Choosing an instrument can be a challenging task. Each instrument is unique, so understanding a few key concepts about each instrument can really help in making the decision.
The main instruments available to beginning string players are
- Double Bass
Important characteristics to consider when making a decision are
- the sound of the instrument
- how the instrument is held (posture)
- how the bow is used
The most important factor in choosing an instrument to study is the sound that it makes.
The violin plays mostly high pitches.
The viola plays high to medium-low pitches.
The cello plays medium high to low pitches.
The double bass plays low to very low pitches.
All of the string instruments require the player to use the left hand to press individual strings with individual fingers.
The violin and the viola are held between the player’s chin and left shoulder, with the instrument coming out to the left side of the player’s body.
The cello rests on the floor with an endpin that extends from the bottom of the instrument. The top of the cello rests against the player’s left shoulder while sitting.
The double bass rests on the floor with an endpin that extends from the bottom of the instrument. The middle of the double bass rests against the player’s left hip while standing.
All of the string instruments require the player to bow the strings with a bow, held by the right hand, and moving in a smooth motion parallel to the floor.
The violin and the viola are bowed with the players right hand reaching over to the instrument on the left side of the player’s body, and bowing at about shoulder height.
The cello and the double bass are bowed with the right hand bowing at about waist height on the strings of the instrument which is in front of the player’s body.