbook (1993) describes it as measure physical distance, a foot is divided into 12 inches.
Similarly, an octave is divided into 12 half steps. On the guitar, an
octave is divided into 12 frets (one half step each) along a single
string. The half step (otherwise known as a semitone) is the unit of
measurement used to define musical intervals the distance
between any two notes. In other words, any two notes can be said to
be a specific number of half steps apart

A double-stop (also known as a Diad, or Dyad) is two notes that you
play at the same time. It falls somewhere between a single note (one
note) and a chord (three or more notes). On the guitar you can play a
double-stop on adjacent strings or on nonadjacent strings (by
skipping strings). Double stops can be played with a flattened finger
of the left hand or two separate fingers.

Although the term double stop itself suggests these strings are
to be fingered (stopped), in practice one or both strings may also be
open (unfingered) on the open strings of the guitar. Relating to the

Prout, Ebenezer (1903), "I-Introduction", Harmony, Its Theory And Practise
(30th edition, revised and largely rewritten ed.), London: Augener; Boston:
Boston Music Co., p. 1

Lindley, Mark/Campbell, Murray/Greated, Clive. "Interval", Grove music online
ed. L. Macy (accessed 27 February 2007),

Guitar For Dummies, 2nd Edition

guitar in a Jazz setting these are typically used to create a fatter, fuller
sound during single note improvisations and can be quickly moved
around to create fills whilst comping behind another instrument or
used during solo guitar arrangements to vary texture and add

Interval/Double stop Concept:

To really grasp the concept of performing double stopped
intervals on the guitar, the nature of the instrument and technique
must first be explained.
It should be noted that the guitar is built and tuned on a stack
of 4
intervals and in one place a third interval. The tuning across the
strings of the instrument is not consistent. Whereas all the other
strings are tuned in intervals of a perfect fourth, the second (b) string
is a major third higher than the third string.

Bollenback. P. (2007) The Art of Solo Guitar.
Whereas, keyboard instruments have notes laid out in one plane
only, the pitch rising in one direction and lowering in the other, the
guitar has pitch rise and fall up and down the strings and also across
the sets of strings. This affects the decision to play a note because not
only may it occur in more than one position on the fingerboard but
also the selection needs to be based on preceding, concurrent and
following notes. Guitarist and author Jon Finn explains from his
Modern Rock Guitar Improvisation book.
In figure 1. The note C is played on the 10
fret of the fourth
string, to play the note F a perfect 4
higher, you have several
options. You can move vertically up to the 3
string at the same fret
(example 1) across horizontally up the neck to the 15
fret on the
same string example 2, or you can move diagonally (which is really
moving horizontally and vertically at the same time) to the second
string at the 6
fret. There are still other ways to play the same two

The instrument can also have a change in pitch facilitated but moving
either up and down the fingerboard or across the fingerboard or
various combinations of the two. It is possible, for example, to play a
note higher in pitch by moving down the board and across. Second,
the guitar is not colour coded. On a piano, for example, a g# is always
surrounded by two white notes (g and a) and then two black notes
(f# and a#). There is no other note that has this pattern.

Lastly the guitarist has only four fingers (though occasionally the
thumb is included) with which to access notes on the fretboard.
Keyboard players are able to utilize all ten.
This makes the playing of harmonised intervals on the guitar
somewhat problematic as there are several ways to play each unique
interval on the fretboard as can be seen in the following chart.


Traditionally, guitarists have thought of scales, chords, patterns and
intervals etc. as Shapes due to the guitars inherently visual nature.
This has often helped with the learning process. Jazz guitar pioneer
Tal Farlow elaborates:
my approach has been largely visual. In other words, I can
visualize the shapes or patterns of scales and chords by mentally
picturing little dots on the fingerboard. Using systems like this can
make learning material whether its chords, scales or theory
infinitely easier (Guitar Player)
Harmonised intervallic concepts also offer unique challenges.
Each interval can be performed using just the fingers of the left hand
or a combination of pick (plectrum) and a finger (sometimes referred
to as Hybrid picking), or even just using the plectrum exclusively.
The problem of using just the plectrum is when performing intervals
on non-adjacent string sets, there is a risk of producing sounds from
the intervening string which requires special muting techniques in
the left hand. The author found it beneficial to execute harmonized
3rds and 4ths with plectrum only, but harmonised 6ths best to be
performed with two separate right hand fingers or a pick and fingers
approach which seems to produce the most clarity needed to bring
out the sonic character of these interval. Carl Verhayen, Author of
Improvising without Scales (2005) verifies this:
I believe that guitar is an unlimited instrument, capable of so
much more than we steadily hear out there. But for many players, a
limioting factor is the linear layout of the notes on the fretboard, the
proximity of half steps and whiole steps. For a keyboard player to
play wider intervals, the physical effort is minimal. It takes one finger
to make one note and the next note, say a major 7
above, can come
from a completely different hand if necessary. But for the guitarist to
play a single note, two hands must coordinate to strike at the same
time and calculate the many minute distances horizontaly between
the frets (left hand) and vertically between the strings (right hand)
before that next note, a major 7
above can be played. Its no wonder
we guitarists tend to play in a scalar fashion..

Due to these aforementioned problems, in this study we will be
using only the following Shapes for the harmonised 3
s, 4
s and
s which will serve the purpose well:

Example: Thirds shapes on the 5
and 4
strings as well as on the 2

and 3

Example: Fourths shapes on the 5
and 4
strings as well as on the
and 3

Example: Sixths shapes on the 5
and 3
strings as well as on the 3rd
and 1st strings.

Double Stops Sixths


Tal Farlow elaborates:
an effective idea is double stops.. which are directly based on
a chord shape..two note ideas still form distinct patterns. Due to the
way the guitar is tuned (in fourths with a third interval between the
third and the second strings), these shapes can be played on all
adjacent sets of strings (Guitar Player).
These Interval shapes have been selected and road tested by
analyzing the guitarists and transcriptions in the Historical overview
section of this essay. The same shapes come up again and again, and
appear in the playing of the Jazz guitar masters from the thirties to
the present day.

Double Stop Thirds

To harmonise a scale in third intervals, stack the 3
degree on top of the root, then continue up the scale through the
octave, with each note of the scale joined by the note one diatonic
third above it. This produces harmonised 3rds. Any two note interval
can suggest chord sounds, especially when a root is provided by
another instrument
. Each harmonised 3
double stop is designated
major or minor in accordance with its interval structure eg. A minor
third consists of three half steps and a major third consists of four
half steps.
Arlen Roth, noted educator and producer of the Hot Licks video
series throughout the 80s and 90s describes the resulting

The Guitar Cookbook (1993)
harmonies as such: The major and minor sound of double stop
thirds can create some beautiful sounding lines that strongly support
the song's harmony. But you have to be careful with them to play the
minor and major intervals in the right places

The interval of a double stop third depends on which scale degree it
occurs on. On the first, fourth and fifth degrees a major third double
stop occurs. On the second, third and sixth degrees a minor interval

This means you have to play the right kind of double stop third -
major or minor - depending on the degree of the top note.

this might seem tricky at first but with a little practice and
association with some common fretboard patterns it will become
easier. Patterns for major and minor thirds are shown in the figure
below (see fig 2).

Jazz Guitarist Barney Kessel encourages an aural association when
learning to identify the 3
interval. In his instructional Video Jazz

Guitar Improvisation "Chord - Melody Style" (Rumark Video Inc) he
elaborates on his recommended method:
..I want you to not only to hear these things and remember
what they sound like, but remember what theyre called. Quite often
you will hear these things (harmonised 3rds and sixths), and if you
hear them in your mind when you hear someone playing them youll
now know what theyre calledI also like to do it by association, for
instance, when I think of the thirds I think Ive heard Mexican
Mariachi bands where the two trumpet players are playing
something like this

instructs students to liken the harmonised 3
as sounding like
Mariachi music.

Double Stop Fourths Double stop fourths are arguably the easiest
to play. Also called quartal harmony, these intervals ..impart an
airy ambiguity that invites several harmonic interpretations.. (Gress
1993). These have an easier shape to play on the guitar fretboard
due to the guitars standard fourth based tuning scheme. The only
exception is the tri-tone interval produced from harmonising the
fourth degree of the major scale and the third and fourth degrees of
the melodic minor scale in fouths. The figure below shows the shape
for fourth intervals between the strings.

Kessel again encourages an aural association when learning to
identify the 4
interval. this is what you might hear in a jazz piece
with a trumpet and tenor sax playing two part harmony in a modern
jazz arrangement. (plays example).. I think about oriental music
which uses a lot of fourthsespecially when I play near the bridge
and play figures like this (plays example).

Double Stop Sixths

Double stop 6ths have been extremely popular with guitarists is the
Pop/Rock tradition owing to its close ties to the Blues tradition who
used this interval extensively for intoductions, endings and fills
extensively. The introduction to Soul Duo to Sam and Dave's Soul
Man or Bon Jovis Wanted Dead or Alive are but two examples of
this technique so prevalent in that domain.

Double stop sixths have an interval of a sixth between the two notes.
Like thirds they occur in two flavours, major and minor, so there are
two different patterns to learn on the fretboard. Kessel also
encourages aural association with this advice ..I associate Sixths in
my mind with Greek music (plays example).

Intervals Applied to the fingerboard:

As the goal of this paper is to put forth a systematic approach to be
able to improvise with these double stops in a Jazz improvisation
scenario, the first step is to ascertain which sounds are best
internalized from the plethora of choices available to us as musicians.
The author has selected two Scales from which all the material to
follow will be based on that should cover most chord progressions
that appear in the Great American Songbook catalogue of tunes that
most Jazz musicians play on a regular basis. These are the Major scale
and the Melodic Minor scale. The major scale can cover the minor 7

chord for Dorian, the Major chord for Lydian and the unaltered 7

chord for Mixolydian. Washington D.C. based guitarist and pedagogue
Steve Herberman, who has recorded 36 masterclass style
instructional videos for elaborates:
.I find that the modes of the Major scale and the modes of the
(Jazz) Melodic minor scale are going to be what you use most of the
time (as an improviser).

The Melodic Minor scale is extremely versatile when superimposed
over chords to cover Lydian dominant, altered dominant and Half
diminished sounds. In this thesis the author has used the fretboard
visualization key center approach. Noted guitarist and pedagogue
Don Mock explains:
.there are two approaches youre faced with when dealing
with scales. (explaining using A melodic minor: D Lydian Dominant,
over a D7th chord) The modal approach would have you memorize
the D7b5 sound as a new scale or mode. Even though you are still
playing an A melodic Minor, you would learn it starting from D as a
different scale with a different name.
Using the key center approach, you simply superimpose your
original A melodic minor scale over the D7. Its not necessary to think
of several separate scalesIve seen students able to play with more
confidence over chord changes a lot sooner, with a lot less confusion,
using key centers rather than modes (Mock. D 1994)

The following pages show the C Major and C Melodic minor scales
harmonised in 3rds, 4ths and 6ths associated with common chord
forms in each of the 5 positions on the guitar fretboard. These which
will become the building blocks for the etudes and compositions in
the later sections. They will be played with a variety of fingerings.

(Chart to be added here)

Chapter 2 Double Stop historical overview:

Being somewhat niche, there is not a large amount of
material documenting the growth of double stop improvisation from
its birth until the present day, so scouring of scores and recordings is
necessary to formulate a timeline of the development in this area.
That having been said, to be able to improvise using these ideas there
must first be a certain level of technical ability acquired. A general
discussion of the harmonised interval technique and compositional
antecedent begins in the Classical guitar tradition whose early
pioneers in the 18
and 19th century and beyond seemed to enjoy
the sonority of harmonised 3rds and 6ths and published scale studies
and etudes dedicated to these intervals in their method books. These
beginnings paved the way for the early Jazz guitarists who most
probably studied these methods to take and re-shape the ideas and
technique to suit their own purposes.

There seems to be a reoccurring story of early Jazz guitar
pioneers who were adept at using the harmonised interval technique
(and influenced the later generations of guitar players inspired to use
these techniques) such as Eddie Lang, Carl Kress and Johnny Smith
who were also students of the classical tradition. Lang was described
as being ..a versatile player whose technique and harmonic skills
were advanced for the time, Lang was as at home jamming with Blues
guitarist Lonnie Johnson as he was playing solo arrangements of
pieces from the Classical repertoire.
Johnny Smith is generally
regarded by his successors as the master of utilising harmonised
3rds in his artistic vision
One of Smiths admitted early musical

Kinigstein. S. (1999) Jazz Guitar/Classical Guitar: A symbiotic relationship
What most people dont realize, jazz master Jack Wilkins proclaims with
profound conviction (and affection), is that the modern legato style of chord
melody playingthe harmonies, the phrasing, the voice-leadingall derive from
Johnny Smiths innovations. Now its not as if there werent exceptional chord-
melody players before Johnny, people like Eddie Lang, Dick McDonough, Carl
Kress and George Van Epps. But in a sense, Johnny Smith codified everything
that came before him, and took it to another, much higher level. And in addition
to his use of closed chord voicings on the guitarwhich are quite easy on the
influences was the classical guitarist Andrs Segovia, he even
released an album of difficult classical pieces using only a pick. This
recording, later to be released as Legends of Jazz Guitar, remains
one of the most highly regarded and studied jazz guitar albums ever

The double stop interval technique as applied to the guitar was
first codified and laid out in a pedagogical manner for the classical
instrument in the method books and etudes of Romantic Era
exponents such as Spanish Guitarist Fernando Sor (1778-1839)
whose 20 studies for the guitar published from 1821-30 include a
Study in harmonised 3rds and a study in harmonised Sixths amongst
others. These are both very musical compositions that not only build
technique but acclimate the ear to hearing the interval and being able
to use it in a compositional manner. Classical Guitarist/Lutenist Rob
Mackillop describes the Sor as having the ..ability to write beautiful
estudios for students, with good harmonic movement, elegant
melodies, and good classical and Romantic structures

Sor: Estudio 12 (3rds study) bars 1-8

Sor: Estudio 13 (6ths study) bars 1-3

piano but involve really difficult stretches on the guitarhe also made inventive
use of drop tunings, open strings, thirds, name it. Hes the man.

Untold numbers of students have worked their way through
these studies, which satisfy the elusive goal of providing memorable
pieces that, at the same time, enhance the skill and knowledge of the
practitioner. Master guitarist Andres Segovia selected a set of twenty
of those studies, each emphasizing a particular aspect of technique.

Spaniard Dionisio Aguados (1784-1849) New Guitar Method,
first published in Spanish as the Nuevo Mtodo para Guitarra in
Madrid in 1843, is generally considered an epoch-making work in the
history of the guitar It includes several pages of fully fingered scale
studies for 3
and sixth intervals for all major and minor scales. It
was translated into English by Brian Jeffery who describes its
importance in the introduction of its English translation: are set out and discussed all the technical issues which
concern modern players: correct hand-positions, angles of the
fingers, ornamentation, special effects.Aguado set out and codified
for the first time the guitar technique which we use today. Because of
the book's continued relevance, as well as because of its functional
position in the history of guitar This early work is already a full and
complete method for the guitar...
Aguados method includes scale studies in harmonised 3rds,
6ths and octaves.

Aguado 3rds study


Aguado 6ths study

Romantic era Guitarists Fernando Carulli, Matteo Carcassi and
late 19
century guitarists Julio Sagreras, and Pascual Roch were
other pedagogues who wrote methods and studies that include
harmonised 3rds and 6ths for guitar that are still inc use today.

Sagreras: C major scale in harmonised 3rds

From the Classical guitar, the influence crossed over to the early
bluesmen Blind Lemon Jefferson played the blues, the early blues in
the 1920s and later, but he played long intricate solo lines to
accompany his singing. These lines inspired his teenage guide of the
time, T-Bone Walker If he was heard by jazz players, he must have
had an influence. It is also likely that the "Spanish tinge" (a term used
by Jelly Roll Morton to help explain the jazz of New Orleans) included
Spanish guitar (Classical Guitar) with all its soloing: see for example
the Spanish guitar composer Tarrega, active into the early 20th
Century. Tarrega himself had been prone to running away from
school as a child to hear gypsy music, so a possible gypsy element
(pre- Django Reinhardt) may also have had an influence on the early
jazz guitar.

Harmonised 3
,s, 4ths and 6
,s are staples of the Rock/pop guitar
tradition. Morphing from early blues into rock and soul music and
used by artists such as the Beatles, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Chuck
Berry, Steve Cropper (Booker T and the MGs), Cornell Dupree, Mark
Knopfler, Jimi Hendrix, Stev Vai, Eddie Van Halen and Angus Young
(AC/DC) to name just a few. These double stops are in a lot of cases
riffs originating from Delta Blues guitarists like Blind Lemon
Jefferson, and Lonnie Johnson in the 1920s and '30s and T-Bone
Walker and Rosetta Tharpe in the '30s and '40s
updated to the
modern era. Early bluesmen Like Robert Johnson regularly included
double stops in their arrangement like Milkcows Calf Blues Fig.

who left immediate and broad stamps on the music of the early rock, blues and
R&B electric players of the '50s
which as rock historian Loyd Grossman states in his A Social History
of Rock Music (1996) influenced the next generation of rock guitarists
who incorporated much of his techniques into their own style
Grossman describes this effect on Chuck Berry he fused certain
elements of the blues, such as repetitions, chokes, and bends, and
double stop techniques that he learned from listening to Robert
Johnson and his contemporaries, with country music sounding speed
licks and slides.. Walter Everitt (2009) describes the empathy for
using double stops in his book The Foundations of Rock:From Blue
Suede Shoes to Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.
..One way that lead players cut through the texture is to play
double stops. George Harrison was highly unusual in play- ing his
early Beatles leads in octaves, as in Please Please Me, From Me to
You, and in the coda of This Boy, but Jimi Hendrix followed him in
the opening of Fire and in Third Stone From the Sun. Much more
typical is to hear double-stopped lines in other relationships, as in
Chuck Berrys solo in Memphis, Paul Burlisons solo in Johnny
Burnettes Lonesome Tears in My Eyes (copped by John Lennon for
the coda of the Beatles The Bal- lad of John and Yoko), and Van
Morrisons intro to Brown Eyed Girl. Its the double stop by which
Chuck Berry nails the car horn in Maybelline..

George Benson relates on his video The art of Jazz Guitar that Eric
Clapton told him once:
you know, (in) rocknroll music..two note things..double
stops work much better than single line(s), that is the essence of the
music.. if its not played with double notes, it doesnt sound good, it
isnt rocknroll..
A few examples will demonstrate these intervals unbiquity in
first the Rock and Roll canon.

Example 2 Brown Eyed Girl

Ex. 2 La Bamba


Ex 1 Chuck Berry Back In the USA

Van Halen Hot for Teacher


Soul Man

Stax guitar Legend Steve Cropper who played and co-wrote
"Knock on Wood" with Eddie Floyd, "In the Midnight Hour" with
Wilson Pickett and "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" was one of the
main exponents of double stop playing throughout the 60s. Author
Allan Slutsky who wrote the liner notes for Soul Man describes
Croppers influence as such.
Cropper used ..fills and motifs based around harmonised
3rds coming from the rural Ozarks, Cropper never could escape his
country roots.he also favoured using 6
intervals for fills and
introsCropper favoured harmonised intervals in musical situations
where single note lines just didnt fill up enough space

It is worth noting that the assimilation of these harmonised
intervals into the jazz vernacular came from the same Blues source
and there seems to have been some cross pollination from the rock to
jazz genre and from the jazz to rock in the reverse.
Henry Heintisch (2013) discusses this phenomenon in his
thesis on John Scofields playing style
The double-stop is a technique that John Scofield uses as a
branding mechanism and sometimes as a way to make a blues
statement. In Wabash II, Wee, Farmacology, as well as countless
other recordings, we hear double stops as a way in which Scofield
asserts his own background as a rock and blues guitarist. His use of
distortion on the album Time On My Hands further accents this use of
double stops as it is reminiscent of more rock-influenced guitar
playing; it sounds in a way more similar to Jimi Hendrix and Chuck
Berry than to Wes Montgomery or Jim Hall
Its fairly clear that the rock guitarists borrowed a lot of
techniques from the Jazz guitar foundation. From tracing the
genealogy of Django Reinhardts use of Octaves appropriated by Wes
Montgomery who then influenced Jimi Hendrix who had a big impact
on Stevie Ray Vaughn the same traces can be found.
Rock Guitar Legend Jimi Hendrixs record collection, circa 1967,
..included Rahsaan Roland Kirks Rip, Rig & Panic right alongside Jeff
Becks Truth and the odd assortment of Bob Dylan, Tim Hardin,
Albert King, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Kenny Burrell, Wes
Montgomery and Ravi Shankar LPs

It is interesting that Barney Kessel performed on all the mid-
period Beach Boys hits such as 'I Get Around', 'California Girls' and
'Dance, Dance, Dance', including the later Brian Wilson productions
such as 'Pet Sounds', 'Good Vibrations' and 'Smile'.

With the advent of Fusion, and the guitars role in its development, it
was inevitable that these rock devices would find their way into the
up and coming generations repertoire or storehouse of techniques.


Eddie Lang seems to be one of the first guitar players to employ the
double stop 3
as an improvisational device. In A handful of Riffs
he uses 3rds at several points. He probably picked up the technique
from studying the classical methods of the day and having close
association with Violinist Joe Venuti who would have studied these
same methods and some of it rubbed off on Lang.

Dick Mcdonough also used the 3
interval as a compositional and
soloing device as seen here in the first few bars of his composition
chicken a la swing

Eg Hendrix using montgomerys octaves. Benson using r&b style
6ths. Scofield funk influence. Kenny burrell blues influence


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