As the title says. If you play a note simultaneously on two strings in the same octave, is it still considered a double stop?

  • 4
    Guitar or violin? I've never heard anybody use the term 'stop' when talking about guitar, only the violin family.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 16:46
  • @Tetsujin Doesn't really matter. But even if it's very rare, they sometimes talk about it on guitar too.
    – klutt
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 0:34
  • On the guitar it would be called a two-note chord. Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 0:47
  • Depends. If a music teacher is talking to his pupil about how to finger the passage, then its a double stop. If it's a critic discussing the harmonic texture of the bar, then it isn't, it's just an irrelevant technical detail. Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 7:52
  • 1
    @Tetsujin - any stringed instrument can evoke the term 'stop'. It is used with reference to guitar.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 15:40

2 Answers 2


Called a double stop as two (sometimes 3) strings are being held down/played simultaneously. Usually the notes are part of a harmony, but can be the same as each other.

In that case, I'd expect them to be called unison double stops.

  • What would be the point of doing this on a unison? Is it just louder? Could you not get the same effect more easily by just bowing one string harder? Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 19:18
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    @DarrelHoffman - no, the effect just is not the same. Simple. On guitar, violin, etc. Consider one person singing a note compared with two singing that same note.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 19:40


The word "stop" refers to where the string is stopped, meaning where it ends. So, first think of the nut as the stop for an open string. When you finger the strings on the neck you are making a new stop. And, of course, double stop just means you are doing that on two strings.

It doesn't matter what the interval is. The point is how many strings you are changing by "stopping" them with your fingers.

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