When playing a double stop, you play two different notes together. How do you know which note it produce? Example: On guitar, playing the B on third string and G sharp on first string. Does it produce a B or a G sharp? thanks

  • If you play different notes together the sound they produce in any case will still be a combination of the amount of notes being played. You play B and G# and that makes an unstable interval which has both notes included. If you add some other note you get a triad and all three notes sound at the same time. Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 6:54
  • Another interesting thing is when you strike two identical notes on two different string. They sound very different though in unison. Try striking open E on first string and E on the second string and 5th fret. You will hear just one note with many overtones. Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 6:57
  • @SovereignSun - B and G# make a major 6th interval. That cannot be unstable. play an E with them, and you have an E major triad.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 12:37

4 Answers 4


It produces both notes. It sounds to me like what you think happens is the two notes combine together to produce one note (maybe I am misunderstanding). What actually happens is the two notes sound out at the same time, and the combination of those two notes is what you are hearing. The two notes sounding out together produce a harmony.

  • In certain cases when using distortion, two notes may combine to produce a third, or three notes may combine to produce a fourth. This is most noticeable when playing power chords. Playing a low G, the D above that, and the G above that, through a distortion box will produce a G an octave below the lower of the original ones.
    – supercat
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 21:50
  • Also, if you have good hearing or a very particular instrument you might hear parts of the overtone sequence.
    – 11684
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 21:53
  • 1
    @supercat That kind of depends what you mean by a 'note'. Even when playing two notes without distortion, the resulting summed waveform could have a period that relates to a different frequency than either of the two played notes, but it would be stretching the definition of the word 'note' to say that meant that only one note was the result. Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 23:23

That's a chord... A skeleton of a chord, those two notes can fit many chords though mainly that would fit as a B Major chord, with B as root and G# as 6th IIRC. Someone with more theory knowledge may extend ;-)

  • Or.... music.stackexchange.com/questions/51396/… Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 0:04
  • Much better explanation there!!
    – O' Bieito
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 0:06
  • A basic triad has the 1 3 5 of a scale, not 6. G# B could be part of an E Major triad (E G# B) or G# Minor (G# B D#). It would be unusual for B G# to be played over a B Major chord -- B F# is more likely. Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 0:32
  • 1
    Technically not a chord, since a chord is generally defined as three or more tones sounded simultaneously. (However, most musicians find that sort of nit-picking silly and understand that two tones in a context can suggest a chord, or ambiguously imply several options.) Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 5:38
  • Two notes - a chord? We need three notes at least. With two notes that could be anything, an interval maybe is better. Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 6:48

As noted above it would produce both notes. Depending on what other instruments were playing (if any) would define the chord sound you would get (i.e., if a bass player played an E, you would get an E major sound. Alone, they will probably sound to most people like a g minor chord as you will have the root and third.


I presume it's ok to post some links to external website. From Wikipedia - Dyad

In music, a dyad (less commonly, diad) is a set of two notes or pitches that, in particular contexts, may imply a chord.

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