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  • #7234 Reply


    Any violists out there tried using 5 string intruments to have both the low C and the high E? I wonder how it works in terms of string length. I would think you’d need a longer string length for the C to sound as you would expect. What’s your experience?

    #10534 Reply

    Sophia Chan

    i’m actually really curious about this too. i would assume the C string would have to be a bit shorter assuming the instrument is the size of a 4/4 violin because a normal viola C string would be too long and end up being really loose

    #11162 Reply

    Chris Guleff

    It’s an interesting concept, but it seems to me that bowing technique would have to be modified due to the fact that gaps between the strings would be smaller. Also, the left-hand fingers would have to adjust accordingly. It seems that the purpose of a five-stringed instrument would be to allow the playing of violin or viola parts on the same instrument, but the tonality of such an instrument could not possibly both a characteristic violin and viola tone — especially on the middle strings. One other thought, I’ve noticed this done on some electric violas, in which case the pickup and amp might be able to make some allowances for tone.

    #12909 Reply

    I’m in the market for one. I fell in love with them after trying a friends. You don’t have to worry about crowded strings as the bridge is a wee bit larger as the whole body is, although not outrageously so – definitely smaller than a viola. It’s so nice to be able to go lower than a G.

    #13146 Reply


    Papa, what are you looking for in an instrument? I’m a violist primarily, and I miss having an E string for a lot of fiddle tunes. Viola tends to get lost in the ix with the band more easily and the high E would help me cut through the texture, but I would miss having the ability to go to a C.

    #14816 Reply

    Scott Adams

    Don’t know if there’s still interest in this, but I know Michael has a good acoustic 5-string instrument (Damiano) available at Superior Violins. He has it in both violin and viola sizes. I know I’ve gotten into discussions with him in the past on its merit. I’m still very interested, but don’t have the finances currently to “pull the trigger” on my purchase. May be worth checking out for you!

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