Or would it be only possible if arpeggiated?

For example in cello, to play G string in a chord with Bb in A string (being D string on the middle)

  • I think you can play at most two notes at once. Chords must be arpeggiated. – Lenny Apr 18 '17 at 4:32
  • Related question. – guidot Apr 18 '17 at 8:40
  • 1
    That's why you'd play the Bb on the D string. – Carl Witthoft Apr 18 '17 at 11:24

Sure, you could play the open G string with a Bb on the A string, and not play the D string. All you need is two bows. Unless you can finger the Bb with your chin, that means two people.

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    Two bows for one hand works. – Tim Apr 18 '17 at 10:46

Pizzicato, yes, but that's not what you ask, I think. It's possible, but needs two bows for arco, and has been achieved by a certain Frances-Marie Uitti, who used one bow normally, with another under the strings. Not something to be achieved for a few notes in the middle of a concerto!

So, yes, but not in a conventional way.


Basically no. Because of the continuous bow action, dampening a middle string (like possible on the guitar) is not an option: the string would squeak.

There is the theoretical possibility to play two non-adjacent empty strings while pressing down (fingering) the string in between in a high position to move it below the bowing plane covering the empty strings. It would only work with rather light bowing pressure and the bow would need to be quite further away from the bridge than usual: after all, playing in high positions is supposed to be possible on the middle strings too.

  • No, not really possible. – Carl Witthoft Apr 18 '17 at 11:24
  • Possible I think, but certainly not practical. – Bacs Apr 19 '17 at 9:42

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