Or both, if you have the time.
This is a question the violin is being asked more often lately. And, as usual, it comes with a different answer. Many would say the viola is easier to play. A violinist’s mind is more in tune with the material he’s working on. It’s harder to get those same ideas into the mind of the human instrument, although it gets easier.
But I believe that to reach the absolute perfection required for a perfect performance, each note needs to be played exactly as it is written. I believe it’s not enough to have perfect execution, but more important is to have the ability to put everything into song perfectly.
The Viola’s Music
For my own purposes, I started out as a violinist who learned how to play viola tunes, as I had a friend who wanted to play the same music on the viola. That experience taught me how to be aware of any notes where there’s a slight bend, or where there isn’t any actual sound at all. I began to learn the “rules” of a violinist’s playing, how to use them for the viola music I was learning.
My violin teacher also told me to learn how to set up the tuning by reading a book about how to tune a violin.
“To do this, start playing the tune on a good day, and then start using the rules in the book. Read the book, then put everything you learn on your violin. It’s that simple!”
This is a really helpful trick. There are a lot of people in our scene who have played the violin for years. It’s easier to follow a great teacher than to do your own thing. So learning how to tune a viola is a great way in to help keep things in good hands.
I played at different places, at different classes, in concert halls, and everywhere in between. And, as I did, I discovered a few things about how my technique was progressing.
1) I learned a lot from watching other violinists
I’m sure there are great violinists out there who make a lot of different tunes. It makes me sad whenever I talk about “the best violinist” or something. But it is really, really difficult for a violinist to learn something new.
I would watch other musicians and learn from them. It got me excited and excited, and I could then start playing around with my own music
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