Round 3 with Paganini Double Harmonics

Okay, it’s still tough, but I’m making progress. It’s still the same 12 bars from yesterday, but I’m getting better at playing them continuously under tempo.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Hi Seth,

Really happy to have found your blog! I have a question regarding fingerings for the double harmonics: How do you finger the major thirds? You seem to do them the same way as the minor ones, i.e by stopping a major fifth with your thumb. But I just don’t understand how you get that to work.

Best wishes

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Hi @lillcell,

I really should set up a better camera angle, as the video obscures my fingerings. I’ll have to do that for my next one.

Here are my fingerings for the first 8 measures of D. I don’t think I made any mistakes writing them in.

Do these help clarify?

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Thank you so much! I didn’t think of combining artificial harmonics with natural ones - of course that’s the solution! I personally find going back and fourth between purely artificial double harmonics and combined double harmonics to be the most difficult aspect of the passage. For this reason, I think I would prefer playing the last quarter note on the d and g strings, as one can just slide up with the same finger pattern from the preceding eight note.
Regarding the camera angle, I think it works fine. Requiring you to show those minute differences in the thumb would be to ask to much from us readers/viewers… :stuck_out_tongue:

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Yup, it has been a real challenge getting used to thinking in double harmonics. It’s getting eaiser to pick up the tempo.

The passage was already written out in double harmonics for the violin, so I’ve just been adapting it for the cello. It’s mostly the same, but I needed to make some changes to make it work.

I did another session today, so I’ll be uploading it later.

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