Showing posts with label Bowed string instrument. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bowed string instrument. Show all posts

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Do More Than Fiddle Around

A violin
A violin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A violin can be an intimidating musical instrument – it’s beautiful to look at and listen to but a violin requires an extraordinary amount of education and discipline to be played properly. If you’re thinking of taking violin lessons but feel anxious about it, familiarize yourself with the instrument. Here’s an introduction to the art of playing the violin.

As you probably know, a violinist rests his or her chin and the left shoulder on the conveniently named “shoulder rest” of the violin and sounds the instrument by plucking the strings and/or drawing a bow across them. One reason a violin is so much more difficult to play than a guitar or other stringed instrument, is there are no frets. A violinist must finger a string ever so precisely.

A violin player uses his or her left hand to pluck the strings; beginners might want to put pieces of tape on the instrument to show where notes are located so they can place their fingers in the correct spots. Moreover, for purposes of learning proper hand placement, a person’s index finger is labeled “1,” and his or her pinky finger is as expected, “4” – in most instructional booklets, the notes to be played are accompanied by numbers for suggested fingering. There are then various positions of your left hand that you will learn; you will most likely start at first position.

But what do you use your right hand for? And what about the bow? Basically, your left hand creates the pitches, while your right hand or bow is responsible for the tone, rhythm, dynamics, and articulation of the music.

Once you understand how to read violin music, you can then learn all sorts of ways to pluck the strings, as well as multiple bowing techniques. Soon enough you’ll be ready to experiment with the different styles of music, like classical, jazz, and folk (or fiddling).

Learning to play the violin is a rewarding hobby. Lots of people can play the piano, and even more, can play the guitar. But how many people can say they are a violinist?

Sunday, June 18, 2017


3-stringed viola
3-stringed viola (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

"Audiences across the world enjoy various concerts through the year, each one different and unique. Most of them are either solo performances or in groups of about 4-6 members. In case of groups, you will see a drummer, guitarist, vocalist and one who melts out beautiful tunes on the viola. Yes, you read it right; it is the viola and not violin. This is also a stringed instrument which is bowed very much like the violin. 

A person unfamiliar with this instrument might mistake it for the violin at first glance going by its size and near similar pitch range, but will realize it is very different upon close inspection. The timbre is much more full bodied and is used to play soft harmonies in concerts. Unfortunately there are not many violists as there are violinists. At times referred to as the big fiddle, the violas parallel the alto voice in a choir group.

Violas are also placed with a bow where the instrument is placed on the shoulder, which gets people more confused. If a child is playing the instrument, the size of the viola would be around 12 inches and for adults it could go anywhere from 13 to 16.5 inches depending on their comfort level and their years of experience. Off late, with people facing problems in holding and playing the viola, there are some being made using lighter material and are much shorter. Some are manufactured with a shoulder cut while others come with an additional bout for comfort. Because of its large body, it needs higher amounts of physical stamina to hold and play this string instrument. For a person interested in playing the viola, they need to understand that since it is fitted with thicker strings, they will have to apply extra pressure to get music to come out perfectly.

There are different kinds of violas, based on a person’s level of experience and while making a selection, this factor should be kept in mind else the viola player will find it difficult strumming it.  But the beauty of this instrument is that all are hand made and each one is exquisite to look at and play. Among the most famous violas are the ones that Mozart used in his musical notes. He wrote quintets that used two violas in the orchestra and had as important role as a violin.

If you are looking at purchasing a viola, unlike earlier when you had to make a trip to their nearby store to take a look at all the instruments, today you can do the same online. The purchase or rentals come with the assurance that they can return the product if unhappy with it. Simply approach one of the leading websites, such as stringworks. So, if you are just getting curious about the violas and are not very keen on purchasing, but would like to try your hand at it, no better way but to rent a viola and watch your hands create music."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Do You Know What the Parts of a VIOLIN Are Called? Learn Them Here

English: Violin made in about 1770. Legend add...Violin made in about 1770. (1) Chinrest (2) Tailpiece (3) Bridge (4) Strings (5) Fingerboard (6) Fine-Tuner (7) Sound hole (8) Corner (9) Purfling (10) Body (11) Rib (12) End Button 

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In order to correctly play the violin you will need to know what all the parts are. In this article I will teach you the names of the major ones from the top of the violin to the bottom (not in the order of the picture).

  1. Scroll - This is the decorative part located at the very top of the violin they are mostly hand carved.
  2. Tuning pegs - These are used to tune the violin, by adjusting them up or down you can tune your violin.
  3. The Nut - This supports the strings and keeps them away from the fret board.
  4. Fingerboard - This is the strip of wood on the neck of the violin where the strings are this is also the area where you play or finger the notes.
  5. The Strings - The violin has four strings tuned a fifth apart from thickest to thinnest they are G, D, A and E.
  6. The Bridge - This holds the strings in place it is essential as its placement affect the quality of the sound produced by the violin.
  7. F Holes - These are on either side of the bridge and allow the sound of the vibrating strings to resonate. They are called f holes because they are shaped like an f in italics. Altering the F hole can affect the sound of the violin.
  8. Tail piece - This is the part that anchors the strings to the violin.
  9. Chin Rest - This helps the violinist hold the instrument in place while playing the violinist can use their chin to hold the violin freeing up their hands.

    Eric B. Hill is an professional violin player and teacher with over 20 years experience.

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