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Moving to viola from violin
Issues encountered/questions/tips in moving to viola from violin
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New Member
January 30, 2013 - 6:05 pm
Member Since: January 30, 2013
Forum Posts: 1
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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?

Byron Bay, Australia
Regular Advisor

January 30, 2013 - 9:56 pm
Member Since: December 15, 2012
Forum Posts: 119
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Hi Doug


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" topicsviolin-student


Also see the attachment below. Click on the attachment name ATclef.jpg and it will enlarge

ATclef.jpgImage Enlarger



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

January 31, 2013 - 4:32 am
Member Since: October 2, 2011
Forum Posts: 548
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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.

Barry Nelson
July 31, 2013 - 4:44 am
Member Since: October 31, 2011
Forum Posts: 299
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"Also, are there any shortcuts to learning to sight read the alto clef?"


none that I know of, just practice

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

July 31, 2013 - 10:39 pm
Member Since: October 2, 2011
Forum Posts: 548
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Good answer. I like to take a book with a lot of music and just read from start to finish.
If you are advanced you look at orchestra excerpts for example, if you are a beginner you look at a beginner book.

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