Playing Double Stops
I'm beginning to learn to play double stops. I was under the impression that this was primarily a technique used in different types of folk music.Since then I realized this is also used in classical music.
Some time ago I discovered that some players use a different bridge specifically to play double stops better.
Is a special bridge necessary to play them well?
Can you recommend do's or don't when learning this technique?
It seems that in order to play a dyad you use a bit more bow pressure and the right fingering.Not sure if a different bridge would help or make some other things worse.
Similar to playing ornaments well though,incorporating these on a whim is more difficult than actually learning the technique.
No special bridge!
I've never heard of a classical violinist putting on a different bridge so they can play double stops.
I don't use a special bridge when I play folk music
People use different bridges for double stops? Why? If it is a flat bridge, would it make it easier to hit other strings when you play "single stops"?
Paganini used a less concave bridge. This made, for instance, the 8th variation in the 24th caprice playable as written, 4 triple stops under one slur.
There are a total of seven positions for the bow arm, four to play the individual G-D-A-E strings and three, in-between positions to play the G&D, D&A, and A&E double stops. It takes as much practice to know those double-stop arm positions as it does to know the positions for single strings. Practice is the real key to develop the required muscle memory.
No, you do not need a special bridge -- only a practiced technique.
Per Paul: "There is also a book called "Malodorous Double Stops" or some such by Trott that is often recommended. "
My violin has a flatter bridge than most other violins (many people have commented on it) so it definitely helps when playing double stops but you dont need to go change your bridge just for playing double stops.
Thank you for the helpful advice from all.So far I have been playing a few open double stops. It feels a bit odd. As Mary Ellen says. I have been told not to hit two strings and now the idea is to intentionally hit two strings.
Cynthia I've seen a bunch of photoshopped study-book covers ... Dont becomes Don't or Can't or Didn't, Mazas becomes Matzos, but the best one that I ever saw was Wohlfahrt becoming Voldemort.
Doug's suggestion of playing pp is very good because there's even LESS tolerance for error then, so the "plane" has to be set by your right arm very precisely. He is absolutely right that the most common newbie mistake is bearing down on your bow when you hear that one of your cylinders isn't quite firing.
Timothy, I think you are overthinking this. Close your eyes and put the bow on two strings as even as you can. How to do that? Listen. Move your bow slowly, not too much pressure to start with, then adjust the pressure to find a better sound. When you find the sound is better, then open your eyes to see where your bow is, and see if you can repeat the same or better result.
Is Simon Fischer's Double Stops good for beginners or targrts intermediate and advanced students? Can it be used independently of the teachers lessons?
Yeah, well respected violinists in classical music change the bridge whenever a double stop is coming. One has to master the quick almost instant bridge swap so the public doesn't notice a pause in the process. It's specially difficult to do this in pieces like concertos and stuff, where master violinist soloist probably changes about 400 times the bridge, taking into account the 3 movements of course. Also, master bridges are tune-fixed so they can match a given key. I.E., last week I had to play Vivaldi's A minor and I used my A minor bridge.
tammuz, Simon Fischer is supposed to be good for all levels, as long as one has the patience to carefully go through it in details. Both Scales and Double Stops are great, just that they are huge and it could be a bit overwhelming. I use them as reference book. For everyday, I use Flesch and now also Barber, the one that Mary Ellen recommend. The first a few pages are great to follow and build the method into daily practice.
Thanks Yixi :)
All of the above, but I would add this: have someone knowledgable take a look at your setup. If the arc of your bridge is too high, double stops with string changes will be very hard to play.
Carmen, do you find that term "double stop" a bit misleading? I'm not sure what I would have called it.I will try the exercises you learned on. Thanks.
His bridge looks pretty normal to me. (But how about all that rosin?)
For anyone not familiar with Micheal Cleavland you must check him out.
It would make more sense to call it a "double string" rather than a "double stop" since frequently one is not stopping both strings with the fingers.
Carmen you sound as though you have long traveled the road I'm about to ponder.
SOME (not all) folk fiddlers (and other stringed instruments like the hardanger fiddle of Scandinavian origin, and other such instruments) of other countries use a flatter bridge specifically because their music incorporates double, triple, and even quadruple stops (usually rolled, but sometime "crushed'). The classical violinist, or the celtic fiddler usually (ALMOST without exception) uses the standard bridge, and just used the bow/elbow angle's 7 positions to play double stops.
Thanks Joel. As I understand it, playing a triad with a standard bridge is also a fast roll with the bow which introduces three notes in such fast succession that it comes out sounding like a triad, though technically all three notes weren't played at the same time.