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Question: What should I learn before taking up the viola!?
Yes, I'm finally going to learn the viola! But for violists out there, what should I know first!? I'm learning the alto clef right now, and I play the oboe, so I can read music!. (At least in the treble clef) How hard was it for you to learn a stringed instrument!? All answers and tips from anyone who plays a stringed instrument would be appreciated!Www@QuestionHome@Com

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker:
Well, I play the violin (which is similar, just smaller in body and has an E string, smaller bow, etc)!. I started years ago and it was very hard to start!. One thing to remember is to ALWAYS stand up when playing!. You should only ever sit down if you are playing in an orchestra, but even if you are in one, you should stand up when practising by yourself!. You should also have a straight back and make sure the your chin is actually on the chin rest!. It helps to get a shoulder rest, which is this!.!.!.!.horizontal!.!.!.!.object which you attach to the bottom of the viola/ violin and it makes it WAY easier to play!. Most performers have them!. There is also a specific way to hold the bow, which you'll learn, and you should always remember to keep your left elbow under the viola/violin (if you are right-handed)!.

Keep in mind that some of what I stated might be different because that's all stuff for the violin, but it SHOULD be the same!.!.!.!.

Oh yeah, one more thing, it's WAY harder than it looks!. :)Www@QuestionHome@Com

The viola is one of, if not the hardest stringed instruments to play!. Due to our size, we have problems with finger positioning!. One thing you should get used to is the feel of how you hold your instrument!. Your teacher will help you with posture, but you have to keep in mind of other things that they might miss!. Is your elbow pulled underneath the instrument with your fingers curved!? And this should feel awkward at first, but in time you'll get used to it!.

Posture is the main problem for most students starting out!. In a symphony you will be seated!. Usually musicians sit at the ends of their chair to get a straight back!. However, some violists must have their backs against the chair IF the instrument is too large (I own a 16 3'4 and therefor have to sit this way or else I'd tip over!.)!. In solo performances though you will be standing!. Standing is easier for some and difficult for others!. But it's up to you to find your balance and comfortable playing stance!. The bow is an important part of your viola training!. It's hard to explain, but your teacher should be able to teach you in person!.

You should also know that violists don't always get the good part in the orchestra, but we are very important!. Most of our repertoire is not originally for viola!. But the one that are, can sound 'weird' to many people!.

All in all, learning to play the viola should not be very difficult!. But keep in mind that when you get into higher level pieces and techniques, it will be very challenging!. And so, best of luck and remember to practice!Www@QuestionHome@Com

the first couple of years its a little difficult being comfortable and positioning yourself with the bow and the viola but those things get easier!. I personally think the only downfall is the parts we get on most occasions are boring and there are not alot of solo things out there either!. I dont think stringed instruments are that much more difficult than any other instrument I play viola, piano, guitar, and i do voice and they all eventually will be difficult the more advanced you get but in a way it gets a little easier because you pick up things faster and alot of things are just second nature, like on the viola or any stringed instument putting your finger on the right note and having it intune with having to think or look at it!.!.!.well i hope that helps a bit :] But when you learn play out!! so many violist are timid and play so they cant be heard conductors and private teachers love to not have to say play louder violas! hahaWww@QuestionHome@Com