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Looking for some Viola advice


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#1 Abs335



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Posted 05 February 2014 - 21:26

Hi, I'm a student and I am currently working on my grade 8 on the viola. I bought my current instrument in a kit (including the viola, case and bow) for around £300. It's a fairly decent viola and it has seen me through since grade 4, but I was wondering if it is time for an upgrade, as I feel I am now stretching the limits of what it can do. Can anyone give me any advice; is it worth getting a new viola, or maybe just a new bow? If so, how much should I invest in it?
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#2 elidatrading



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Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:44

Only you can really answer this one.  If you feel it's holding you back, and particularly if you want to go further, then start looking for a better viola.  You will almost certainly be wanting a better bow anyway so one option would be to look to upgrade the bow now and then take the bow with you, so to speak, when you upgrade the viola.




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#3 BadStrad



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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:07

Violin not Viola, but this approach - bow then instrumemt - worked well for me
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#4 RoseRodent



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Posted 07 February 2014 - 18:21

I would say decide on your absolute maximum budget, then arrange an appointment with a string shop and ask them to get out: 

A: bows up to an including your maximum spend

B: instruments up to and including your maximum spend

C: a combination of instruments and bows where you could buy both without seriously blowing your budget. 


Ask them to remove pricing from everything if possible, and try them all! See what you think gives you extra expressive ability, what you like and do not like, any sizing preferences (long, stubby, skinny, rounded or sloping shoulders) and then you can decide if you really think it's going to help you. Take your current music and go nuts with some better instruments and see what the instruments tell you about your need to upgrade. It would be useful if you can take another pair of ears to listen to you play, and ask the shop staff to play something also, so you can listen from a distance. If this experience tells you that your current instrument is holding back your potential to say what you want to say through a viola, ugrade. If the other options don't feel like an extension of your arm and you simply have to have them because not to have them will be like getting a divorce, you can always ask them to keep you updated if anything new comes in and you will come and try it. Don't feel like you have to pounce on the selection that's in stock on day 1. I think you'll find your answer - and a new family member. 

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