I am looking for feedback concerning my interest to play Viola. I am not only unsure if I should wait to play viola but also I don't know if I'm playing on the correct sized instrument. I am a petite person with small hands. My neck to base of fingers measures 25” with a yardstick.
A little background: I'm an adult re-learner. I played violin when I was a child, but stopped and more recently started playing again. I joined a local community orchestra and have been very happy with my progress and overall improvement in intonation. I enjoyed the technical challenges of Dancla air varie and currently working through Kayser book with the hopes of gaining more consistency with shifting. I've begun to learn 3 octave scales too.
When I started my violin lessons I rented a full size violin, but found it really hard to reach some notes. My palm also would 'drift' in a sense – I would end up in 2nd position all the time, not purposely. After 3 months my teacher told me about lady violins. The 7/8 size has been perfect for me.
I jumped on the opportunity to play viola when a friend lent me her daughter's 14” viola to try this summer. I was surprised at how easy it is to play the viola and learn the clef. It took 90min to learn the easier major keys and start site reading through Wolfhart book 1. Actually, the whole experience was pretty anticlimatic. However, I am interested in experiencing the Viola section in the orchestra as the viola role is different then violin.
When I stretch my arm and hold my violin my hand/fingers wrap around the scroll comfortably. The 14 viola is like a bulky violin so I can wrap my fingers around the scroll as well, with a half inch more space then my violin. I tried a 15 in a rental shop and my fingers went half way around the scroll. When I look at websites, they list me playing on either a 14 or 15. In theory, the best sized instrument for me would probably be a 14.5.
My concerns lie in that I don't want my intonation to be effected tremendously on the violin especially since I'm still learning and my goal is to be able to play violin pretty decently. (Which in my mind is like someone that has played through college). On the other hand, I won't know if I like viola more or less then violin if I don't take it more seriously and practice/play in the orchestra. Therefore I need an appropriate sized instrument.
Your thoughts are appreciated. Thank you !
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.