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  • #5176 Reply


    As I am practicing scales and simpler songs I find I am more drawn to the sounds of the lower strings on my violin.

    I don t mind the high notes but enjoy the lows more.

    once I can afford to upgrade my violin would it change much the fingering and bowing switching to a viola?

    I told myself I would not buy a new instrument until I had the vibrato learned .it will be a while before that is learned.

    and even then it will not be overly expensive since I am on a small fixed income.

    #5233 Reply

    Elizabeth Davis

    If you want to play viola, you may love the violas Michael has for sale here, I know I ADORE mine!

    You’d have to learn a new clef, so it might be a little disorienting at first.

    #8476 Reply

    Sophia Chan

    the viola has a nicer, warmer, more mellow sound to it and i prefer it over the brighter sounds of a violin. switching over isn’t too hard other than getting use to the clef but alto get pretty easy to read quickly

    #8558 Reply

    The violin and viola bowing techniques would be very similar–the biggest difference would be learning to read the music differently. This isn’t that hard to do, and certainly everything else translates over pretty easily. The other change would be that the viola is longer which would take you having to stretch your fingers a little farther (the 4th finger could be trickier). If you have small hands, I would recommend a 15 or 15.5″ viola to aid in the transition. Violins are all 14″, so that would be only one inch longer if you are used to the size of a violin. The longest viola you can get is a 17.5″ which would be a massive difference from a regular sized violin. Only go that route if you have very big hands.

    The viola that I sold Elizabeth was the Vitale viola–it’s a very nice option for the price point. Totally hand crafted and it has a wonderful deep/rich sound.

    #10183 Reply

    Chris Guleff

    The viola is a very special instrument that attracts fewer players, but those who choose to play viola tend to develop a deep love for the instrument and its unique tone quality. I remember reading a book from the public library when I was in high school that consisted of interviews was well-known string players. The author of the book made the comment that each violist he interviewed stated that violists share a particular type of personality, whereas violinists and cellists covered a wider range of personalities.

    If you are drawn to play the viola, the go for it! You’ll love playing this most unique instrument . . .

    #10510 Reply


    I’ve always wanted to try the viola but never had the opportunity. It’s a beautiful sounding instrument and I know a few people who would highly recommend it. According to them, it’s pretty easy to transition to a viola from a violin.

    #11067 Reply


    Even though I am new to the violin, I have already purchased a viola. I purchased a Gia Rosana viola from Michael and I love it! I am in love with the lower notes and I am sure that I will eventually migrate to the viola.

    #11156 Reply

    Jennifer Hansen

    I have enjoyed reading all the replies and have had many of my own questions about the viola answered as well!
    I know that Michael offers a “Try before you Buy” option and that might be a great way to see if the viola will be a good fit for you.
    Thank you for posting the question and for giving me something to consider as well!
    Happy playing!!!?????

    #11267 Reply


    Is there a disadvantage to trying to learn both the violin and viola at the same time?

    #11345 Reply

    Chris Guleff

    DeaconBlue, the only disadvantage would if you start out by thinking of the viola as a large violin, and attempting to apply violin technique to the viola. I found it easy to switch from violin to viola and back again because I developed a mindset from the outset where I recognized each instrument by feel, and associated treble clef with violin fingering and alto clef with viola fingerings. This is similar to a keyboard player switching back and forth between an acoustic piano and an electronic organ, something else I’m able to do. In both cases, it’s easy to see that some things are the same, some are different.

    One famous musician who could make the shift instantly was Israeli violin and violist, Pinchas Zukerman. I once saw a video in which he was playing duets with another famous Isareli Violinist, Itzhak Perlman. They showed Mr. Zukerman first playing a violin duet with Mr. Perlman, and then, right before the camera, picking up the viola and playing a violin/viola duet. The announcer pointed out that making the switch on the spot was a special skill that many string players do not possess.

    Actually, DeaconBlue, if you really WANT to play both, you can, and I encourage you to try.

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