Are you ready to embark on a musical journey that will captivate your soul? Look no further than the beautiful and enchanting world of the viola! Whether you’re a beginner or already have some experience with string instruments, mastering this graceful instrument is sure to unlock a whole new realm of melodic possibilities.

So, if you’re eager to learn how to play the viola like a true virtuoso, grab your bow and join us as we delve into the magical art of viola playing!

Overview Of Viola

The viola is a member of the string family of musical instruments and is the middle voice between the violin and the cello. It has a lower, mellower sound than the violin, and is played under the chin, like the cello. The viola’s four strings are tuned in perfect fifths: C-G-D-A low to high.

The viola is held upright between the legs like a cello, with the left-hand fingers positioned on the fingerboard to stop the strings. The right-hand bow hold is similar to that of a violin. The bowing technique is also similar to that of the violin, but because of the larger size of the instrument, players use more forearm and less wrist action.

Viola music is written in treble clef, just like violin music (and unlike cello music, which is written in bass clef). Violists often find it helpful to think of their instrument as a “big violin,” since much of the same repertoire can be played on both instruments.

In addition to solo works and chamber music written specifically for the viola, many composers have arranged works originally written for other instruments or voices for the viola.

Parts of the Viola

The viola is a string instrument that is played with a bow. It is held between the legs like a cello, but it is smaller in size. The viola has four strings that are tuned to the following notes: C-G-D-A.

The parts of the viola include the body, neck, scroll, pegbox, and strings. The body of the viola is hollow and made of wood. The top of the body is called the soundboard and it is made of thin wood that vibrates when the strings are played. The bottom of the body is called the back and it is also made of wood. The sides of the body are called ribs and they help to give the instrument its shape.

The neck of the viola attaches to the body at the scroll. It is made of wood and it supports the four strings. The strings are wrapped around tuning pegs that are located at the top of the neck in the pegbox. The pegbox also helps to support the bow hair.

The scroll is located at the end of the neck and it is made of carved wood. It is decorative and it also helps to support

How to Hold the Viola?

When you first start playing the viola, you will likely feel awkward and uncoordinated. Don’t worry! With a little practice, you will get the hang of it. Here are some tips on how to hold the viola:

  1. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Rest the viola on your left shoulder, positioning the neck so that it is pointing away from your head.
  3. Use your left hand to support the viola’s neck and hold the bow in your right hand.
  4. Practice shifting the viola’s weight onto your left shoulder and back again so that you can find a comfortable balance. With time and practice, you will be able to play the viola for long periods of time without feeling uncomfortable.

Posture and Technique for Playing the Viola

Assuming you have already read our article on how to hold the viola, we will now move on to discuss posture and technique for playing the viola. As with any stringed instrument, proper posture is essential for producing a good sound. You should be seated comfortably with your back straight and feet flat on the floor.

The viola should be held so that the neck is in line with your left arm, and the body of the instrument is resting on your left thigh. Your right hand should be positioned behind the scroll, and your left hand should be in the middle of the strings near the bridge.

When playing, you will want to use a light touch with your left hand and apply more pressure with your right hand. The bow should be held in your right hand with your thumb and first two fingers. The index finger should rest lightly on top of the bow, while the other two fingers provide support from underneath.

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When drawing the bow across the strings, you will want to use an even amount of pressure and keep a steady pace. It is important to not grip the bow too tightly, as this can lead to tension in your muscles and produce an undesirable sound.

Basic Viola Fingering Techniques

Viola fingering is an essential skill for any aspiring violist. There are a few basic techniques that every violist should know in order to make the most of their instrument.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when fingering the viola is to use the correct fingerings for each note. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s actually very easy to get into bad habits that can lead to poor intonation and even discomfort while playing. Be sure to consult a reputable source (such as a teacher or method book) for proper fingerings.

In addition to using the correct fingerings, it’s also important to apply the right amount of pressure to the strings. Too much pressure can cause the string to buzz, while too little will result in a weak, thin sound. The best way to find the right balance is by practicing with a metronome or other timekeeping device so that you can keep an even tempo while you play.

Be sure to practice your scales and arpeggios regularly. Not only will this help you internalize the fingerings, but it will also give you a strong foundation on which to build more advanced techniques later on.

Learning Songs on the Viola

There are plenty of ways that you can learn songs on the viola. You can find online resources, attend a music school, or even hire a personal tutor. However, one of the best ways to learn songs on the viola is to simply listen to music and try to play along.

This may seem like a difficult task, but it is actually quite easy if you break it down into small steps. First, find a song that you enjoy and identify the melody. Next, try to find the chords that accompany the melody. Practice playing the melody and chords together until you have mastered the song.

Of course, learning songs on the viola does take time and effort. But it is definitely worth it when you can finally play your favorite songs on this beautiful instrument.

Care and Maintenance of the Viola

Assuming you have already read our article on how to play the viola, you are now the proud owner of this magnificent instrument. But like all musical instruments, the viola requires proper care and maintenance in order to keep it sounding its best. Here are a few tips on how to take care of your viola:

  1. Keep your viola in its case when you’re not using it. This will help protect it from dirt, dust, and other environmental hazards.
  2. Be sure to wipe down your viola with a soft, dry cloth after each use. This will remove any fingerprints or smudges that could potentially damage the finish.
  3. When tuning your viola, be careful not to over-tighten the strings. Doing so can damage the tuning pegs and make it difficult to keep the instrument in tune.
  4. If you notice any cracks or other damage to the body of your viola, take it to a qualified repair person as soon as possible. Ignoring such problems can lead to more serious damage that may be irreparable.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your viola sounding great for many years to come!


The viola is an incredible instrument that can be a great way to express yourself through music. With a bit of practice and dedication, you can become quite proficient at playing the viola. We hope this guide has shown you the basics of how to play the viola and given you a starting point from which to explore further.

Whether it’s for fun or as part of your musical career, learning how to play the viola is sure to bring many rewarding moments!