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Time for Violas: A Beginner’s Guide

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  • Next to violin, musicians also like to play the viola for some classical performances in theater and other music rooms. The instrument is placed under your chin, and played while sitting or standing. You can watch actual videos of violists playing their instruments to know how to properly hold the viola.

    Usually, viola players read notes that are written in alto clef. Learning how to play this instrument can be overwhelming for some people, not to mention it’s a long process. But don’t worry because if you have the best teacher, then definitely you will learn to play your viola.

    For beginners, you can decide if you’re going to rent a viola or buy a new one. It’s okay if you decide to rent first just to test the waters and see if a viola is for you, but if the time comes that you learned to love playing a viola, you will definitely want to purchase one, good thing is there are a lot of violas for sale available on the internet and in stores that you can go through to compare and decide which one would best fit you.

    Learning to Play Viola for Beginners

    The first thing you need to know when playing viola is proper posture. You need to develop the right habits and forget about the bad ones. It may take time to unlearn them, but once you get the hang of it, things will be easier.

    Discipline yourself with the proper practicing routine and know your instrument. Through the learning process, make sure to enjoy every moment. It may be a hard work to learn an instrument, but the rewards are fulfilling once you’ve mastered the skills.

    The following is a guide to help you understand the best ways to play a viola:

    • Loosely hold your viola and bow while keeping your joints slightly bent to make your muscles stay relaxed. You can use your belly to support yourself while you play the viola.
    • Glide the bow smoothly and lightly to produce a good sound, rather than a scratch. Keep your hands lightly pressed on the strings to avoid loud, scratchy sound.
    • Be familiar with the finger names. Your right hand will be the bow hand and your left is the viola hand. The fingers on your viola hand include the viola thumb, the first, second, third, and fourth fingers. On your right hand, each finger have a designated position when holding the viola.
    • Violas don’t have those fret marking unlike guitars. Therefore, players can use double flat or double sharp when playing the instrument.
    • Some of the advanced playing techniques include plucking, vibrato, harmonics, and spiccato.

    It’s not easy to learn how to play viola, but with persistence, you will eventually master this instrument. All you need is a little bit of patience and determination to understand the complex techniques and notes of a viola.

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