After you learn the basics of playing the violin, you can start exploring more exciting techniques and tricks. Double stops, for example, are when you play more than one string simultaneously, which can add a lot of color and flair to your playing. However, it’s not the easiest technique to master. We found a great read on All Things Strings online, jam-packed with tips to help you along the way; here’s an excerpt to get you started…
First and foremost relax, relax, relax. Any tension in your left hand will quickly tie it up and cramps are sure to follow. Don’t mistake tension for strength. They are very different sensations.
Take frequent breaks. It’s very easy to wear out your hand when you are starting to work on a new double-stop passage. If your hand gets tired, stop playing or work on something else and come back to the double-stops later. In the beginning, several very short practice sessions are much more effective than one long session that ends in cramps and aches. As you build up strength and endurance, you can practice for longer periods.
Also, make sure your left elbow is far enough forward. This will help your fingers reach the fingerboard more easily.
You don’t need any extra pressure with your bow to play two strings at the same time. To ensure this is the case, first make sure your bow is positioned evenly between the two strings you want to play. Then experiment with how little pressure you can get away with and still make both strings ring clearly. Start with open strings to get comfortable with your bowing. This is a nice way to work on achieving a beautiful, focused tone quality. Use whole bows. Keep your bow hand relaxed and keep track of how you must adjust it to maintain a focused sound in different parts of the bow.
You can read the rest of the article and helpful tips here.
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