Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

what's a "double stop"?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Feb 18, 2002.


  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Don't beat me up if thats the dumbest question you've heard all day, but I have read the words "double stop" lots of times at TB and I haven't figured out out what it is - and I HAVE done a search and could not find my answer.
     
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    VAGUELYFRIGHTENING,

    In the old string literature, fingering a note on the string was known as "stopping" the string. The term "double stop" is a derivation of that, and means "playing two notes at once". The term can be expanded to include more notes: Triple stop, Quadruple stop, or in JT's case, OCTUPLE STOP.

    And if it makes you feel better, I've heard plenty of questions that are WAY dumber than that one.


    TWIST THISJARHEAD
     
  3. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Like, How does one name a double stop?
     
  4. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Interesting stuff! But, here's something I don't get: If chords have to have three notes in 'em to be called chords (as I remember), why are root-5th power chords usually referred to as chords and not double-stops? Did this term also apply to guitar?

    Or, is it just our guitarist friends being guitarists? ;)

    MASHED_BRASS
     
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    BRASH_JUGS,

    By my definition, two different notes sounding at the same time constitutes harmony, which (to my way of thinking) means "chord". If others feel strongly that this isn't correct, that's fine. I've played many 2 part inventions on the piano, and to my ears, they're full of chords. When you study species counterpoint, you spend a lot of time working with 2 single lines of one note apiece. If anyone wants to say that there's no harmony there, they're welcome to...but I don't buy it.

    To me, "Power Chords" are chords, they're just incomplete chords...you know it's a chord by hearing it, but you don't know what kind. They're kind of like looking at a newborn human with a diaper on. Is it a boy, or a girl? You can't tell until the diaper comes off...it's the same with power chords - until you hear the third, it could be either.

    Besides, how dorky would it be if you were in some heavy harcore-post-emo-punk-metal-alternative-hiphop-death-groove band, and you suddenly found out that you were playing POWER DOUBLE-STOPS??? Wouldn't that kinda spoil the mystique?


    UNDURRL THE BRIDGE
     
  6. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    The Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music defines two notes played simultaneously as an interval.

    tee-hee. i think i started a flame.

    CRACKHO
     
  7. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    hee hee... Power Double-Stops... I love it!

    I agree that Power Chords ARE chords, but I learned in class that a chord was defined as three or more notes played simultaneously.

    Not that it really makes a difference to me what the definition is...;) I just wanted to know what others thought about it.

    - ASH_MAZDA

    [I hope it's not taboo for a newbie to play the name-game... :)]
     
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY


    JUMBO,

    Nah, I've heard this one before. Every interval implies harmony. Harmony with only 2 notes present is incomplete, but still harmony. People can quote all the dictionaries they want, but it won't change the fact that when I hear 2 part linear counterpoint, I hear chords out the wazoo. One of my more interesting counterpoint exercises back in grad school was to do an analysis of the one-voice Fugue from the first movement of Bach's 5th 'Cello Suite (the only one in a minor key). There, even without the few double stops that he wrote in, you can hear multiple voices creating implied harmony all over the place. That piece always gave me goosebumps.

    If you want to be pedantic about it, I'll settle for a definition that calls 2 simultaneous notes an implied chord.

    But that that's all youse guys are gonna get from me, see? I ain't givin up nuttin 'causea no stinkin' book, sonny. No sir. Johnny Rocko don't back down from NOBODY, understand???I'd advise yas to keep walkin, slim...if ya knows what's good fer ya. Yeah...... I knew you wouldn't stick around.....whattsa matter? Afraida sumthin??....


    DURRL CAPONE
     
  9. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    Christina Augrugerald,

    I had this battle last month. Everyone disagreed with me that a power chord consisted of a Root/Fifth. I insisted it was considered a power chord. Glad to hear someone agrees. Here is another one for you none believers. Play any major third with a flatted seventh and tell me you don't hear a seventh chord. Two notes, technically not a chord, but it sure suggests one.

    Yours Truly,
    Wanaplayguitaro
     
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Agreed. But harmony doesn't always have to be functional. You take a sus chord out of context, and you can't tell what it was supposed to be, likewise with a 6/9 chord with the 5th on top. With a lot of polychords, you don't get a functional idea of what they are supposed to be until they are put in context, and even then sometimes they remain vague. It's all semantics anyway...my point was only that in the native tongue of my ear, 2 notes is a chord, whether it be functional or not. Any time you have more than one simultaneous note, it affects the linear concept, even if in a vague or non-functional way.

    You say to-MAY-to....
     
  11. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    But then if two notes played simultaneously is a chord, or at least an implied chord, where do you draw the line in discussing it's function? My example would be an octave. What function does C and it's octave play? In this case, you must admit, that a third note is required to obtain any sense of chord function.

    this is fun

    SMASHED TOE
     
  12. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    RAZZDOH,

    Correct - what is the function?

    And what would be the function of a four-note chord consisting of all C's? Or a C4 with the octave thrown in?

    My point is, the notes in a chord don't always define the harmony, in terms of the key... yet we still call them chords, because they define the song in some way or another.


    GNASH_TAZZ
     
  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    GLASSBLOW,

    In my original post on the subject, I specified two different pitches, something I considered a redundancy the second time around. READING, PEOPLE - READING!!!! Two different pitches imply some kind of a chord, as do three different pitches. Three pitches simply give more specific information.


    If I take the notes E and G and play them simultaneously, it could mean all kindsa things: Emi, Cma, C#dim, Gma6, etc. OK, cool....suppose we add a B to the equation - now we've definitely got an Emi chord, right? Well, maybe. It could also be a part of the following: CMa7, C#mi7b5, Ami9, A7(9), Fma7(#11), Emi7, Emi9, etc. yadda yadda yadda. Like FOGHORN says, it's still all about context. As bassplayers, we have the ability to change harmonies by dropping different roots into the mix at will...what else is a Tritone sub, when you get down to it?

    Food for thought.


    IDURRLHO POTATO
     
  14. downstairs

    downstairs

    May 13, 2001
    Pasadena, MD
    what type of chord would a C, C#, and D make?
     
  15. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    An f'ed up one.
     
  16. downstairs

    downstairs

    May 13, 2001
    Pasadena, MD
    yeah, i think KoRn uses it alot...fIeLdY lovez deez Kordz.
     
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I believe the technical term for that chord is "Butt Cluster".
     
  18. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
  19. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    A Cb2bb3? Pretty nasty sounding, I would think!
     
  20. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    SPREAD POLKA - What about in atonal music? From my experience, chords in atonal music are not necessarily about establishing a key centre and/or harmony, so much as creation and subsequent release of tension, depending of course on the song...

    I guess what I am trying to say is, is it not possible for a chord to have a function, in context of the specific song, even if it doesn't define a specific key or melody? I have heard songs in which no key centre is defined in terms of what you are saying. In that case, would it become a question of tension and release, or are there other factors involved that I've missed?

    Also, are there any "rules" to be followed regarding tension and release? Each time I've played atonal stuff, it was pretty much trial and error; basically, thinking of what the song is trying to convey and fitting parts together based on that. It's done in a lot of underground metal bands these days.

    Anyway, I was wondering if someone could possibly explain any of the theory regarding musical tension and release.

    Any help muchly appreciated :cool:

    CRASH_SPAZZ