In this post you will learn what a double-stop for the violin is, the top 5 benefits of using double-stops and be able to download free double-stop PDF printables for beginner-advanced level violin.
Double-stops on the violin are when two notes are played simultaneously and part of what makes the violin repertoire so thrilling, gorgeous, and sublime. See the image below for an example of how this would appear in a score.
The term "double-stop" is a bit of a misnomer and can be confusing because nothing is actually stopping in the verb sense of the word stop (i.e., to cease or end). The term double-stop makes more sense when we think of "stop" as a noun referring to a location such as a bus stop. For violinists, the location refers to pitches on the fingerboard.
When a request for more double-stop content from the M4YV project came to my inbox, I was an instant YES due to my captivation with this aspect of violin playing. I love double-stops so much that they are one of the reasons I play the violin!
Double-stops are not hard, but they are different than playing on a single string. For some of the players here, it will be a new technique, which makes this the perfect time to remind us that new does not equal difficult, but without the proper mindset, new can be interpreted as feeling difficult.
Keep reading to learn the 5 benefits of double-stops on the violin.
The Top 5 Benefits of Double-Stops on Violin:
1- Improved intonation:
Double stops help to hear pitches in relationship to each other, and this process leads to better intonation because intervals are more evident in the ear.
2- Learning block fingerings:
Double-stops require using "block fingerings," where two fingers are placed on the fingerboard simultaneously. Block fingerings are more sophisticated than using a single finger at a time and help to develop skill.
3- Better understanding of whole & half steps:
Double-stops fortify an understanding of whole and half steps because when using block fingerings, the fingers will feel the proportions of a whole and half step in relation to each other.
4- Advanced bow control:
In the same way that double-stops require the left hand to use two fingers at a time, the right hand also needs to double it's playing requirements by refining it's control over two strings simultaneously. When we begin playing the violin, we work with focus to play just a single string at a time. When we start learning double stops, we exert focus to play two strings together with control and precision.
5- Advanced repertoire:
The most magnificent repertoire composed for the violin uses double-stops, including but not limited to: J.S. Bach's 6 Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin, concerto cadenzas, and mesmerizing fiddle playing. Check out the videos below for some amazing examples of double-stops in violin repertoire.
Scroll down a bit on the page to find these FREEBIES to help learn and play double-stops.
What are your favorite double-stop compositions?
Please share in the comments below.
The M4YV FREEBIES page has been getting organized and is growing!
If you have not recently visited this page of 130+ free downloads, you may enjoy some recent additions, including:
Rainbow Scales for Violin & Viola -
Use these LARGE sized musical staff charts with students to help learn note names and use them as a reference and color in the half notes for fun. Many of us are looking for distance ways of connecting with our students right now, and these free charts are perfect for beginners to study the musical staff. Get creative with how you use these and please send me a picture of your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Samples from the Double-Stop Études (Violin & Viola)
The most recent additions to the Music for Young Violinists project include Double-Stop Études for violin and viola titled: 5 Progressive Double-Stop Études for Violin and Viola, composed by Heather Figi. Several resources from these collections made their way to the FREEBIES page, including:
1- Interval Charts (in color and black and white) - This is another fantastic activity to email to your students for distance learning. The black and white version is unlabeled so students can study the intervals and write in what interval is represented by themselves.
2- New Spring for 2 Violins - This duet contains double-stops and is also transcribed for solo instruments.
3- Preparatory Exercises the 5 Progressive Double Stop Études (Alto Clef) - Each 4-8 measure section correlates to a longer étude. Some students will be able to learn all 5 in a week, and other students will need more time to learn the 5 preparatory exercises. Do not move on to the full études until these five preparatory exercises are mastered.
Download 2, PDF printable charts on the FREEBIES page (click here) to learn music theory intervals. The rainbow-colored interval chart lists the names of the intervals and makes a great studio poster. The black and white chart is unlabeled and perfect for printing out for students to have them write in the names of the intervals.
Hi! It's me, Heather. I absolutely love working on the Music for Young Violinists project and all the many facets: blogging, website, music, teaching materials, freebies, videos, newsletter and giveaway contests. The best part is connecting with you so feel free to drop me a line. You can learn more about me on the "ABOUT" page. Thanks!