Violin Double Stops

Octave intervals between each finger is fun to try and can stretch the hand before practising double stop scales 

For the advanced player the double stop is one of the most important technical elements to thoroughly assimilate. 

Violin double stops practised regularly will strengthen and balance the left hand.

Double stopping undoubtedly improves tone production, facilitates position changing and considerably broadens technique. There is no substitute for practising double stop scales whether in thirds, sixths, octaves, tenths or chords.

Keeping the thumb loose is a key element for improving intonation and quality of tone

Violin finger positions within two, three or four note chords, work most effectively when the thumb is loose and the fingers are at the correct angles to the fingerboard. As chords change, position of the fingers in relation to the thumb will also change.

The arm and fine balancing of the left hand must constantly adjust to the tempo and dynamics of the music. Intonation and tone between chords will then remain excellent. The use of the violin finger chart on page 169 will allow a varied choice of double stopping within the scale chart.

It will be necessary at first to choose easier keys for each third and sixth double stop scale. A low fingering in thirds i.e. not going higher than third position will be comfortable in the key of G, but would be more uncomfortable in sixths as the notes and position work is higher. Choosing a different easier scale for sixths in the key of Eb major, would in the earlier stages be more beneficial. 

Careful selection of repertoire accompanied by the correct level of technical work, will ensure steady progress

To double stop accurately will ensure rapid progress and greater success both with exams and competitions


Violin double stops are the equivalent of taking regular exercise. Those who daily prepare double stop scales will remain healthy violinists. Those violinist who shy away from practising, will struggle with the demands of more complicated repertoire.

Violin double stops are indispensable to the serious student or professional violinist. The choice is therefore quite simple; do not neglect the double stop areas of technique, if an advanced violinist is desired.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus
Violin Scale Manual


A comprehensive guide for the advanced student & conservatoire undergraduate


Are you looking for a highly experienced violin teacher?

Contact Richard Crabtree

Are you looking for violin music lessons online?

Find out more about Violin Skype lessons online
Violin Skype lessons online