Are you looking to learn a new musical instrument, such as the violin? The truth is that you should always upgrade your knowledge and practice new skills. If you’re ready for something new and you can commit to it we highly recommend giving it a go with a violin!
While shopping for a viola, there are many things that you should look for, discuss and consider. We have covered a few things that you should know down below. Keep on reading and find your answers.
Top 8 Tips For How To Find the Right Viola
Before learning how to play the viola, it is crucial that you find yourself an instrument that best meets your needs and criteria, and that is within your preferred budget. Having a good viola can make a lot of difference in your learning process, and definitely when playing for a big auditorium.
With the right viola, you can even learn how to play it very easily and in the shortest time possible. Consider the following tips for choosing the right viola!
1. Your level of experience
Your experience as a musician matters a lot before buying an instrument. Since you will be a beginner, you need to select violins that are made to cater to the needs of beginners.
Having a beginner-friendly viola can help you get the hang of the instrument before you move on to intermediate or advanced levels. Ted’s list covers some of the best violas that are made for beginners.
If you have prior experience in playing any kind of string instrument, then you may want to consider more advanced models.
2. Its size
Just like any other musical instrument, violas come in many different sizes. These sizes are made to cater to the needs of players of all sorts of ages.
With violas, you will see that they are measured in inches, making it easier for you to pick the right size. To see what size you should get, first measure the length of your arms. The size of the viola depends on the length of your arm.
For example, if your arm is 26 inches long, then you should consider getting a 16 inches long violin. We recommend buying a viola that ranges around 12-14 inches in size for children.
3. The price point
When buying any kind of instrument, you should always take a look at its price. The price of the viola should match the budget that you have in mind. Since you will find all kinds of viola in the market, their prices may also vary accordingly and can be so drastic.
First, you should conduct some research on your requirements. Whether you are looking for a premium, high-quality viola or if you are just looking to buy a basic instrument for learning.
Depending upon your needs, you would be able to figure out how much money you can spend on the instrument.
4. String length
One critical feature that you should consider is the length of your viola’s strings. The string of your viola usually extends from the fingerboard to the instrument’s bridge. The length is especially important because it determines the way you place your finger.
The string length can affect the way you play your viola. Usually, a shorter string requires you to extend your arms less than a longer string. This makes it easier to play the instrument and adds less stress to your arms.
If you are someone with short arms, you might want to consider buying a viola with a shorter string length!
5. Used Vs. new model
Although this comes down to a matter of preference, most people also recommend buying a used viola as compared to a fresh one.
As the wood matures, the viola results in sounds that are richer and more mellow than those produced on a new viola.
On the other hand, a new viola is more likely to result in brighter tunes. Deciding which viola to buy comes down to your preference for sound quality.
Newer violas also cost less than used ones. This is because vintage instruments grow in terms of their value over time, which is super rare to see in today’s world price-wise. They also require much more care than newer instruments.
Since wood is prone to change due to temperature and moisture, you would need to take more care of a used viola.
6. Set up
Having a proper viola setup can make a lot of difference in the way the instrument sounds. So, how much of a difference can you make and contribute? What is your typical room or office/school setup like? While buying a viola, make sure that you look at the body of the instrument. Since most sounds are produced by the body, having the right one can make a lot of difference.
You should also consider buying a high-quality bow for your viola. If you are a beginner, then even a fiberglass bow can work for you. Other options can include a carbon fiber bow, pernambuco wood bow, and so on.
7. Ask your teacher & test it out
When you don’t know an answer to a certain question you usually tend to ask the master of the craft itself, right? Well, why not ask your teacher for some help? Music teachers understand what their students need more than anyone would. After all, they’ve been in this industry for years! If you two share a special bond they will know how to help you and answer your questions.
Meanwhile, and if possible, try to test out your chosen viola for some time. Try not to purchase a viola over the Internet without testing it first at a store. If that is not possible either read some reviews on it, just to get an actual feel of how good it is.
8. Use recordings
Another great way to narrow your search for the best viola is to listen to recordings of them and how they sound. If you can’t try an instrument in person and play it beforehand you can always Google all about it! Listen to it with your eyes closed to get a true connection to the sound. How does it feel, and is it what you expected it to be? You can also hear how it sounds as someone else plays it, whether it is at school, college, or in a play. Try and really listen back to those recordings to check for nuances that you may not notice when playing, and that may help you narrow your choices.
In the end, are you ready to give it a go with the perfect model that truly suits you? A violin is one versatile instrument that can result in some really good tunes. While learning how to play the viola, it is equally as important to know how to buy one first when at a store or especially if you plan on buying it online. Getting the right kind of viola can make a lot of difference.
If you truly take into consideration all of these features you will be able to get an instrument that best serves your needs!