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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Double stops


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/55019

old cowboy - Posted - 04/02/2021:  10:44:02


I been concentrating on double stops for the past couple weeks. I can throw in one here and there but lately been trying to use them a lot. When you guys use double stops, do you hold the bow flat or lay it sort of sideways? I find it easier if I lay it down, but I think it sounds a tad better if I keep it flat. I would appreciate any other advice you might have.

Swing - Posted - 04/02/2021:  11:07:32


If you can do basic double stops, then teach your self to do the scales in double stops....the key of D is pretty easy... then you can start doing simple melody's and phrases in double stops... then it gets dangerous, because you don't know when to stop.

Play Happy

Swing

DougBrock - Posted - 04/02/2021:  12:02:03


So far I just keep the hair flat on the strings when playing double stops. Seems like I’ve read that you might need to move more toward tilted hair when you’re playing near the fingerboard and on the higher strings? Maybe?



I figure you should experiment both ways and see what you like best! :) I’m VERY experimental with the bow, lol - more pressure, less pressure, more speed, less speed, some bounce, lots of bounce... So many fun ways to use a bow!


Edited by - DougBrock on 04/02/2021 12:02:32

fiddlewood - Posted - 04/02/2021:  12:27:35


I pay less attention to the angle of the hair and more attention to getting an even sound that is in tune.



I do find using slightly less pressure helps.


Edited by - fiddlewood on 04/02/2021 12:28:09

farmerjones - Posted - 04/02/2021:  14:03:11


David Long answered for me, about the bow.
My suggestion/comment about double stops is, in using them you're delving into chord theory. Know your I, IV, V in all the easy keys. Then branch out, either into minors or tougher keys.

UsuallyPickin - Posted - 04/02/2021:  17:06:44


Well ... I moved into fiddle from mandolin. So I play pieces of mandolin chords often in my fiddling. I also play a lot of closed position scales starting with my index finger over two strings and play a scale with double stops from there. Play on! And enjoy those harmony tones.

farmerjones - Posted - 04/02/2021:  19:44:21


First 5 years I was just melody. Y'know, fiddle tunes. Then I saw a couple fiddlers throwing a tune back and forth. One playing melody, the other playing the chords. So I got busy. I used to think it was right brain/left brain. But really it's just more brain. : )

Flat_the_3rd_n7th - Posted - 04/02/2021:  20:32:32


I consider bow tilt mainly for volume. Seems like when I need more volume, my hand tilts the bow to contact more hair. Mostly in the 2/3d's of the bow towards the tip. Bottom 1/3rd towards the frog usually less hair.

I don't think double stops necessarily need more hair. And if you apply more pressure to ensure the hair is draped across both strings, one of the strings will have too much pressure and will sound choked.

I think bow angle is more important than tilt. Between 2 strings, there's 3 angles to master. One for the lower single string, one for both strings, and one for the upper single string. On a 4-string instrument, I believe there's 7 angles for your arm to muscle-memorize. Exercises that emphasize where an adjacent string just starts to sound are helpful.

The Violin Beautiful - Posted - 04/02/2021:  23:49:28


There are times where it’s better to have the hair flatter on the string, but for regular double stops, there’s no reason to change the tilt of the bow from the usual.

It’s natural for the bow to tilt a little toward the playing edge. It’s actually quite difficult to keep it truly flat all the time. If the bow tilts too much, the sound can become thin and washed-out, so be mindful of overdoing it, but as long as you’re getting a full, even tone, you should be fine.

old cowboy - Posted - 04/08/2021:  05:12:41


How important do you consider double stops to be in your playing? I mean if you are are playing a tune do you feel it necessary to fill it with double stops or is just playing it straight ok? I don't know if I am making any sense or not. I was perfectly happy just playing the basic tune, but now I am driving myself nuts trying to fill every tune with double stops!

farmerjones - Posted - 04/08/2021:  06:08:34


quote:

Originally posted by old cowboy

How important do you consider double stops to be in your playing? I mean if you are are playing a tune do you feel it necessary to fill it with double stops or is just playing it straight ok? I don't know if I am making any sense or not. I was perfectly happy just playing the basic tune, but now I am driving myself nuts trying to fill every tune with double stops!






You'll probably get many answers. At least I hope so. 



My 85 year old buddy works out every melody from a double stop. That's how he learned. If a tune is quick, i might not have the double stops for it, just by how I learned it. (Learning the d/s later) Most country tunes have a simple melody, so the d/s is already in my head. For every tune I think is impossible, there's a YouTube of somebody playing it with double stops, or a different shuffle. 



I've said it before. Double stops are part of the Fiddler's magic tricks. Shuffles are another.

carlb - Posted - 04/08/2021:  11:37:33


For me, playing on two strings as much as I can is what fiddling is all about. Having come from guitar and clawhammer banjo, I always have a chordal sense of what's going on and try to express it as I fiddle.

Lonesome Fiddler - Posted - 04/08/2021:  16:10:43


When it comes to double stops, I seldom have a strategy. I just play in the moment. I just let my fingers do the talking. If I did the first chorus of the tune with double-stops, should I do the second time through without them, just to add a bit of intimacy to the tune? Or do I just pour on the double-stops, hoedown style?


Edited by - Lonesome Fiddler on 04/08/2021 16:11:25

old cowboy - Posted - 04/08/2021:  17:13:54


Ok! I was looking for someone to tell me, heck no you don't have to do them! I'll shut up and go back to practicing!

Flat_the_3rd_n7th - Posted - 04/08/2021:  18:25:55


quote:

Originally posted by old cowboy

Ok! I was looking for someone to tell me, heck no you don't have to do them! I'll shut up and go back to practicing!






Well, I'll say it--heck no you don't have to.  Sounds good to play just the melody.  But, think about how much better a duet sounds than just a solo vocalist.  Good vocal harmony sounds great...and you have that capability right there with your fiddle, if you care to play it.

old cowboy - Posted - 04/10/2021:  04:58:14


Thanks Scott.

BetteB - Posted - 04/11/2021:  18:47:19


I think it's a great way to experiment and challenge the musical side of your brain. Listen to Bobby Hicks play. He uses lots of double stops. Very cool. I don't use them much just because I haven't practiced them or don't take the time to figure them out. But I think they can sound really cool, or sometimes are overused. Whatever works for the song.

old cowboy - Posted - 04/14/2021:  19:48:12


Thanks Bette! I think that is the answer I was looking for! Use where needed but do not over use!

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