How hard is the viola to play?

How hard is the viola to play?

How hard is the viola to play?    17:32 on Tuesday, August 08, 2006          

(6 points)
Posted by CatOboist

Hi, I was just hoping some of you violist could give me advice. Currently I play the oboe. I'am playing advanced literature that proffessionals already play. For the past couple of years I've loved playing oboe but all of the sudden this year i'm not really as motivated to play the oboe anymore. I've always wanted to play a string insturment and I love the sound of the viola. Honestly, how hard would it to be to learn the viola because i only have 2 years left of high school before collage. Do you think i could make a switch to viola in 2 years if i practiced every day for hours?

Thanks for your help,

Re: How hard is the viola to play?    19:18 on Sunday, August 13, 2006          

(21 points)
Posted by Violahead

I want to play the oboe because I liked the sound. I also like the flute and clarinet. Bassoon is cool, but I don't want to play it because of the cost. I actually own a clarinet that I haven't practiced for months. I was put of oboe playing because of the whole pressure in the brain thing. As a woodwind and string player I would think that viola is tough mainly because of the projection thing. Violist are always trying to find the prefect combination of projection and the richness of the viola tone AND comfortability of playing.
I find my little 15.5 uncomfortable and the projection okay, but the tone is beautiful. Viola has more of a problem with the color of ranges. On the A, you have a bright, nasal sound. The middle two, which are often called the boring two, are more of the accompnaiment strings. The C (and G are my favorites) has a dark tone and sounds more dark(viola) rather than deep(cello).

Re: How hard is the viola to play?    19:27 on Sunday, August 13, 2006          

(21 points)
Posted by Violahead

(sorry) with viola you have the middle two strings which on violin or cello would sound more suitable for a floating melody (like the oboe 1 part from the adagio from the gran partita), but on the viola the two middle strings can even be dull(in not played in the correct manner anyway). My first music teacher once urged some us string players to double on oboe because of the reducing no. of oboists. Oboe spots would therefore seem less competitive than viola spots.

Re: How hard is the viola to play?    01:48 on Wednesday, September 13, 2006          

(4 points)
Posted by LoriFG

i think anything is easier than making reeds.... hehe. but really, starting a new instrument is always hard. bowed string instruments are especially hard to start (as opposed to piano or some of the wind instruments) because it takes so much technique just to make a good sound. you will spend a long time in front of a mirror watching your bow path and your left wrist (: if it is worth it to you to change instruments this late in the game, then i would say find a good teacher, rent an instrument, and go for it. but be fully aware of how difficult it will be, and maybe don't sell your oboe just yet.
ps if you're going to do it, start on violin cuz it's easier, then switch. having the skill to play both is always better, and the clef is really the biggest difference.

I have made similar experience    09:52 on Saturday, October 07, 2006          

(5 points)
Posted by Maiksch


Perhaps I can help you with your decision, because I already started playing the viola after having played the flute for in about 6 years. I also always dreamed of playing a string instrument, but wehn I was young, my parents did not allow me to play the violin, because they were frightening having to tolerate terrible sounds at the beginning. When I was older I could persuate them to let me play the viola and it was really the right decision. I have got a really great teacher and it was not so hard for me, because I already knew a lot about music theory. Now I already play the viola for 4 years and I really love it. I am quite good, so that I can already play in an good youth orchestra.
I can really only encourage you to try learning the viola. It is not so hard and there are no sound which are to terrible to tolerate at the beginning....

Re: How hard is the viola to play?    22:10 on Thursday, October 19, 2006          

(26 points)
Posted by violaguy


Re: How hard is the viola to play?    21:33 on Friday, October 20, 2006          

(21 points)
Posted by Violahead

my parents would have died if I would have played violin during those first few months of hours of practicing for days. Viola is more comfortable for me than any other instrument. violin is like a toy. I play cello(not well), but its a torture to travel with it. my fingers aren't cushiony enough for bass. so I play viola. I also borrowed a cello from my school....anywayviola is the best instrument in the world. viola "plays well with other" and is critical to blending like the french horn and clarinet(actually all winds blend well but i play clarinet). It doesn't cover up every thing like violins or cellos and has a distinct sound that is clearly distinguishable when given a solo(or soli)

Re: How hard is the viola to play?    21:35 on Friday, October 20, 2006          

(21 points)
Posted by Violahead

I am working on the stamitz and hoffmeister and bach suites as we speak and i'm a 3rd year viola player(with no prior musical knowldege) THE TUNER AND METRENOME ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS YOU'LL LOVE TO PLAY WITH THEM


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