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I've been away from violin for 10 years or so and decided to start playing again but with viola.
I'm particularly interested in left hand considerations (I think I have a basic idea of the right hand differences). In watching violists online it seems like their may be just a bit more a sense of "holding" the neck with the thumb than with violin.
Is the left hand and thumb technique substantially the same or is there a bit more squeezing?
Also, are there any shortcuts to learning to sightread the alto clef?
I'm not really the one to answer the LH question, but I have been uploading music of the same song in Alto and Treble clefs on the same page to help people make the transition.
Have a look in the "Share Sheet Music" topics
Also see the attachment below. Click on the attachment name ATclef.jpg and it will enlarge
Bite off more than you can chew..... Then chew like MAD
Hey and welcome to the forum rdw.
For me there isn't much difference in how you hold the instrument with the left hand. The main difference is that you need a bit wider stretches.
Then again, I kind of hold the violin with my left hand a bit more than many others do. I don't like the idea of squeezing the instrument to keep it up between your collar-bone and jaw-bone. Just want to let it rest there.
I've known a lot of violists that play their instrument the exact same way as they did with their violins.