Im sorry If I posted this in the wrong sections, I would just like to say Hello and introduce my self .
My name Is Malcolm Louis Clark , I am 16 years old and This is my first school year playing viola . I have played violin since I was in 7th grade and I am now in
11th grade . I used to think that the viola was the same thing as the violin , but I am having trouble playing notes in tune and holding my viola properly so it feels different for me .
Also Do can you guys help me with one thing , When ever I play on the school's viola I cant play anything louder than mezzo-forte Or Forte without it sounding horribly out of tune , and I have a problem with slipping on the finger bored when I try to use my pinky .
Welcome to Violaman.com, Malcolm!
I’m sure Violaman will have more to say on this than I, but what kind of strings are you using? I ask because he recently posted a video showing how a strong bowing can affect steel strings by pulling them to another pitch.
As for the slipping fingers, are you referring to your first finger losing its place when you also put your fourth finger (pinky) down? I have this problem as well, and have been doing some stretching exercises that are beginning to help. That, and lots of practice, of course!
Again, I’m sure Violaman will have better suggestions – and perhaps a few questions for you, as well – to better help you with your issues.
Welcome to Violaman Malcolm,
Steel core strings can very likely be your problem with intonation failure when playing loud. Is it worse on the C string and gradually better as you get up to the A string? You will probably be very happy when and if you switch to perlon strings.
Slipping fingers could have to do with new broader stretches just as HC said. Try to find a position with your arm where you can come around the instrument and get a better reach. It is likely that your arm is too far out from the viola and if you could bring it around and under more you will find a relief for the stretches. Also try applying pressure more to the left side of your fingers to get a great hand position (You'll understand when you have the viola at hand).
I am using the school's viola so im not really sure what kind of strings I am using , all I know is that when I play the string seems to go completely out of tune when I play it even If I place my fingers on the same spot and this effect is worse on the C string . Also my pinky finger is the one slipping and I will try to do what you said when I play so I can stop slipping. The conductor in my school's orchestra says I need to play fourth finger instead of open strings because of the screechy sound it produces.
It's a great idea to strengthen the fourth finger by using it as much as possible. Also he is right that the sound is usually better with a fingered note compared to the loud whiny open strings. Also, one can not vibrate an open string.
If it is a school instrument I can almost guarantee that they are steel strings. If you are using the instrument enough it might be worth the investment to buy strings yourself.