Author Topic: Taking Up Two Stringed Instruments  (Read 6312 times)

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Haffner

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Taking Up Two Stringed Instruments
« on: April 29, 2007, 09:31:29 AM »
I'm looking to take up both viola and cello as musical instruments in the next month. Is this not a good idea?

I've got plenty of time to practice and study, and I've played guitar for over 13 years now. Will the carry over form one stringed instruments help me with these two others?

I am hoping to help my string-composing abilities by taking up these two instruments also.

Finally, is it pretty much mandatory that I see a teacher, at least in the very beginning period?

Any help would be deeply appreciated, I am very excited about learning much more about these two favorite instruments of minel


greg

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Re: Taking Up Two Stringed Instruments
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2007, 09:48:12 AM »
Now..... are you really trying to learn how to play them just so you know more about the instrument or are you trying to master them?
I'd advise only taking up one instrument seriously and then more or less messing around with the other, though I don't know exactly what your goals are for each instrument.....

This is similar to me taking up 2 languages at the same time, which was NOT a good idea to start with, you should get really good at one, and then move on to another.

I don't know exactly how similar it feels to play those instruments compared to a guitar, but the tuning is different it's a whole new system, not to mention a whole new playing technique- but still, knowing how to play the guitar does help a bit, it's like a kick start.

Heather Harrison

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Re: Taking Up Two Stringed Instruments
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2007, 11:10:10 AM »
I haven't ever played guitar, so I wouldn't be too familiar with the differences (although I know the tuning system is different).  Taking up two instruments at the same time might add to the difficulty unless the instruments are quite similar to each other.  I took up viola and violin at the same time, but those are more similar to each other than viola and cello.  My main focus is the viola, while I play the violin just to get some variety (and to get used to reading the treble clef).

On these instruments, I would strongly recommend that you see a teacher; it is all too easy to pick up bad habits, and the feedback is useful.  These really aren't do-it-yourself instruments.

If you want a bowed-string instrument that is more similar to the guitar, the viola da gamba might be an interesting choice, although it might be difficult to find lessons.  Most varieties have six strings and the tuning is similar to guitar tuning.  I'm thinking of trying this some day, but probably not until I have more experience.

Heather

Haffner

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Re: Taking Up Two Stringed Instruments
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2007, 11:11:58 AM »
I haven't ever played guitar, so I wouldn't be too familiar with the differences (although I know the tuning system is different).  Taking up two instruments at the same time might add to the difficulty unless the instruments are quite similar to each other.  I took up viola and violin at the same time, but those are more similar to each other than viola and cello.  My main focus is the viola, while I play the violin just to get some variety (and to get used to reading the treble clef).

On these instruments, I would strongly recommend that you see a teacher; it is all too easy to pick up bad habits, and the feedback is useful.  These really aren't do-it-yourself instruments.

If you want a bowed-string instrument that is more similar to the guitar, the viola da gamba might be an interesting choice, although it might be difficult to find lessons.  Most varieties have six strings and the tuning is similar to guitar tuning.  I'm thinking of trying this some day, but probably not until I have more experience.

Heather




Thanks so much, Heather!

Offline Guido

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Re: Taking Up Two Stringed Instruments
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2007, 05:23:21 AM »
You must see a teacher. The other advice has been very good so far, but I just thought I'd stress this again! String instruments are probably the most time consuming and difficult instruments to learn the fundamentals of, much more so than say piano, which you could, with difficulty teach yourself to a basic level. Be warned that the initial few years will probably be quite unrewarding if you are already good at another instrument, and they can be very frustrating. There are no frets! Which means that they are also the most difficult instruments tuning wise - there are an infinite possibility of notes that you can play, so obviously tuning is not something that will come quickly (and it plagues even the greatest of professionals).

Learning a string instrument is a long and arduous path, but the results will be all the more rewarding because of it.
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Taking Up Two Stringed Instruments
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2007, 08:16:31 AM »
Learn viola first. Adapting what you learn on viola to cello will be easier than the other way around. The finger dexterity you've developed playing guitar will serve you well. The challenge will be getting your brain to adjust to an instrument tuned in 5ths instead of 4ths.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline Brewski

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Re: Taking Up Two Stringed Instruments
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2007, 08:47:30 AM »
Much good advice here.  As a former violinist, I would only reaffirm what others have said about finding a really good teacher.  Bowed stringed instruments really are quite difficult, between the left hand finger technique and right hand bowing technique.  There are many pitfalls that you can avoid, simply by getting good advice from the beginning. 

And good luck!  Both viola and cello are beautiful instruments and I wish you much pleasure pursuing them.

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

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Haffner

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Re: Taking Up Two Stringed Instruments
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2007, 09:00:11 AM »
Thanks everyone!

I've found right off that my fingers and ears have to be extremely coordinated when playing viola and cello. However, my guitar playing and studying definitely gives me an advantage.