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How to get a viola for graduation

Mrrzy 24 Mar 13 - 02:54 PM
Jack Campin 24 Mar 13 - 07:49 PM
Mrrzy 25 Mar 13 - 12:16 AM
GUEST,Grishka 25 Mar 13 - 06:29 AM
beardedbruce 25 Mar 13 - 08:25 AM
breezy 25 Mar 13 - 11:45 AM
beardedbruce 25 Mar 13 - 12:04 PM
Ron Davies 25 Mar 13 - 07:35 PM
Ron Davies 25 Mar 13 - 07:41 PM
Mrrzy 26 Mar 13 - 02:19 PM
beardedbruce 26 Mar 13 - 02:44 PM
Marc Bernier 26 Mar 13 - 05:52 PM
GUEST,FloraG 27 Mar 13 - 04:58 AM
Ron Davies 27 Mar 13 - 10:18 AM
Ron Davies 28 Mar 13 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,OldNicKilby 28 Mar 13 - 07:04 AM
beardedbruce 28 Mar 13 - 08:07 AM
Ron Davies 28 Mar 13 - 09:59 PM
Ron Davies 28 Mar 13 - 10:04 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Mar 13 - 06:04 AM
Mrrzy 25 Sep 15 - 01:14 PM
wysiwyg 25 Sep 15 - 06:31 PM
Joe Offer 26 Sep 15 - 02:55 AM
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Subject: How to get a viola for graduation
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 02:54 PM

Can it be used? Elder of the twins turns 18 ( ok, they both do, but only one plays) & graduates soon... and I have no clue.


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 07:49 PM

What's the difficulty?

If one of them plays, they learned from a teacher. Who will have an idea about what might be suitable.


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 12:16 AM

How does one buy an instrument one does not oneself play, maybe, is a better question?


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 06:29 AM

Can it be used? If you mean whether you can buy a used viola, the answer is: yes; string instruments get better when played, ideally regularly for centuries.

Prices and quality vary greatly. Even the size of the instrument varies slightly, and thus the "feeling" for the player. If your son already plays, he may - or may not - prefer an instrument similar to the one he is used to.

As with all presents, you should first spend some thoughts about the relation of benefit and expenses. If you are sure that your son will have long pleasure from the instrument, a higher price will seem justified than if you just hope. Fortunately, good instruments can be sold easily.

Second, search the internet and your local shops for offers and prices.

Third, find a person who knows about string instruments. Before buying, let that person and your son try the instrument. (Fitting new strings may be necessary.) If either says "no", don't buy.


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: beardedbruce
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 08:25 AM

What size and how much do you want to spend? I can bring a half dozen to the Getaway...


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: breezy
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 11:45 AM

Take the intending recipient to a shop and let them play one and find one that they approve of


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: beardedbruce
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 12:04 PM

ALWAYS best if the person who will get it picks it out by playing several. A good idea to have someone else that plays along- both for their opinion, and to play it FOOR the recipient so he knows what it sounds like to a listener.- IE, have the recipient pick out the one he likes the best, then hear the other person play it and some other "close picks" to hear the tone from the audience viewpoint.

A good shop will have a number to try- each person's taste is a little different.


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: Ron Davies
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 07:35 PM

What sort of music does the recipient intend to play?    Does he or she play in an orchestra?   Is it perhaps more of a folky approach--making up harmonies, etc., in sessions? What's your instinct about how serious the player is?

Obviously a good resonant instrument will encourage the player.   But such instruments are not cheap and unless you feel strongly that the player is passionately interested on a long-term basis, you need to keep this in mind.


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: Ron Davies
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 07:41 PM

I don't mean to imply that only if you are interested in orchestral music do you deserve a good instrument.    I was lucky enough to get a resonant instrument decades ago when I played in orchestras.    Now, though I only play in bluegrass, country and folk contexts--primarily making up harmonies or countermelodies, it's still very appreciated, it seems--and a lot of fun.


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 02:19 PM

He's been in the orchestra but is going off to college, and I'd like him to have a portable musical instrument and he would love a viola for graduation. I thank you for all advice given and about to be so.


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: beardedbruce
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 02:44 PM

Location? PM if near DC


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 05:52 PM

Again as said earlier "talk to his teacher".


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 04:58 AM

Have you considered an electric one. They can be played silently through headphones - which might be just right if played in student digs - and also through PA if in a band. However, they are not much use in an orchestra - frowned upon, I think.
I would not spend too much if the instrument is for a student in digs - insurance is a problem.
If you say the area you live you might well find a mudcatter in the area who can advise you.
Hope he enjoys whatevr you get.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: Ron Davies
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 10:18 AM

There are strong opinions on electric instruments of this kind.   I'd like to know if anybody has in fact ever played an electric viola in any group but a rock band.


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 06:57 AM

It's now clear that you do want to get him the best possible instrument and that cost is not a large determining factor.

That being the case, you want to get him the most resonant instrument possible.

As others have said, you need a music store with a good selection and it is vital that you go with your son and an accomplished string player to this store (unless of course your son is already such a player).   Both need to play the instrument and be happy with it.


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: GUEST,OldNicKilby
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 07:04 AM

Surely a Garden Centre is the best place for Violas, unless of course you end up with a Pansy


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: beardedbruce
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 08:07 AM

I defer to Ron- on violas.


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 09:59 PM

Hey Bruce, I don't expect anybody to defer to me-- on anything. Your advice above is excellent.   I hope the graduate gets a good instrument, and plays it forever.

As I noted, viola is just a wonderful choice for a whole list of reasons.    When you're in an orchestra, you really feel part of the texture of the music, and you hear all the other instruments--as opposed to perhaps thinking they all should be listening to you. One of my most thrilling musical experiences was being blasted to kingdom come by the trumpets and trombones right in back of me at the very beginning of Tchaikovsky's 4th.

Playing viola makes you an expert in harmonies, since that's pretty much your steady diet-- aside from the 2nd movement of Beethoven's 7th, there are very few melodies the viola gets in orchestral music , except for doubling the 2nd violins sometimes. (There is also "Harold In Italy".) So you can get to the place where you can make up harmonies or countermelodies--in any kind of (Western) music.    Which is quite appreciated in such settings as country, bluegrass and folk jams--even if you've never heard the song before. And of course if you guess wrong as to where the song was going, that was just a passing tone.


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 10:04 PM

Admittedly it does help that in a huge percentage of country, folk, and bluegrass, it's likely to be 1-4-5 -1 with detours possible.

And it's often advisable to listen to one verse of the song before jumping in.


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 06:04 AM

You work hard, you graduate and voila!

Oh, a vIOla, I see...

:D (tG)


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Sep 15 - 01:14 PM

OK, he has asked for it finally, with a tuner. He thinks he wants a new one. Is he wrong?


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Sep 15 - 06:31 PM

Isn't it best to let him play the consequences of his decision? (Do you want to give a gift or make his choice for him?)


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Subject: RE: How to get a viola for graduation
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Sep 15 - 02:55 AM

I got a Viola for a wedding present. I married her daughter, and Viola lived with us until she died at the age of 98. Mothers-in-law can be far more useful than instruments.


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