Selecting a String Musical Instrument

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,306
    Menzie Pittman, a member of the National Association of Music Merchants, goes over different members of the string family.

    Menzie Pittman: Hi! I am Menzie Pittman with the National Association of Music Merchants. Today we would like to talk about how you can select an instrument that might be right for you to play. Our first family of instruments is going to be the string instruments, and we are going to start with violin.

    Violin is the smallest and most common instrument in the string family. Has a bright sound and is definitely the lead or quarterback instrument in the orchestra. If you find that you like fiery solos, a warm tone, but an aggressive instrument, maybe violin could be a good choice for you.

    Next, let's talk about viola.

    [Music Playing]Viola, a lot like violin in shape, but slightly larger, and it has a darker tone. Viola plays more of a support role while violin plays the lead melody.

    Next, let's talk about cello. [Music Playing]Cello is larger than viola and violin and is so large it's played from a floor position, as it's too big to hold. Cello has a rich, warm, mellow sound, I believe closest to the human voice, and plays a support role on top of the bass line. If you find that you like warm tones, rich tones, full tones, perhaps cello would be a good choice for you.

    [Music Playing]The largest of the string instruments is bass. Bass is definitely played from a stand up position; a very full bodied instrument, and definitely plays the floor or base role in the orchestra. It can be plucked, it can be bowed, but definitely the most supporting part. Not for everyone, because of its size, but definitely for anyone who loves dark, rich, full tones. If that sounds like it fits you, maybe bass would be a good choice to play.

    [Music Playing]So we have visited the four main string players in the orchestra. If you find fast and fiery and solo work is something you are drawn to, violin is probably a good choice for you. If you find rich and full tones and more of a support role, you might want to visit viola. If you like full, warm, human voice qualities, cello sounds like a choice for you. If you are one that likes to support and know where the pulse is, bass is your choice. Whichever choice you make, we hope you enjoy. Music is for everyone.

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