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Thread: When will he stop asking questions

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    Junior Member WalterJ's Avatar
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    Default When will he stop asking questions

    Sorry but I need to ask another question.

    I was thinking today about violin or viola and to show how little I know, I need to ask, other than size and tuning what is the difference? Why choose one over the other?

    I plan on e-mailing a friend of mine tonight that was a rather good viola player (years ago) who once said he chose viola because of $2000. Meaning at that time viola players got paid more than violin players.

    I am not looking for a career, to be honest I do not know what I am looking for or why I have this need to play either a violin or a viola, I'm just trying to figure out which one to try and learn.

    I really mean no offense here to violin or viola players I just am really that clueless.

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    get the $199 violin kit i posted, the book i linked you to, and start practicing.
    then you'll know more of what you want to ask.
    better get some extra strings, too. you'll break some when you learn to tune...and maybe some peg dope, or just scratch some rosin on them.

    dj

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    it generally depends whether you want to be the laughing stock of the orchestra or not :P

    on a more helpful note, i suppose it depends on what you think of their sound and feel. generally, most violists are convert from violin, although the repertoire is mainly transcriptions of pieces originally written for other instruments.
    Last edited by Mr Salek; Dec-28-2007 at 00:37.

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    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    Whichever you choose, if you intend to buy a "starter kit" - violin/viola, case, bow, rosin - make sure it's been set up properly by the supplier. Especially if you buy via the internet. You'll be in for some misery and extra expense if not.

    It would be best if you could get one of your string-playing friends to visit a shop with you to check everything.

    Fitting a bridge, which includes getting it to the right height and position, is not a task for a beginner. And if you have to change strings, do so one at a time so you don't disturb the bridge position. Get fine-tuning adjusters fitted on all strings if you can but definitely on the E/A.

    Once you've got your starter kit, the best first improvement to make is a better bow. Carbon fibre ones are ok but don't do spiccato well. You may also need a shoulder rest - that makes holding/supporting the instrument easier so position changing is easier as you're less likely to move the instrument, in turn causing other problems, bouncing bow and such.

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    Junior Member WalterJ's Avatar
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    Thank You, I will do that

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    It is a general joke among instrumentalists that violists are nothing more than bad violinists, so Frasier has a point.

    You are about to pick up one instrument.

    Why choose one over the other?
    Because you prefer one to the other.

    If you don't know violists and violinists you could meet personally, I say you should explore recordings of both instruments. Do a forum search on "violin" and read the threads for suggested works to listen. Then do the same with "viola".

    Then get Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante K364, Halvorsen-Haendel's Passacaglia and the recording of the Bruch double concerto by Sitkovetsky and Bashmet. You can compare both instruments playing together in these recordings.

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    Junior Member WalterJ's Avatar
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    Thank You very much, I will do that and I will look for those.

    And what do instrumentalists say about Classical Guitarist? , I kinda sorta trying to be one many years a ago

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Classical guitarists, I think, are not really spoken about a lot.

    Yuri Bashmet is not one of the better violists. If you can buy a 2-disc set: the Israel Philharmonic's 60th anniversary concert, do it. It's got one of the greatest recordings of the Handel-Halvorsen ever made. As for the Mozart, Go for a DVD that centers around David Oistrakh. It has the Mozart performed by Igor and David Oistrakh (violin and viola, respectively) and it has some other great pieces as well, with Yehudi Menuhin and Mstislav Rostropovich. Great pieces. I'll send you some other clips and stuff from YouTube to give you some idea of how different the viola is from violin.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Junior Member WalterJ's Avatar
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    Great Thank You

    And I am not sure if not talking about guitarists is a good thing or a bad thing

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    Senior Member BuddhaBandit's Avatar
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    It's good to bring up classical guitarists as much as possible, because they don't get nearly as much recognition as they deserve. For example, check out guitarist Sharon Ibsen's renditions of the Bach lute suites; really masterful interpretations.
    Take a look at the Bandit's blog, Americana Avenue.

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