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Thread: Should I switch to Viola?

  1. #1
    Senior Member 4/4player's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Should I switch to Viola?

    Hey guys!

    Im currently a violin player with 6-7months experience(give or take). But Im thinking of switching to Viola...Its not that its a hard instrument for me to learn on, its just that I don't know or see a lot of viola players. Any suggestions?
    Thanks!.
    4/4player
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    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    It depends what you want to do. Both viola and violin are difficult: you need a lot of work up-front before making much progress (intonation, bowing, crossing strings, lots of things, even holding it properly!).

    You'll get more "work" as a viola-player among amateur/semi-pro orchestras of all standards. You should be able to "get in" on a lower grade than with violin. But you still need an intermediate standard for an adult orchestra - that's at least 3 years hard practice, probably more.

    On the down side you have to learn a new clef (not that difficult), violas need a slightly longer stretch in the lower positions, - and there're less solo works for them.

    To be honest, most amateur/semi-pro orchestras are always looking for more strings so if you've started on violin you might be better off sticking with it until you get to an intermediate grade. The transition to viola isn't that difficult. I know a few amateur ensemble players who play both and they uniformly say that switching instantly between the two is more a problem of switching clefs than instruments!

    So, it's up to you. IMHO you're probably ok on violin at the moment. If you fancy being a soloist or jazz player stick with that. .There's always the possibility of getting one of the new 5 string instruments with the viola C string. I haven't played one and not too sure I go along with that scheme!

    good luck.

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    Senior Member 4/4player's Avatar
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    Dear Frasier,
    Thank you very much for your opinion! I need all the advice I can get,haha. Well, I've decided to switch to Viola anyway, since I know a Teacher who gives violin and viola lessons(Viola is her first and main instrument). I'm more drawn to the "warm" grave tones of the Viola, compared to the "brilliant" tones of the violin.
    I really don't mind playing the harmony or learning a new clef, I don't really see/know a lot of viola players(all of them are violin!). Anyway, Thanks again!
    Musically,
    4/4player
    P.S My mother was in shock when I told her that I wanted to switch to Viola,haha!
    " 'Penitence!'
    'No!'
    'Penitence!'
    'No!'
    'Penitence!'
    'No!'
    'Yes!'
    'Nooooooooooo!' [Dragged down into Hell]
    - Act two: Finale of Mozart's "Don Giovanni"

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    Senior Member zlya's Avatar
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    You do realize you'll be exposing yourself to the LIMITLESS WORLD of Viola jokes?

  5. #5
    Senior Member 4/4player's Avatar
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    Yes=)Those jokes are really funny!But, the "Grave" tone and harmony of the Viola would compensate for that

    Zlya, I figure you have a bunch of those jokes in your head already?(haha)=)

    Musically,
    4/4player
    " 'Penitence!'
    'No!'
    'Penitence!'
    'No!'
    'Penitence!'
    'No!'
    'Yes!'
    'Nooooooooooo!' [Dragged down into Hell]
    - Act two: Finale of Mozart's "Don Giovanni"

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    Senior Member Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Well, you know what I like to do in these situations... please check in with a "progress report" for us, 4/4! While were at it, maybe someone can compile a list of violists who developed into world-class conductors (I know that there are are few).

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    A slightly off-topic question, now that 4/4player has decided to learn the viola: Why aren't there many solo and concerto-style works for the viola? I know a few written by Vivaldi for the viola d' amore, but what about later periods? Are there any works as famous as those for its smaller cousin? (Please, no viola jokes or very technical replies. )
    Last edited by opus67; May-30-2007 at 19:44.
    Regards,
    Navneeth

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Morigan's Avatar
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    There's the famous Bartok Viola Voncerto. I've seen P. Zukerman performing it live in february. Awesome!

  9. #9
    Senior Member ChamberNut's Avatar
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    I believe Hindemith wrote a fair amount of works for the viola, considering that he was a violist player himself.

  10. #10
    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    I started on the viola (no prior violin study) and progressed rather rapidly (or so I'm told). I've been playing for about 4 years and it all seems rather natural.

    But, to answer your question: YES.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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