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violin/viola shifts


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I play both violin and viola, and occasionally switch from one to the other in a single session. Learning to play the viola isn't too difficult since the fingering is the same. Of course you need to learn a new clef. Viola needs a somewhat wider vibrato, and you need a somewhat different bowing stroke, really "pull" the sound out. FInger spacing on the viola is wider than on the violin so you have to make an adjustment there. This is sometimes a problem if you switch back and forth from violin to viola, but the adjustment happens very quickly. Just play a couple of scales to warm up. The biggest problem I have from playing both instruments is sometimes spontaneously misreading the music as if I were playing the other instrument. This doesn't happen often, and it's actually kind of amusing when it does. Playing both instruments gives you a lot more playing opportunities. Enjoy!

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I play both- with both of them out on my bed right now. I've contemplated a switch, but there's so much violin repertoire out there that I really couldn't bring myself to do it. Also, my violin is a better instrument than my viola and I can't afford an upgrade right now. Though I think viola is slowly taking precedence over violin. I still have all the lessons on violin- technique, etc.- but I've been having viola lessons fairly regularly right now and have started doing some technique work (when I have time- this week's assignment of "perfect intonation on the entire Mendelssohn first movement" is really cutting into it).

I'd have to say, though, the best part about viola playing is that the instrument doesn't wine back at you nearly as much.

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