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What Size Viola?
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FiddleHound
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May 10, 2012 - 11:19 pm
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I'm an Old Time Fiddler. Looking to experiment with the Viola just for fun and see what I get out of it. I play a 4/4 fiddle so what viola size should I be looking at? ūüôā Thanks for your help because I have no clue!

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Violaman
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May 11, 2012 - 1:12 am
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It really depends on your size but I use a 16" Viola. Bigger violas sound better usually.

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HeadCheese
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May 12, 2012 - 3:16 pm
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Your 4/4 Violin is the equivalent of a 14" Viola. 

"Adult size" Violas are considered to be 16" or greater. I believe mine is a 16.5"

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Bonsworth
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December 7, 2012 - 2:24 am
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I think i measured wrong, and bought a 16.5" viola. I am actually about 26" from neck to center of palm (5'6" tall). Is this going to be a problem? I play the guitar and don't expect to ever play Flight of the Bumble Bee. How tall is Fiddlerman? He says he plays a 16" viola

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Barry Nelson
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December 7, 2012 - 3:32 pm
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Im 6 ft and play a 16.5  I think you would be fine with that size

Bach : As the greatest expert and judge of harmony, he liked best to play the viola, with appropriate loudness and softness

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Violaman
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December 8, 2012 - 1:08 pm
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I'm just a little taller than you Bonsworth, 5'9"
Could be some stretches. You might as well give it a shot though. Where did you get it?
How are your fingers? Average length? Bigger viola's sound better.

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Bonsworth
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December 8, 2012 - 11:53 pm
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Thanks for your input, guys. I wear a woman's large glove. The viola is a Klaus Mueller etude that I almost got from sw strings but then I saw a woman selling her own (hardly used) on ebay and got that one for half the price. I'll bet she was wishing she had a smaller one. It should be here in a few days.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone else had a reach type problem form too large a viola. Or if anyone bought one that brand that's too small :-)

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HeadCheese
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December 11, 2012 - 12:46 pm
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I think it's all in what you become accustomed to, as well. When I first got my 16.5" viola, I found the fourth finger reach to be quite a stretch, and I'm 6'1". Now, I can't hardly get my fingers close enough together to play on my wife's violin.

My son plays a 15.5" viola in the school orchestra, but practices at home on a 16.5". It usually takes a few minutes for him to get his bearing, but he does just fine. He's about 5'8".

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Bonsworth
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December 12, 2012 - 4:05 am
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Headcheese- that's so cool that you and your son both play viola!

i had my first (official) viola lesson today (not counting the violaman tutorials) and tried out some different sizes. That 16.5" reach case a spasm in my some tendon from my wrist down my arm. But yeah- that sound on the big one was nice. (sigh). I guess i could try putting mine on craigslist when it gets here (tomorrow?) and also offer a trade for a smaller viola, like a 15 or 15.5" of the same brand or equal quality. I'll have to check it out first.  The music teacher said today that in 11 years he's been at that music store they have never sold a viola as big as a 16". I hope he is wrong.

 

Bonniefacepalm

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HeadCheese
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December 12, 2012 - 12:34 pm
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feature=player_detailpage

 

I frequently joke that the larger violas are "shoulder-fired cellos," but this fellow clearly takes it seriously. That's a Viola da Spalla that he's playing in the video.

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Bonsworth
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December 13, 2012 - 6:38 am
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OK- so the viola came today- I liked the sound. I think I just may give it a shot.I mean if that guy can play a shoulder fired cello, then I can play the 16.5", right?

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HeadCheese
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December 13, 2012 - 12:34 pm
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Bonsworth said
OK- so the viola came today- I liked the sound. I think I just may give it a shot.I mean if that guy can play a shoulder fired cello, then I can play the 16.5", right?

You'll never know until you try, right? I found that video above when I was looking for another that I saw of a small woman playing a 21.5" viola. It was a monster, relatively speaking, but she seemed to have no issues playing it. Wish I could remember her name...

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Barry Nelson
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December 13, 2012 - 2:25 pm
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HeadCheese said
feature=player_detailpage

 

I frequently joke that the larger violas are "shoulder-fired cellos," but this fellow clearly takes it seriously. That's a Viola da Spalla that he's playing in the video.

geez..Im such a weenie just playing a 16.5 ..I need to man up and get a chin cello

headbang

 

seriously, very cool !!

Bach : As the greatest expert and judge of harmony, he liked best to play the viola, with appropriate loudness and softness

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Violaman
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December 14, 2012 - 4:05 am
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I had forgotten about this. Incredible. I wonder how much bigger his fingers are than mine....

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Barry Nelson
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December 14, 2012 - 4:36 am
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Violaman said
I had forgotten about this. Incredible. I wonder how much bigger his fingers are than mine....

 

 

pretty awesome, bet its a bit awkward though

 

Bach : As the greatest expert and judge of harmony, he liked best to play the viola, with appropriate loudness and softness

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Violaman
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December 15, 2012 - 4:36 am
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He must get sore after a while. It looks like he's playing on a small cello. LOL

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Barry Nelson
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December 15, 2012 - 2:56 pm
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Violaman said
He must get sore after a while. It looks like he's playing on a small cello. LOL

 

 

 

and his bow is baroque.....LOL

 

Bach : As the greatest expert and judge of harmony, he liked best to play the viola, with appropriate loudness and softness

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HeadCheese
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December 17, 2012 - 1:54 pm
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Barry said

and his bow is baroque.....LOL

 

Well ... if it ain't baroque, don't fix it.facepalm

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VinceKnight
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January 9, 2013 - 5:22 pm
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You know I always used to joke that I need to sit in the back seat of my car to drive, ride a draft horse so my feet wouldn't drag, and put a chin and shoulder rest on a cello to play (I am 6' 8") but I could actually see this man needing to do those things!

facepalm

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Violaman
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January 11, 2013 - 1:24 pm
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Kind of reminds me of Jaws from James Bond.

james-bond-and-jaws.jpgImage Enlarger

This guy could play the viola da spalla.exactly

These instruments are like baroque cellos that are played by violists.

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