Learning the Basics from Viola Teachers


Like anything else, learning to play the viola too has to start with the basics. The viola is a classical instrument developed in 15th century Italy and has since then been used in different musical compositions. To learn the instrument, you must first gain a basic understanding of the instrument and the type of music it produces. Viola tutorials must always start with this before progressing to the actual teaching of music.

Parts of the instrument

Learning about the different parts of the viola and the bow is the first step to learning how to play it. This helps you in understanding instructions better and you know exactly what they mean when your teacher talks about fingerboards or frogs. Understanding the instrument also helps you in understanding how the viola works and how each part of the instrument functions in order to produce music. This also ensures that you are better able to keep your instrument in good order and maintain it properly.

Holding the instrument

A good posture is about keeping you comfortable throughout the session, reducing stress on your muscles and enhancing the musical efforts. Both standing and sitting postures can be developed, according to your comfort level. This also includes how to hold the viola properly for best results. Most people prefer to place it on their left shoulder or collarbone. Handling the bow properly is required to learn how to play properly. Overall, the aim is to be relaxed physically while playing. Viola lessons must always concentrate on this aspect because this is what will help you on a long-term basis. Starting right is very important when it comes to a good posture as it will prevent you from getting into bad habits that might be difficult to rectify later.


The various stings on the viola produce different sounds. It is imperative to know how the strings work and how to combine the different sounds to produce good music. The D-string, the string second from the right, is the most used string in most musical compositions. Without understanding how the strings work, what notes they produce, how taut they must be, and how to combine them to produce good sound, learning the instrument would be very difficult. This leads to the next important step, tuning.

Tuning the viola

Learning the viola or any other musical instrument is like driving a car – it really helps to be able to tune it yourself. It will become a necessity at some point, because only you can tune it properly to suit your specific needs, so you might as well begin learning it in the beginning. Viola classes generally ensure that the student is taught this very basic skill before progressing further. You can use a simple viola tuner or use a lubricant. It is a very precise skill, so make sure you give it the required attention and learn well.


You must learn fingering on your viola instrument right at the beginning. Each place on the string produces a different sound, and this is the basis to composing music by combining these notes together. Understanding the sharps and flats and which notes to play when comes only with practice and is an essential part of the theory lessons. Good viola teachers will always include these lessons right at the beginning.