As with choosing any instrument, it is important that the viola you go for is perfect according to your level of musicianship, your size and, of course, your requirements and budget to make sure your instrument serves you well, continuously and supports you fully while performing and practising. Here at Normans we stock a good range of violas from student to advanced models and are hoping this guide will help you pick out the one that is best for you.
Choosing the right size
This is probably the most crucial part of choosing your instrument. The right size will ensure you are comfortable playing your viola for hours without getting tired or stiff and can significantly impact your performance. Although the best possible thing would be to try out a range of different sized instruments to see which one is best for you, although this may not always be the option. Here is a helpful viola sizing chart that will help you determine which size is most suitable for you:
(Taken from Music Showcase Online)
Which viola is best for your level?
Choosing the correct viola according to the level you are at is yet another crucial step when purchasing your instrument. For example, if you are a beginner, you probably will not fully benefit from all the features of an advanced viola, not to mention you would be spending a lot more money than required. Another tip, if you are a younger player and will be moving through sizes, it may be wise to try to spend less on your viola until you reach a full size one and then splash out on a truly great instrument that will go the distance with you. You would need to make sure that the viola you go for is an investment in your musical journey, yet supports your level of ability, including the features that you need to also last you a while as you progress.
Selection of brands
There is a wide selection of string instrument brands available. Here at Normans we stock violas from Forenza and Stentor which have both been very popular with our customers. Forenza is a great choice to go for if you are a student as it offers the same quality as Stentor II violas for less. It is our own brand and has received a lot of great feedback from students and experts. Stentor, on the other hand, caters for students up to advanced level players and is a brand that is recognised worldwide. If you are shopping for an upgrade or prefer to go for the better known brand, Stentor violas will be perfect for you.
If you do need anything else or have any other queries, please drop us an email or give us a call on 01283 535333 and we'll be happy to help.