One needs to press two strings together with the same finger. I always got problem on this. Don't know if that's because my hand is kind of smaller and my fingers thinner than normal people. I always fail to get good sounds even when I use index finger, not to mention the other fingers. The difficulty becomes even larger at high positions when the separation of the strings increases.

For example, I have problem playing the part below: enter image description here

What position do you people use to play the marked parts? For example, the first one, do you play in third position and use middle finger for both E flat and B flat, or fourth position using index finger instead?

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    Practice makes perfect. If you have an acoustic guitar, you could try to practice some movable bar chords. When I was working on finger strength, I lowered the action on my guitar so that it was closer to the neck. Some people also use nylon strings to make this even easier. Its easy to make lots of progress but simply not notice it since you have an ideal in your mind. May 13, 2017 at 16:26
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    @SpiderShlong The question is about violin, not guitar. The left hand position on the violin is completely different from on guitar.
    – user19146
    May 13, 2017 at 16:59
  • I simply gave an exercise where results would be more visible. Obviously playing bar chords on a guitar doesn't immediately translate to playing barred notes on a violin. The problem isn't their understanding of violin, but rather a problem with finger strength. So if you do an exercise that builds finger strength by using guitar, I wouldn't consider it irrelevant. May 13, 2017 at 17:06

2 Answers 2


It may be a technique issue, but there is no way to tell without seeing what you are doing.

I see in students sometimes over pressing the double stops. The strings do not have to contact the finger board to get good tone. Try playing the passage with your finger just barely touching the strings; the notes shouldn't come out and you should have a terrible sound.

Then play again with slightly more finger pressure, and repeat, adding pressure until the notes start to sound clear. Practice at this pressure for a bit (may have to start slow and speed up the tempo as you go) and see if it helps.

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    It should also be added that violins are occasionally (not often, but it does happen) set up with their strings so far apart that it's hard to play a fifth double stop, especially high up on the fingerboard. May 13, 2017 at 19:40
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    I have an older violin with a wider string setup. The modern setup is definitely narrower than what you find on some instruments set up around the turn of the century. A person with narrow fingers may want to have a Luthier check the spacing and see if narrowing is warranted. May 14, 2017 at 0:08
  • Yep. Since the problem of too wide spacing for the player is usually at the bridge and not the nut, it's not a hard thing to try out narrower spacing- you just need a new bridge. May 14, 2017 at 19:32

It may help if the violin is tuned in perfect fifths: the usual way to tune a violin is to tune the A string to a reference or with a tuner, then go from there tuning string pairs until they sound cleanly together.

That is not the default when tuning your violin with a generic or a guitar tuner.

Once the empty strings are in perfect unison, fingering perfect fifths should be reasonably straightforward to get under control.

Unless your fingerboard is worn down: if you look in direction of the strings towards a light source, the fingerboard should appear reasonably straight instead of wavy. If that is no longer the case, fingering clean intervals becomes increasingly more challenging. The fingerboard can be honed down by a luthier a few times before it is in need of complete replacement.

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