Fat fingers with double stops
October 5, 2018 at 9:55 am #22800BeeManParticipant
I realize I need to push string away from open string, in order to get a solid sound I push rather hard and this in turn mutes my open string. Does finger nail length make a big difference or am I suffering from death grip
October 7, 2018 at 5:15 am #22810jason kleinbergKeymaster
Keep your nails short. The fat part of the finger can hit the open string if you don’t come straight down on the string. Sometimes shifting your elbow in a little helps.
November 1, 2018 at 4:21 am #23579AJParticipant
I too have been struggling with this – trying top get flow into the Lover’s Waltz with a couple of double stops.
I do not have a teacher and am learning mostly from internet observations and cannot thank Jaso’n enough for the hours of playing pleasure he has given me ands sense of satisfaction. Long-term follower of Fiddlehed.
So I’ve read what sense Jaso’n said herein (and trimmed nails again – of course) and also looked at and considered what Nathan Cole says about MVP (Minimum Violin Pressure) and then I found and listened very intently to what William Fitzpatrick on http://www.virtualsheetmusic.com says about the angle of the wrist coupled with his descriptions to do with the evolution of violin strings and how they require less finger down load as their construction has changed over the years. All this put my had at a better angle with less stress in it.
To explain:I was trying to play 1st position staying down on D3 (staying down) and double stop on A2 then lift A2 to play D3 and A1on the next note. It just would not work for me.
I then put together what I knew of the physics of the string with the how to’s (a bit baffling at times when the body gets in the way) as adding a node (a point that is stationary) only to the string length and not push down so hard: getting finger pressure closer to right has allowed me to more easily push the string away so that my fat little digit doesn’t touch the A string and make a dead point where it brushes the D string on the up bow (effectively a false node).
At first I was kind-of solving it by playing two consecutive down bows but that was pretty hopeless.
My biggest issue was on an up bow dragged the string closer to my offending finger that was in the way and I could not seem to bend the string out of the way until I eased up on the string pressure.
After much practice it is slowly starting to come together now so I don’t have that awful pause setting up for the double stop – well it’s getting more smooth anyway.
Hope that helps and isn’t too jumbled – hard to explain a very long process to fix it.
March 8, 2021 at 5:24 pm #46266Mel NewtonModerator
Fingernail length makes a HUGE difference. I absolutely cannot play double stops with a nail that extends past my finger tip. There are some great tips above. I wanted to add some mental perspective for approaching them too. Focus on double stops for a short amount of time, and then focus on something else not related to double stops helps a lot. I struggled with double stops in the beginning too. Practice….and then let it go. Focus on it…and then sleep on it. When I’m working on something that is difficult for me, I know it’s time to focus on something else when instead of being excited to pick up my fiddle and play, I avoid practicing because **that’s** what is on the agenda and it’s not fun any more. Over time it will improve, and some day it won’t be big thing any more and something else will be (looking at you vibrato….).
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