I'm twenty three, I live in Pennsylvania, I work in IT for our local community college, I spend a lot of my time outdoors (hiking, climbing, camping, canoeing, etc.), aaand I decided to take up viola a few months ago. Viola will be my first real attempt at learning an instrument, up until recently I've never had any interest in music, my father tried and tried to teach me guitar, but I was more interested in playing outside or building computers.
I picked the viola for several reasons. First and foremost, I enjoy the sound over violin (especially for folk music!), and I've always enjoyed bowed instruments. Second, I'm a fairly tall person at six and a half feet (just shy of two meters) and I have proportionally large hands, I felt very comfortable with the spread on the viola. Third, it's very portable, more-so than a guitar or cello, which means I can take it to work and practice if it gets slow.
I bought a used Yamaha SVV-200 (http://usa.yamaha.com/products.....mode=model) for half price due to a slight electronics problem (poor solder joint on the headphone jack, quick fix). Being a fairly self conscious person (and that I wanted to be able to take it to work with me), the volume of the electric viola was absolutely perfect, it's not silent, but my coworker in the adjacent cubicle can put his headphones on and not even notice I'm playing.
The first day I had the viola in my hands I had found the violaman videos and used them to learn my first scales. Once I actually understood what a scale was (with some help from my father), I went and asked a dear friend of mine (among many other things, a fiddler) for some help learning my first song. Now, I really like folk music, Canadian, Irish, Norwegian, anything apparently from where it's cold... I've also recently been enjoying a few Italian folk songs. My friend started me on "The Swallowtail Jig" which now sounds fantastic when I can get my bowing right, then she followed up with "The Killarney Boys of Pleasure" which I'm still working on. Learning fiddle music on viola has presented some interesting challenges, but learning to transpose songs down a fifth has really helped me learn both G and C clef, apparently not a very common skill, huzzah! Overall, I'm pleased with my decision, and have enjoyed the puzzles thus far.
I dunno if this intro is too verbose or simply TMI, but I'm excited, sue me. Anywho, I'll probably be bugging the forum for bowing help as I have an absolutely atrocious sense of rhythm, and possibly some gear help.
Yep, so that's me,