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Fiddle Lessons: Double Stops: 5ths

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Double stops, the dreaded double stops.
There's so many beautiful sounds you can
make with the fiddle using double stops.
Those two notes at a time.
there's so many horrendous, horrible
sounds that you can make.
It's it's a scary subject,
but it's one that is so rewarding, you
If you, if you find a way to kind of break
it down, so
you can work on this stuff systematically.
Obviously, we're working without frets,
so we have the potential to get double
stops perfectly in tune.
Totally in tune and beautifully sweet.
We also have the potential to play them
horribly out of tune.
So let's just approach, we,
I'm gonna break these double stops up into
categories, types of intervals.
I know that we've, we've been talking
about intervals,
so I'm gonna talk about the different
intervals, and
we'll just kinda go after each type of
double stop separately and
kinda look at how they're used in
bluegrass and on the fiddle in general.
So, we're gonna start with the very
simplest double stop,
which is the open fifth, right?
[SOUND] It's the one you get when you
Your open strings,
these strings are tuned a fifth apart, so
it's a fifth.
[SOUND] One, two, three, four, five.
All right, so these happen a lot when
we're just playing drone type tunes.
We played-
Brushy Fork of John's Creek.
use them a lot when we're just you know,
doing potatoes at the beginning of a tune.
One potato, two potato, three potato,
It's a very useful
double stop when we're playing hot licks.
Sometimes we'll want to put our finger
down on both strings at once,
all across both strings-
Those kind of things,
they're, they kind of give a wild sort of
uncontrolled feeling,
the great Benny Martin, the great, one of
the great originating
bluegrass fiddle players played a lot of
these kind of double stops.
They were probably originated by
Joe Venuti, one of the great, the first
really well-known,
great, jazz violin player in probably the
20s and 30s.
And then a lot of these,
the great bluegrass fiddle players take
those up from Joe.
So this is not that difficult, the, the
Because mostly, we're just playing-
We're just playing open strings.
And if we wanna do the-
We just have to
make sure that our fingers are positioned
[SOUND] right between the strings.
[SOUND] Everybody has a different finger
shape on their end.
So you're gonna have to find, spend a
little time finding how that's gonna feel.
You can't just put your finger down
anywhere because we don't have perfectly
square fingers.
different places, we have to find a spot
that works.
And kind of get used to that.
And then try to hit that-
And again, you know, as Gabe said,
you've got to find them everyday, there's
a certain amount of review and
practice that we have to do, because you
might have washed the dishes.
You might be playing another instrument.
The shape of your fingers changes every
depending on whether they've been in water
or, you know, how much you eat.
[LAUGH] So many factors go into that.
So you're always sort of making
corrections in [SOUND]
these kind of little finger placement
issues with open fifths.