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Double stops
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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wtw
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February 12, 2022 - 4:02 pm
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So just for fun, I thought I'd give this piece a try since I like it a lot, or at least look at some parts of it. Searched for the sheet music and found it.

Of course, it looks so easy when that guy plays it. But turns out that it's not fun at all – more like torture for my fingers. Plenty of double stops in there, and some of them I'm not even able to play at all, even separately (take measure 39 for instance… ouch!).

Among other problems, my 4th finger is not really big/strong enough to press on the C string while the 3rd and 2nd are on the G string. Usually when using 4th finger, I add the 3rd finger on the same string, it helps pressing the string down to the fingerboard. Not an option here.

Is it a matter of persevering until the fingers learn to take such awkward shapes ? practicing all kinds of weird double stops ? (Not just me I hope… I'm terrible at double stops.)

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Mouse
February 12, 2022 - 4:42 pm
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WOW! Just looking at it gives me a headache and finger strain! 

I can’t do double stops on my viola or cello, either. Haven't gotten the angle right yet. The lower string will play or play louder than the upper, of whichever two strings are being used for the double stop.

Think about it. When we are learning they say to only bow one string. You hit two and are told to just do one string. Ok, good to go. I am able to control the bow and only hit one string. Now they want two strings. Really? ?

?

The Bumble Bee Flies

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wtw
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February 13, 2022 - 3:14 am
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Thank you for making me laugh 😉 !

Second problem is when I try to hit two strings for a double stop with the same finger. Often, instead of just pushing both strings down 'vertically', it also pushes them apart –on either side of the finger– and the strings are not properly immobilized…

I don't know if it's an angle thing or what, but I haven't yet found a way around that. In 1st position, it happens to me mostly with 3rd finger (I'm discounting 4th because I'm not going to try this with the pinky anytime soon) :
- 1st finger is not an issue, since near the nut the strings are closer together and lower on the fingerboard,
- 2nd finger is more or less okay too (same reasons + bigger finger than the others)
- but with 3rd, I need a lot of luck to get a proper sound…

EDIT : just realising I may not be playing the right notes. I'll have to check on piano.

EDIT 2 : just realising I should try and see if some shifts would make those double stops more play-able in the Hoffmeister piece. Looked at some people doing that on youtube.

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Mouse
February 13, 2022 - 6:35 pm
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When I was reading your reply, I was thinking maybe shifting in those spots just to use fingering that is more suitable to you, the  at the end, you basically said that. I do not see a problem with that. 

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Ripton
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February 14, 2022 - 3:45 pm
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@wtw I wish you annotated that link with a "this image may not be suitable for all viewers" warning. I opened it and immediately felt fear and angst. LOL... my biggest hurdle is to play a fingered note on the lower string and an open string on the higher. 

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JohnG
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February 14, 2022 - 9:11 pm
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@Ripton - I'm with you! I've practiced a little playing only a few double stops, but my current form won't allow it in a tune.

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wtw
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February 15, 2022 - 7:12 am
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Well, glad not to be the only one having trouble with them 😉 @Ripton @JohnG you'll manage, don't worry. I guess there's a lot of patience needed, every step of the way, on this instrument. Not my forte…

@Mouse shifting a little does seem to help a lot with the impossible measure 39. I don't have much hope of managing even the theme part any time soon, but I'll come back to it. 

This is in fact an Etude from a series of 12 (warning : don't look it's scary 😉 just listen if you like). I would never have guessed.

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wtw
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March 3, 2022 - 1:40 pm
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I just came upon this video, it looks helpful :

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Mouse
March 3, 2022 - 2:02 pm
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I always press the bow harder. I don't do double stops often, but it has come up in some cello songs, and it is sooo hard.

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wtw
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March 3, 2022 - 3:44 pm
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I used to put lots of pressure too on my bow.

Okay, so I listened to the video and gave those tips a try, and I'm pretty excited, it does help (me, at least) 🙂 Even just the first point, or the 'zeroth' point – bowing straight, starting with single bows : not just with the bow parallel to the bridge, but "parallel to itself" so to speak : pointing the same way throughout. I guess I'm going back to very basic things here. Doesn't hurt.

Then 2 strings is just a different angle. No reason to press down on the strings in order to force the contact between bow and strings - gotta catch that angle and keep it.
From that viewpoint, it's just a matter of learning / muscle-memorizing three additional bowing angles (one for each pair of adjacent strings).

Plus, I thing keeping the bowing light and relaxed helps the left hand stay relaxed too (or conversely, when one hand/arm is tense the other tends to be also). I'll keep experimenting the next days ! 🙂

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Mouse
March 3, 2022 - 6:25 pm
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This is all very interesting. Funny how much one adjustments affects other areas.

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Mouse
March 5, 2022 - 8:06 am
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@wtw, @Ripton, @JohnG I went back into the older original posts and did find a double stop post. It didn’t ask about what you were talking about. 

Double Stops

It is towards the top of the second page of Learning to Play in case this link above does not work. It has ons reply from Violaman. 

This was a question about only touching one string with your left hand fingering. 

I know it was not your question, but in case you have that issue, too, thought I would mention it.

The Bumble Bee Flies

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