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Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola! 
 

Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola!

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Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola!    06:13 on Thursday, April 03, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

atomicsnowflake
(6 points)

I'm just starting to play the viola and I went to the store on Monday and was sold a 16" one. I was told that the size was fine for me - I'm a 5.4 foot female and I only have small hands.

I took it home and have been trying to practise, but it's obvious that it's too big for me - I'm struggling to reach the G string and the C string is almost impossible! My wrist is hurting and the pain has been extending up my arm.

I phoned the store and explained my difficulties, but they said that the size was fine - I can hold the scroll in the palm of my hand, but my arm is completely straight and I've spoken to a Luthier and he said that the arm should be slightly bent when holding it in this way.

I think the store were just glad to have sold it as it had been in for quite a while. It's a nice instrument, but I can't do anything with it.

They told me to go back in with it and they'd try me out on some different sized "fiddles" (as he so eloquently phrased it)! I don't want a re-strung violin!!!!! I asked if they can get me a 14.5 or 15" viola, but they didn't want to commit themselves. I just have a feeling that they want to fob me off with a violin and set of viola strings.

I'm so upset now as I'm really enjoying learning (I've been learning on my son's school instrument) and I just want the right sized viola for me! I'm scared about what they're going to do on Monday when I return to the store. I can't go today as my son is sick.

What should I do?

Should I insist that they source me a proper sized viola or ask for my money back if they can't? Would a re-strung violin do the job or be inadequate?

Please, please help me!!!!!!!!!!

Any advice gratefully received!

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Re: Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola!    16:14 on Thursday, April 03, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

atomicsnowflake
(6 points)

Do you think that a 15" might be more realistic. The store told me that 14.5" was too small and they didn't seem interested in helping me.

I have lessons fixed up and I need an instrument, not simply my son's cruddy school one, which I've had to go back to practising on!

Boo Hoo

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Re: Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola!    17:47 on Wednesday, August 06, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

tessellation
(42 points)

I hate to say it, but I'd return it if you still can. Then go to a violin shop. The specialty shops may be off the beaten path or more expensive, but well worth the effort. They know what they're doing and really take the time to give you a good fit. You may find you want to do one of the rent-to-own policies if they're available. That way you can give it some time and you're not usually locked in if after a time the fit is not for you.

When I was fit for mine, it took a little while. And when I got to the one I have now, I knew immediately. I'm 5'10" with small hands. I have really long fingers. My viola is a 15.5". So, you see, it's not really easy to gauge by numbers. Someone who knows what they're doing can get you a good fit. If you don't have a good fit, you won't enjoy it and you won't play. And that would really be a shame. It's so beautiful. I really hope it all works out for you!





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Re: Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola!    10:03 on Sunday, September 28, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

theoestrebunny
(4 points)

I would reccoment you get your money back whilst you can. I'm 5'10 with a 16.5 inch and that's just right so I reckon it is too small. I smaller one would be better. I purchased mone though my county music service, maybe you could try that?

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Re: Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola!    10:04 on Sunday, September 28, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

theoestrebunny
(4 points)

And a 14.5 inch would probably suit you at that height. Hope it goes well!

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Re: Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola!    02:52 on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

atomicsnowflake
(6 points)

Thanks for your reply. I ended up by getting my money back and I bought a nice 15" viola from a luthier who lives not too far away from me. I'm managing okay with it so far.

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Re: Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola!    14:29 on Sunday, March 08, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

RitaDamper
(9 points)

I'm a 5' violinist with very tiny hands too, and I'm planning on trying the viola too, and have worked out that I need a 14" instrument. Would this work for you too?

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Re: Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola!    10:41 on Monday, March 09, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

atomicsnowflake
(6 points)

Hi there,

I'm currently managing okay on my 15". Good luck with your playing. The viola is a great instrument.

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Re: Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola!    14:44 on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

CassP
(1 point)

I think i must have an instrument that is too big for me! I'm 5'2 and play a 16 inch!!!
But i have no problems...

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Re: Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola!    05:38 on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

atomicsnowflake
(6 points)

It's more to do with the size of the hands and the length of the strings than a person's height - it's just that small people tend to have small hands. My viola teacher is smaller than me, but she manages to play a 16" with no problems. It's just a case of what's comfortable really.

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Re: Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola!    06:55 on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

RitaDamper
(9 points)

My new 14" viola arrives this week and I'll let you know how I get on with it.

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Re: Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola!    10:51 on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

atomicsnowflake
(6 points)

Okay. My son has a 14" viola and it sounds fine. I'm still struggling with my fourth finger on my 15", but my teacher assures me that fingers can adapt, given enough time *lol*

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Re: Please Help! Having problems purchasing a viola!    13:41 on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

RitaDamper
(9 points)

My 14" arrived just as I'd finished writing my last post and it's amazing! The sound is just fabulous and it's just right for my reach. So I'd say Go for it!

   

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