Strings for Child's Viola

September 1, 2016 at 02:42 PM · My grandson was offered a music class and he picked viola as his instrument of choice. After my initial shock and embarrassment, I decided to sacrifice the social standing of the family name and humor the child.

So I measured his left arm from the neck to the wrist and then to the base of the fingers and consulted some charts. To my delight, I discovered a viola for his size is actually a violin! Perhaps no one will notice the offending C string and lack of an E string!

My question: What do I use for the C string on a 4/4 violin?

Replies (5)

September 1, 2016 at 03:07 PM · 14 inch viola is not a violin and vice versa. Your grandson needs a fractional viola.

September 1, 2016 at 03:09 PM · Helicore has small scale viola C strings.

September 1, 2016 at 03:13 PM · and so does Dominant.... still violin can not sound like viola.

September 1, 2016 at 10:44 PM · Thanks for the info on a 14 inch viola versus a 4/4 violin strung as a viola. Many sites do not differentiate between fractional viola sizes and violins.

From what I could gather, a true 14 inch viola would be a bit deeper in the ribs and perhaps a bit wider in the bouts than a 4/4 violin in order to get a lower resonance to strengthen the C string.

Does anyone have any experience with "standard" bout and rib dimensions for a 14 inch viola?

Right now I am focused on setting up something that is easy to play and tune and has a reasonable sound and see how he takes to a stringed instrument. If he turns out to be another William Primrose, I will certainly look into a real viola.

I'll grab one of the suggested C strings. Thanks again!

September 4, 2016 at 01:36 PM · There is no "standard" for any violas, fractional or othrwise!

For a 14" viola, use violin strings for the A, D, and G: the tensions will then be correct.

For the C, you could try Helicore. The tension wil be high enough, and the lesser diameter will give a less "muddy" tone to the low notes.

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