Double Stops For Fiddlers

Even beginner fiddle pieces involve some kind of double stop. A double stop is playing two notes on different strings at the same time.  

When you play normal, you need to focus on balancing your bow so you don't hit the other strings. When you play double stops, ignore those rules and work hard not to balance your bow and to hit both strings evenly at the same time. 

To play double stops, you need to first adjust your elbow and arm so that your bow hits both strings at the same time. Make sure to keep your elbow and arm horizontal to the violin. 

Practice that until you feel comfortable playing both notes on one string. Remember in music we build on past skills, if you can’t do this well, playing fingers will be very difficult. 

Let's now work on adding fingers to the mix. Make sure your fingers are curved, perfectly rounded and not hitting the strings around them. If you hear a squeaky noise, it's probably because you are hitting the next string over with your finger. 

Curve your fingers so that they are not touching the next string. Concentrate on not squeezing the string as you try to do this. Squeezing does nothing for your sound but actually makes it harder to adjust your fingers so they are not hitting the string next to them. 

 

Texas Slide

You can't be a fiddler without adding the Texas Slide. When we play fiddle music, sometimes we want to slide into the notes, giving it that country twang. To begin, place your finger a half step lower than the note you intend it to be. For example, if you're trying to play C# start at C natural. Now, smoothly slide your finger to C# while playing the notes. This gives you that country twang that you're looking for.