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Violin versus viola
Transitioning to one, choosing the right size.
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NewFiddlerGirl
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November 24, 2013 - 3:02 am
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I posted this on the Fiddlerman forum as well. 

My husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I've been enjoying the violin so much and have been thinking about a viola. I had  put one on my wishlist at Fiddlershop and let him know that's what I want.   

 

Other than the obvious differences, what issues are there transitioning from violin to viola? I just started the violin about 6 weeks ago and I only play for fun – no other aspirations. Should I wait? Will it hamper learning one or the other?  

 

As for the size thingie – I read the size guide and think a 16" will work. I will measure for sure. Are there any issues with the smaller viola sizes (like 15 – 14") that I should be aware of?  

 

I'm thinking of the CVA 400 or 500. I liked the sound of the 400 and it got good reviews. Any comments or experiences would be appreciated. I'll also post on Violaman too. I'm assuming my login will work there.  

Thanks for the help… -

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Donald
Rødvig Stevns, Danmark
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November 27, 2013 - 12:55 pm
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There are other people more qualified to answer this than me, but as things are silent here, here goes with a quick answer:

 

Focus on one or the other to begin with, I think you will make more progress sticking to one instrument than switching back and forth between two instruments, two clefs, and two collections of sheet music. Part (but not all) of what you learn on one instrument will be relevant to the second instrument somewhere down the track.

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Violaman
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December 3, 2013 - 12:15 am
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Yes, unfortunately things are quiet here. :-(
If you are drawn to inner parts and deeper sounds you may prefer the viola. Your fingers will need a bit more stretch and the instrument will be a bit heavier as well but the sound is very pleasing :-) You have be strong and able to deal with the abuse from lot's of unfair jokes. ;-)
The 16" will give you the best sound but will be a bit harder to get used to.

Good luck :)

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NewFiddlerGirl
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December 4, 2013 - 5:49 am
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Violaman said
 "You have be strong and able to deal with the abuse from lot's of unfair jokes. ;-) "

Since this whole thing is kinda new to me, I have to ask. Are violists the butt of a lot of jokes? I'm missing something here. But considering that I was a math and chess club type of person in high school, I'm used to abuse facepalm

I have decided to get the viola for Christmas for a variety of reasons. I really can't think of anything else that I want. I'm not ready to upgrade / get a back up for my violin yet. I like the deeper tones. A cello would be nice but is out of the question  - the house is starting to look like a music store (not that that's a bad thing but hubby has his limits) so the viola is a nice in between option. I like new challenges. And if I don't use it that much it doesn't expire like a gym membership. Music has been a great outlet for stress and I like playing better than going to a gym anyway...

I'm planning on going to a local music store to try a 16" viola then order either the CVA400 or CVA500 from Fiddlershop. Does anyone have any experience with either? It looks like the differences are mainly cosmetic. 

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Violaman
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December 7, 2013 - 4:38 am
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Just do a search for viola jokes and you'll see what I mean. :-)
Hope someone chimes in to give you their opinion of the Cecilio violas. I find that it's hard to get anything better for the price. Good luck and welcome to the forum and the viola ;-)

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NewFiddlerGirl
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December 8, 2013 - 5:34 am
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I found a site with Viola jokes. I get it now. The sad part about the jokes is that sometimes it is harder to play harmony than melody. On the other forum, I'm learning the second violin parts for wookieman's project and it is harder to learn harmony. Your ear wants to play the melody... So the viola is the Rodney Dangerfield of the string section. No respect...

Got a chance to try out a 16" viola and I liked the size and feel a lot. It wasn't that big of a difference from the violin. I was able to play Twinkle Twinkle even with the crappy store demo bow. The fingering is a bit "wider" than the violin but my ear told my fingers to adjust. 

I'll be ordering one of the two Cecilio violas. Is it possible to get a different set of strings put on when I order it? I'd like to replace the strings with a good synthetic Pro-Arte set? I saw your video on steel strings on the viola. I assume the set on the CVA400/500 are not synthetic and would like to avoid the issues and start with a nice sounding set of strings. 

Thanks again for all the help and advice. I'm enjoying the violin so much and am excited about the viola as well. banana

 

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Ferret
Byron Bay, Australia
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December 10, 2013 - 10:21 pm
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@NewFiddlerGirl

Hi Samantha

i have both and it's nice to have those deeper tones when you feel like them

I have 2 violas. 1 is 16 inch and the other is a 5 string 14 1/2  inch

Have fun with it. banana

Yes @Admin Pierre. Things 'do' look quiet here. I should spend more time hereviolin-student

 

A couple of pics of mine. The 5 string one is 'baroque' style

image.jpgImage Enlargerimage-1.jpgImage Enlarger

 

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Bite off more than you can chew..... Then chew like MAD

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NewFiddlerGirl
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December 11, 2013 - 2:27 am
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Both are beautiful. Although I think 5 strings would just add to my general finger confusion facepalm

I ordered the CVA500 from Fiddlershop. Can't wait. I'll try to post a review on Violaman to help others out that are looking for an instrument.

Other than being a bit larger (ok maybe a lot larger) I played Twinkle Twinkle in the store on the demo and it didn't seem that different to me. But maybe my inexperience covers up any unforeseen difficulties. I like the deeper tones and the softer voice. 

My husband picked up the fiddle for the third time and asked me to be patient and teach him. (Blind leading the blind but ok we only do this for fun) so maybe I'll need to have the viola to have something to play... Or it's an excuse for another violin for my birthday.Either way we are having fun. At this point that's all that counts. Short of winning the lottery, not having to work and devoting all my time to playing,  I don't think I could pull off a third career change to concert violinist/violist. But I can certainly dream big.beg

 

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NewFiddlerGirl
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December 13, 2013 - 7:35 am
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My viola came today and my Fiddlerman carbon fiber bow. Didn't even mess with the bow that came with the CVA 500. I got home late and have only had a little bit of time to set it up and play it. It sounds very nice. I wish I didn't have to get up early for work. I'd love to play with it some more. 

My shoulder rest is on the way. For the time being I'm using a kitchen sponge and a rubber band as the finish is very slippery. 

 

More later.....violin_girl

 

 

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Violaman
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December 15, 2013 - 1:37 pm
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Glad to hear that you got your viola and bow. The sponge is a fine solution. Nice and soft right?

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NewFiddlerGirl
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December 15, 2013 - 4:47 pm
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The sponge is one with a scrubby pad on one side and a soft sponge on the other. I put the soft side to the viola and the scrubby pad on my shoulder so it grips my clothes. Works really well until the Bonmusica rest arrives. I got the idea from your videos using a makeup pad. Couldn't wait to play and the finish on the instruments was slick. Due to the larger size and weight, I didn't want to drop it or struggle with holding it up, so I improvised. 

You can't have a new toy and not play with it!!!!exactly

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Violaman
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February 5, 2014 - 12:36 am
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LOL, right on!!!!

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