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Violin versus Viola
Transitioning to one, choosing right size
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NewFiddlerGirl
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November 23, 2013 - 9:54 pm
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My husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I've been enjoying the violin so much and have been thinking about a viola. I had  put one on my wishlist at Fiddlershop and let him know that's what I want. 

 

Other than the obvious differences, what issues are there transitioning from violin to viola? I just started the violin about 6 weeks ago and I only play for fun - no other aspirations. Should I wait? Will it hamper learning one or the other?

 

As for the size thingie - I read the size guide and think a 16" will work. I will measure for sure. Are there any issues with the smaller viola sizes (like 15 - 14") that I should be aware of?

 

I'm thinking of the CVA 400 or 500. I liked the sound of the 400 and it got good reviews. Any comments or experiences would be appreciated. I'll also post on Violaman too. I'm assuming my login will work there.

 

Thanks for the help...

 

 

 

 

'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free
'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 
  'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

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pky
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November 24, 2013 - 12:36 pm
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1. learning to play an instrument requires a lot of time. Do you think you have time to do both?

2. viola music is written in alto clef, but you could learn by ear.

3. it's probably easier to transfer from one instrument to another when you have the basic of the first instrument down. With that said, it does not mean that you can't learn two or more at the same time.

 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 24, 2013 - 2:07 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Smart choice to go with a 16". The 14" is obviously easier for a violinist to play but the sound of a 16" will be more enjoyable, stronger and deeper.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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HDuaneaz
Chandler, Arizona
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November 24, 2013 - 3:55 pm
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I tried my old teacher's viola, and I felt like I was putting a guitar under my chin.

Duane

 

"Violin is one of the joys of my life."

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CameronLG
Georgia
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November 24, 2013 - 8:13 pm
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Being in Highschool, my orchestra does more than our fair share of messing around, so I have played a Viola a few ((like maybe a total of 3 hours of playing)) times, and it is definitely different. If you are interested in it strictly for the "fun" factor, then I would just say get a 5 string violin. Much easier to get used to, and has the same range of notes as a violin, so if you /have/ to you could just use that rather than having both. Otherwise, it is just something to get used to, and I can't offer any advice past that xD

Stop saying you can't do it and actually go try it... Trust me it works.

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NewFiddlerGirl
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November 25, 2013 - 1:38 am
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HDuaneaz said
I tried my old teacher's viola, and I felt like I was putting a guitar under my chin.

Since my husband has two guitars, I can get ready for the viola by putting one of his instruments under my chin....wink

pky said
1. learning to play an instrument requires a lot of time. Do you think you have time to do both?

2. viola music is written in alto clef, but you could learn by ear.

3. it's probably easier to transfer from one instrument to another when you have the basic of the first instrument down. With that said, it does not mean that you can't learn two or more at the same time.

Unless work goes nuts, I generally have a lot of free time on my hands. My husband is away a lot and I really hate watching tv or sitting idle. Playing music beats compulsively cleaning the house or visiting the casinos.

I truly stink at playing by ear. I can read music and will need to adjust to the alto clef. I learned enough bass clef to pick out left hand notes on the piano.  As long as I can remember one note from a different clef the others can be figured out. 

I thought that since the mechanics of both instruments are the same (i.e. bowing, fingering the notes) that it would not be a huge switch like say switching from the flute to the violin. With that being said, it is also possible to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. 

Thanks for the food for thought. 

 

'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free
'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 
  'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

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RosinedUp
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November 26, 2013 - 1:52 am
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NewFiddlerGirl said
I truly stink at playing by ear. 

Can you sing or hum or whistle?  If so, I'd say you have a pretty good chance of learning to play by ear.

It's not something you learn while playing with someone else, IMO.  Work on it by yourself at first.  Take some very simple easy tune that you can already sing or hum or whistle (hereafter: sing).  Find a recording of it and sing along with it.  Then start matching notes with your voice or with violin.  Sing or play into a tuner to find the names of the notes,  Match one note and another and another.  Write down the names of the notes you find. Pretty soon you'll know what key it's in.  Play the scale if you want.  Then keep after it until you can play the whole tune. Transcribe it into sheet music if you want. Then play that tune a lot, without sheet music.

Don't worry if it seems to take a long time to sound out your first tune.  Nobody is born with the skill without learning it. You just keep doing it with one tune after another, and it will get faster each time.  After practicing on ten or twenty tunes, you might be surprised to find that you can play an easy tune immediately.

Have you tried to approach ear playing as I described?

 

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