Double Stops for Violin and Viola: The Basics | Jens Violin | Skillshare

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Double Stops for Violin and Viola: The Basics

teacher avatar Jens Violin, Classes for Violin and Viola

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Relaxation

    • 3. Pinky Bridge

    • 4. Thirds: Finger Patterns

    • 5. Thirds: Up and Down the Fingerboard

    • 6. Double Stops and the Right Hand

    • 7. Octaves: The Basics

    • 8. Thirds: Practice Tips

    • 9. Octaves: Shifting

    • 10. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

In this class you'll learn how to play double stops on the violin and viola. The main topics I'll cover are thirds, octaves, relaxation, finger patterns and shifting.

This class is aimed at students with some prior experience. I am not explaining bow hold, basic posture, basic understanding of tuning and note names. In the future I might add total beginner classes. So if you're someone just starting out on the violin: I hope to see your here on Skillshare in another class some time soon!

Some concepts we'll take a look at, like visualization and relaxation, are not only applicable to double stops, but can easily be transferred to other areas of violin playing.

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Meet Your Teacher

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Jens Violin

Classes for Violin and Viola


Freelance violinist / (online) violin teacher. Passionate about music and the skill of learning.

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1. Introduction: learning a musical instrument is a journey. Every time you pick up your instrument on a quest for my understanding and skill, or sometimes you just play, you don't have to dig deep in the violin repertoire. Find music being expressed through double stops. This'll class will take a look at how to play double stops in the violin and Fiona we'll focus on thirds and octaves on how to play them with ease and confidence. Uh, my name is ends and I'm a professional violinist. My life is a musician is many divided between practicing, playing in orchestras I'm teaching. I love to see how my students improve their skills on the instrument on doubt. Our musicianship evolves along the way. This class is aimed at violinists or violist with a range of skill levels. When I'm teaching my students one on one at my home, I start integrating double stops in a lessons from the very beginning. Joining notes to open strings, for example, is a good way to improve intonation and listening Thirds and octaves. The main focus of this class are a bit more advanced but can be very useful to practice in an early stage of proficiency ideas that exercise is shown in this class will also be relevant for more advanced players. We will be talking about topics like relaxation and playing with ease, a proper left hand frame, finger patterns, what to write and is doing well playing double stops and all kinds of exercises for thirds and optics. Improving any skill will take time, concentration and consistency. Take the knowledge from this video lessons and start practicing. I'm confident this will bring your playing to the next level. Let's get started. 2. Relaxation: one of the most important topics to begin with and to think about throughout all classes. Relax, ation, being able to play double stops freely without tension, building up its what we're looking for. It is more easy to play double stops completely relaxed on the A and E string than it is under G and G String. So I suggest starting windows open strings and transfer the same feeling of ease to the lower strings. Later on. A key concept is to build and from the fourth finger to the first finger and not the other way around. So first think off the pinky and third finger. I make him feel comfortable in the string, and then, at the first and second finger, the pinkie is placed on its fingertip rather than on its bad. Use the same amount of finger way to stop the string as you would when playing a single stuff note. For many do tendency is to use more weight unnecessary. The bow ever should keep in good contact with the strings so right and heavy and left and light. This is an exercise which involves so mental practice without the violin in your hands imagine yourself placing the fourth finger on the A string and first position. The third finger is lying on the string as well, on a no d below the fourth finger. Can you feel the contact a string is making with the tip of your finger? Imagine the fingertip of to pinky touching the thing about extremely lightly. Feel how to wrist to some, and the rest of the hand is completely free and relaxed. Now pick up your instrument and concentrate on keeping this feeling of lightness in your hand. Well playing to fourth finger together with the open E string, the third finger is resting lightly on the string below the fourth finger. Make sure the double stop is completely in June. Check the level of your left elbow. Isn't that ideal level for playing this node with the pinky on a string? Or can you move your elbow to a more comfortable position? Next, lift a pinky and played 1/3 finger D to get her in June with the open D string. Take a moment to be aware of how relaxed a hand, the risk Dharam and rest of your body feels well playing these notes do this exercise many times in the next few weeks, you can apply it to other notes, two double stops, skills and even whole passages. Those were a few things you can work on. Cerebral play double stops more comfortably. It's a good idea to think about the feeling off freedom of movement. Read it on trying to detect tension in your body. Visualization is a great tool for that. You can ask yourself questions like, How would it feel to play? It is one note or this one double stop completely effortlessly. And how would it sound? How do you want it to sound? 3. Pinky Bridge: when you place your fourth finger on the note E on the A string, you want this finger to look like a nice round bridge over the E string. For many players, it takes some time to develop this round. Pinky. Here are things that can help make sure this part of the hand is quite close to the fingerboard. You can do this by rotating the lower arm slightly from the elbow. Placed a pinky on its fingertip on the A string in first position only. Touch the top of the string and feel. Relax your hand is then rotate the lower arm fare slightly and notice how the string is being pushed down to the fingerboard. The hand and fingers don't have to do anything and are completely passive. Here's an exercise you can do without your instrument. Bend your pinky from this joint and straighten it again. If that's difficult for you at the moment, you can help your finger by laying a finger of your right hand on your pinky just below the joint you want to bend. The point is to be able to bend the pinky from this joint without any tension in the last joint. This will help your pinky bridge, and you're for Bado as well. For some people, it may take a few days of practicing this exercise regularly, but then you'll notice the movement becoming gradually easier. This is another little exercise. Lay your hand on the table, please the fingers on their fingertips and Turkish finger a couple of times on the table like this. Relax the wrist hand and fingers completely, then push to knuckles towards the table and let him rise back up again. Do it is a couple of times observed the fingers, getting more. Round it. When your knuckles get closer to the table, let's now do the same with the pinky and third finger in first position. On the A string, Place two fingers on their fingertips and consciously relax the wrist and and fingers. Take extra care to keep to some relaxed, then push the knuckles towards the neck of the violin again observed to shape of the fingers, Getting more around when you bring into knuckles. Our pinky training continues. Now, with some left hand pizzicato, try to pluck the string in slow motion. Make a good for to sound. You can see the fourth finger getting round about plucking the string. Pinky is doing older work. The rest of the hand, fingers and wrist should stay relaxed. Yeah, and this figure lesson. I've shown your few ways to improve your left hand's fourth finger. You can work on bringing this part of dand a bit closer to the fingerboard. You can do that by rotating the lower arm from the elbow like this and by bring in the knuckles closer to the fingerboard. Doing the exercises have shown you regularly for a few weeks will improve to shape off your left hand's pinky and off the whole hand in general. 4. Thirds: Finger Patterns: it is useful to realize there are only four finger pitons most used when playing thirds. Let's start again by playing the fourth finger in first position on the A string like we did in a relax ation for you. Place the pinky on its fingertip so that it's nice and drowned. Remember to keep the third finger lightly arresting on the D below it. Check if the fourth fingers in June with the E string by playing them together as a double step, do the same with the third finger and the D string. Now place the second finger on G sharp and first finger on F sharp, both on the e string. Feel the left fingers touching. The fingerboard only lightly played the third e g sharp with four counts on the Dumbo and four counts on the elbow. Stop the boat if rock and lift 1/4 and second finger. No. Played 1/3 d F sharp with the first and third finger again on the Dumbo, and a bow after that played 1/3 e g sharp again. This is what I call fingerprint and one or you have a whole step between fourth and third finger have stepped between third and second finger and a whole step between second done first finger. Repeat the steps you took to play Pattern one. But now, instead of placing the second finger on G sharp, President G. They're your fingerprint in two with a whole step between the fourth and third finger and between the third and second finger Onda have stepped between second and first finger from pattern to remove to pet in three. By moving the first finger, I have stepped back from F sharp to F. The rest of the fingers stay in the same place as important to how many whole steps can you account in better three right between every finger? There is a whole step when playing the first finger f keep the hand. Where'd waas and only a reach back with the first finger and to play better and four go back to better one. But instead of playing a D with third finger play a d sharp, you end up with this pattern with us. I've stepped moved in fourth and third finger and the whole steps. In this video lesson, we saw their only four finger patrons, most used when playing thirds in the next lesson will take a look at how to apply that knowledge when we want to shift up and down the fingerboard while playing thirds. 5. Thirds: Up and Down the Fingerboard: being aware of two finger patterns you're playing and even more so the ones you're about to play when moving up and down the fingerboard, we'll help you say organized. Thinking about finger patterns rather than individual notes can save you a lot of time in the practice room. To clarify this, let's play better in two again in first position on the top two strings this time start with the first and third fingers. But as I mentioned in the relaxation video built a hand from the pinky. So position the hand in a way that you can comfortably play the fourth finger E. The first finger is barely touching the string just enough to make the F sharp sound. If you want to continue to scale of the major and thirds what will be the next batter into play in the third position Boston Video and take a moment to visualize playing this pattern in third position without trying to physically play it. Now moved and with conviction to third position, having better and for in mind. So when you arrive in third position, old fingers are already in place either on the string. The first and third finger or hovering close above it. The second and fourth finger continued to scale up the fingerboard. Stop Tebow before every shift, lift the fingers out of the string and then moved the left hand to the next finger pattern . Also start in second position with the first on third finger. Keep playing in the key of the major and after the 1st 2/3 stop and really take your time to visualize which finger pattern you're going to play next in fourth position and after that in sixth position. 6. Double Stops and the Right Hand: before we continue to talk about the left hand, let's take a look at the right, and first we want to double stops to sound clear and with character. In order to do that we have to play with. In general, we have to play with more weight of the bow into the strings than we are used to win. Playing single stop notes. It is difficult to play with too much weight into the strings When playing double stops, Try playing 1/3 with a lot of weight and notice how it still sounds good. Make sure to play close enough to the bridge dough and remember right arm heavy left arm light. The string length is, of course, altered by putting two fingers on the string. In general, a longer string can handle more right arm weight than a shortest ring. Remember that principle when playing double stops, especially when playing octaves, Put more weight of the bow in the longer string. Don't forget that you want to move the boat closer to the bridge when you move higher up to fingerboard with the left hand 7. Octaves: The Basics: octaves, either as double stops or broken, are very common in the violin repertoire. But practicing octaves regularly is not only beneficial for that reason. It also helps set up the frame off the hand. And in doing so, practicing octaves makes all violin playing so much easier. Having to third finger lightly resting on the strings are playing octaves helps support a pinky and intonation. The tip off the first finger is barely touching the fingerboard, even though you play with more weight. If Tebow on the lower string and this exercise you practiced it before mentioned points, played the fourth finger e on the A string and listen for a nice ringing sound when you hear this resonating, ringing sound, it means the fourth finger isn't June with the open E string, and this open E string is vibrating sympathetically with the fourth finger again. Jack, if the pinky's place on its step, rather than on its bed and arrest of the arm and hand, are completely passive and relaxed, not the third finger. Rest on the string on a note. D below T. Now place the first finger as lightly as possible on the note E. On the D string for this exercise, place to thumb opposite off the second finger. I make sure the second finger isn't touching the first finger when you played active as a double stop. Put more weight of the bow on this longer string while doing that really focused on keeping the lightness in the first finger, then lift a pinky and first finger and played octave d. Practice this exercise on all string Paris and notice how you have to adjust to position off the left elbow, depending on which strings you play on. 8. Thirds: Practice Tips: we continue with our thirds. Here are some helpful practice methods make only the lower voice sound, but your left hand is playing both notes of the thirds. For example, played this d major skill. Use what you have practice in the video about finger patterns. So, you know, in advance which finger pattern you are going to play. We're moving up and down the fingerboard. Do the same with the upper voice like this. - Then alternate between the two voices. Think ahead and concentrate on hearing the node. You are going to play her hat first before actually playing it. Uh uh uh uh. Also start on the upper voice. Another way of practising thirds is to first play each voice single stopped with the most comfortable fingering possible, for example. Then try to look for the same sound when playing the same notes in thirds 9. Octaves: Shifting: in this video lesson, we're going to take a look at how to shift while playing octaves. I recommend doing the exercises in a pinky bridge video and the first video about actives first, until your fourth finger is nice and round, and you're able to play one octave in one position very comfortably, so without shifting, and then you can continue with the following exercises. This next exercise is about maintaining a relaxed frame off the hand while shifting playing octaves before it shifts. Completely relaxed the fingers and let him rest lightly on the string, then move the whole hand through the next note in the scale. Let the fourth and first finger sink into the string again to play directive. Keep your third finger resting lightly on the string. Put more weight of Tebow on the longer string and the first thing off the left and is only touching the fingerboard. Lightly noticed. A thumb is moving up to fingerboard at the same pace as the rest of the hand until about the fourth position on the way back down. I like to move to position after some only once. Here you can see the position of the thumb is not really altered when moving back all the way to third position. The only real shift happens from third position, down to a lower position at the same time as two fingers come out of the string to move from third position down to fingerboard moved to thumb back. The thumb moves from its base joint, which is located at the wrist. 10. Final Thoughts: in this class. We've covered some basic principles off double stop playing. After watching the video lessons, you now have many ways to work on your thirds and octaves. As you probably have noticed, I mentioned Relax ation Quite a lot of throughout declares. Being able to play your instrument with the least amount of effort necessary will not only make you a good player, but it just feels so much better to play that way, and that can give you all the motivation you need to keep practicing. If you have any questions, advised recommendations, post them here on skill share. See you in the next class.