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About solfege

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  1. Gerard Samija ( is an excellent luthier in the Vancouver area. He works mostly on basses. He is very informative and personable, and he did a wonderful job setting up and improving my violins and my viola! There is also Vahik Sahakian ( in North Vancouver. He fitted an excellent bridge onto my viola.
  2. I've just put the Warchal Ambers on my violin and they sound wonderful. My teacher uses gut strings and she says the colour they have are quite similar to gut, with the responsiveness of synthetics. I live in Canada and ordered from the site, and it didn't take too long to ship at all. Shipping cost like 6 euro and came with registered mail so it has a tracking number and won't get lost, if that's a concern.
  3. That was a very interesting article, Torbjörn! Thank you!
  4. Is there no one who can enlighten me on this?
  5. I am adult beginner as well, playing the viola. Having a background in piano and guitar made it quite easy to pick up melodies and sight-read a few (relatively) easy pieces. I had also lucked out with my teacher, who was more of the observe-then-correct type than a do-everything-a-standard-way advocate. She's had me change my bow hold twice now (though the second one was more of a minute change), adapting to how my body seems to want to do things and applying her foresight with regards to what might cause problems in the future. Yulaberry - Try not to be disheartened by your teacher's suggestions. As others have mentioned, it is very likely he is trying to correct the incorrect positions you've gotten used to. If it really is uncomfortable and impossible for you to do at this point, let him know. Ask if he can suggest a more gradual change. While you don't want to get wrist problems in the future, you also don't want to get them now. I think it makes sense to pursue music as an adult. For one, you can actually choose your own instrument rather than play whatever your parents are comfortable spending on. Secondly, it's more fun because the desire to learn is there and not forced onto you by anyone else. Rue - I agree, music really is quite socially engaging! It's a benefit, especially since it's more difficult to make connections outside of school or work as an adult. On the topic of seriousness though, I think that due to the complexity of classical music compared to pop/rock/alternative, it can be said that the study and practice of it should be taken with more focus and seriousness. I think the discouraging aspect comes from the fact that when people listen to classical music, it is usually from a CD/MP3 or a concert played by professionals. There is an expectation of perfection, and the music is so familiar and prevalent that a tiny mistake could be glaring. Most non-players often would not understand how difficult it is to get it "just so," resulting in that sense of inadequacy one may get from an audience when performing as a learning string player who hasn't quite gotten it yet.
  6. Hi everyone, I'm hoping you are able to offer me some advice. In an attempt to improve my skills and confidence in performing, I have decided to purchase a secondary viola for playing outdoors, possibly busking. My budget is limited but I still have the option to choose between oil and nitrocellulose finishes. My questions are: 1. Will a nitrocellulose finish be hardier, or more weatherproof, than an oil finish? 2. Will a nitro finish affect the sound negatively, whether new or after a few years? (Given that it's for outdoor playing, sound will probably not be too much of a problem since it will be hard to hear either way..but if I'm spending money on an instrument I might as well get one that will sound decent for a while.) 3. I'm planning to use synthetic strings, likely Dominants to start with. Any recommendations for a sound that carries outdoors? Thank you in advance!
  7. Thanks, Will! I will try and get some better photos soon, hopefully.
  8. Hello, I am new to this forum, but I've read many helpful and knowledgeable posts thus far, which has encouraged me to join and post here. I would like to ask for your help in identifying this viola's make and condition. It is not in my possession and so I cannot provide any better photos, unfortunately. I have been told that it is of German make, benchmade, dating back to about 1900. There is no label. I have not yet played it to see how it sounds. I am a beginner so my eye is quite untrained. I am thinking of purchasing this for myself, but in addition to attempting to gauge worth/resale value, I would like to know also how much work I will need to put into it - if repairs or touch ups are necessary, if it is in good enough condition to last a while, etc. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!
  9. Do try the Gligas. I went to them for my first viola purchase and got a high quality instrument for an unbelievable price. I've been told by two luthiers that it competes with higher-priced instruments just by sound, and they are amazed I only paid $400.