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Double stops

Posted by Andah1andah2 on Thursday, December 3, 2009

 I hate practicing double stops.  I hate practicing double stops.  I work on everything else and then it's time for those damn double stops.  They have proven to be elusive and frustrating.

Oh, sometimes your hitting it, your bowing along on 2 strings and then something slight happens and suddenly your only on 1 string, so you compensate and now your still on 1 string but now it's the other one.  Then your on 2 strin....naw back on 1 str...2 s...1 strin....aw hell!  The ability just comes and goes, comes and goes.

So then, although your not supposed to, you start pressing harder with the bow than usual and this starts to strain your bowing arm.

It's a love...hate thing.  Double stops sound so cool when done right and I can't wait until I can just automatically do them.  But when you do them poorly, it sounds like a freight train wreck.   You have to have that bow angle juuuust right, or your back on 1 string.  Ahhh, I don't want to think about it.  

Anyway, my thumb is coming along and I was able to practice for a bit over an hour today.

Hey, does anyone else like the way their fiddle smells?  I do.  I think it's the varnish or something.  Sometimes while taking a small break during practice, I'll just sniff it.  Oh, yeah right, you guys have never done this?



9 comments on “Double stops”

bj Says:
Thursday, December 3, 2009 @6:53:37 PM

You have a NEW fiddle. Mine is roughly 130 to 150 years old and smells like fiddlers have been sweating on it for that long . . . which I'll tolerate since it sounds HEAVENLY . . .

Cyndy Says:
Thursday, December 3, 2009 @7:23:31 PM

I have a c. 1920 Japanese fiddle, frankly, it doesn't smell particularly great either! C

mudbug Says:
Friday, December 4, 2009 @2:21:36 AM

Yo, Bro! Must be the fresh cut wood, still oozing aromatic molecules into the ether. I've worked "in the woods" and in a sawmill, and can appreciate the aroma's of the different species of wood. You're probably too young to remember the aroma of mimeagraph paper. Aroma's are like music , in that they can revive memories.

Yeah, I am also starting to work on double-stops. Nuff said!

Mandogryl Says:
Friday, December 4, 2009 @3:31:47 AM

The double stops will come. I now look for places to insert an extra note to create a dbl-stop.
My 1890 fiddle smells very old, and my 1914 does as well. I love it.

Ozarkian DL Says:
Friday, December 4, 2009 @7:24:28 AM

Flip tha ole fiddle up-side down & oer yer head & spray in sum "summer-breeze" air refreshener......double-stops soundin like a train-wreck ?....maybe thets Y I lv. double-stops.......try lighten'n UP on tha bow sted of press'n down....( mite help ya ).

& ah 1..& ah 2..& ah 3, & ah 4.......pik up thet fiddle, & practice sum more. :-).

ChickenMan Says:
Saturday, December 5, 2009 @10:20:16 AM

AIR FRESHENER?? A number of noodle lashes to you Ozarkian. :-)
I love smelling fiddles. Reminds me of childhood and finding lost treasures in grandma's attic.
Sigh.

KCFiddles Says:
Sunday, December 6, 2009 @9:18:45 AM

You're smelling varnish and spruce.

I've been practicing a lot of double stops lately, too. I'm finding it's best to practice them slowly, smooth and very softly . There's a tendency, at least I have a tendency, to bear down to make better contact with both strings, and that makes them sound bad even when they are in tune. It's also often not great if the double stops are louder than the rest of the tune.

Long slow bowing (up to 1 minute in each direction) in all seven bow planes - four strings and three double stops - helps too.

Andah1andah2 Says:
Sunday, December 6, 2009 @10:33:57 AM

When I was a kid, we lived in an apartment. The old man that lived downstairs had a workshop set up in the basement. We was a woodworker and would whittle and carve all sorts of things. He helped me build my pinebox derby car for boy scouts and a few other things. I remember that workshop and the things we made smelled like my fiddle. When I took a whiff of the fiddle, it instantly drove me all the way back 30+ years to that place. The olfactory sense is so deeply set in the brain, isn't it!

Ozarkian DL Says:
Sunday, December 6, 2009 @1:09:16 PM

YUP....I'll deserve'ably take them noodle lashes. I worked one summer in a wood work shop & lv'd tha smell of wood. However, I us'ta own a 3/4 fiddle whut smelled "moldish" that I'd spray wit air freshener. After yr's of ownership I discovered tha smell wus comin frum tha case, not tha fiddle. I sold it to a mother buying it for her middle shcool daughter ( air freshened up too ). [ 5 cane lashes on me ].

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