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Tips & Tricks: 5 Steps to Playing Double Stops in Tune

December 10th, 2013 by Katherine Moller

small__5653690833I love the sound of double stops, but they can be tricky to play in tune.  Double stops are the notes you see that are piled on top of each other on the music.  In these cases you play both notes at the same time.  I have spent many an hour working on my double stops!  A couple of years ago I read a great article in Strings Magazine on playing better in tune.  The tips were great! They are time consuming to implement, but the results are well worth the effort!

Step 1:  Play only the top notes, using the fingerings you will be using while playing the double stops.  I will sometimes play the notes using a “regular” fingering just to get the sound in my ear, but it is really important to use the actual fingering you will be using so that you can develop your muscle memory.

Step 2:  Play only the bottom notes using the fingerings you will be using while playing the double stops.

Step 3:  Finger both notes of the double stops while playing only the top notes with your bow.

Step 4:  Finger both notes of the double stops while playing only the bottom notes with your bow.

Step 5:  Put it all together!

Be patient and take the time you need to do this, because by the time you hit step 5, playing double stops is much easier than when you started with step 1!

photo credit: teawithlizzie via photopin cc

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