Double stop etudes for Bach
Is there a best set of double-stopping etudes for assisting with Bach or will any do? I'm guessing Trott is probably not quite there and a lot of people will say Kreutzer?
There are definitely studies for this but I think technical drills will be more useful to you.
Double stop scales come to mind.
There is Fiorillo, caprice no. 4, which seems designed for the purpose of preparing for Solo Bach. Another, musically more satisfying option would be to work on a violin transcription of Bach's suites for cello. Starting with number 4 you'll get quite a bit of double stopping.
If you really want to take your Double Stops to the next level, get the book by Mr. Vamos, Exercises for the Violin in Various Combinations of Double-Stops. Just be careful with it, because you can easily injure yourself doing too much or having tension while practicing it. It literally goes through every possible double stop option. Warning: NOT EASY!
Kreutzer indeed has a large selection of double-stop etudes. I worked on them quite a lot in the past but I must agree with was said above, that scales in double-stopped thirds, etc prepare you equally well, because in the end what needs to be there is your basic technique; the Bach has so many unique musical patterns that have to be learned ad-hoc anyway. Then there is Kreutzer etude 42 which is a Bach-like fugue. I guess the idea there is that it is better to work on (and butcher) a Kreutzer etude than to butcher the real thing :-)
what about some of the Carl Flesch scales? Realizing they aren't quite Bach like but could perhaps be a good in between with Trott and Kreutzer?
Best preparation for Bach is pretty much Bach. Do the easier movements first.
D Minor Sarabande could be good starting point.
Thanks, everyone. I bought Simon Fischer's Scales a week ago, but as soon as I opened it, I wondered why I bothered. I'll look especially at the parallel scales.
@Lydia - I second that 100%
I have actually found the earlier Dont studies very helpful for my Bach. There are some chord studies which are great for the *right* arm as much as the left. And the his overall approach of taking you through difficult finger patterns, with an emphasis on finger preparation and awareness of your left elbow and hand position - that actually really helps. Dont's studies often seem fairly un-violinistic with very arbitrary intervals... again, that helps prepare you for Bach where the complexity of the chords means you end up making some very unfamiliar intervals.
You can check this out on IMSLP:
Thanks, Raymond. Here's an easy link to it, if anyone wants it.
Gordon - I feel the same way about that book.
I second Chris' suggestion of Dont op 37. That, Kreutzer and Rode will all benefit your playing greatly. Of course, you can put off repertoire forever by just sticking to etudes, so at some point you gotta just dive in. My thinking is that somewhere in the latter half of Kreutzer would be a good place to start with Bach, but maybe earlier.
@Christian "Dont op 37"
I'm with J Ray and Lydia. Though trained classically as a composer, on the violin I have been a fiddler my whole life (both West Irish and various American styles). A few years ago, I got a great violin and bow and dived into the Bach S&Ps, when I realized that my old gear had actually held me back. I am indeed using Bach to learn Bach, and it has been wonderful.
A lot has been written, already, but for my personal technical improvement, nothing had beaten the exercises for independency of three or four (respectively) fingers, by D.C.Dounis.
Gordon, Dont op 35 is on a different level. Eventually, you want to play it, but I think you'd be getting ahead of yourself on something really difficult if you were playing Dont op 35 to prepare for your initial foray into Bach. Some of the harder Bach you may find yourself playing concurrently with Dont, but that's presuming you are running through a normal etude sequence of Dont 37 -> Kreutzer -> Rode -> Dont 35 (and some teachers omit Dont 37 or stick Gavinies between Rode and Dont 35).
Not etudes, but there are the Telemann Fantasias, the Bach Cello Suites transcribed for Violin, The Sonatas for Violin and keyboard, and the concertos.
As Christian mentioned, Dont Op 35 no1 is a prerequisite for Bach, as a chordal etude, but also for all the arpeggiated bowing work you can do. It's not so much about what but how you use double stop and chord exercises and etudes that will help prep for Bach.
Does anyone have any opinions about the Simon Fisher Double Stop book?
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