Practice Advanced Viola Techniques

Edited by Toradze, VisiHow, JoshOwens130

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Detache

You're watching VisiHow. This is a video tutorial on detache bowing on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    A detache starts with the middle part of the bow, known as con arco.
    Then the technique utilizes the rest of the bow. The movement of the bow never stops. There are no outlined notes, and everything is complete. First, start off at a piano and then increase gradually to a forte. Eventually, you will return to piano again. Ensure that your bow arm is completely relaxed and free.
    Play Detache on the Viola.mp4-canvas37 260842.jpg
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Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Detache

Pizzicato

This is a video tutorial on how to pluck pizzicato on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    You will not need your bow to pluck pizzicato.
    Set your bow aside. When you are plucking pizzicato, you are mostly using your first finger. You can use the other fingers as well. You can play pizzicato fast and slowly, but it's used more for slow passages. For pizzicato, take your first finger, pluck a string, and let the hand go.
    Play Pizzacato on the Viola.mp4-canvas30 079348.jpg
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  2. 2
    While using a pizzicato, put your thumb against the fingerboard to pluck the strings.
    Now, let us play the first example of a pizzicato.
    Play Pizzacato on the Viola.mp4-canvas41 33595.jpg
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  3. 3
    Playing should be done with a fluid motion when you are letting go the strings after you pluck them.
    You can also play it fast, but it's advisable to play it slowly in the beginning as you must get the feel of how to play pizzicato. Please listen to it closely.
    Play Pizzacato on the Viola.mp4-canvas61 810983.jpg
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  4. 4
    You can also play pizzicato with your right hand.
    This is called right-hand pizzicato. It is a little more difficult, but it's played mostly with the fourth finger.
    Play Pizzacato on the Viola.mp4-canvas76 279764.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on how to pluck pizzicato on the viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about plucking pizzicato on the viola, please leave them in the space provided below.

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Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Pizzicato

Con Arco Bowing

You're watching VisiHow. This is a video tutorial on con arco bowing on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    A con arco is played in the middle of the strings, fingerboard, and the bridge.
    Play in the middle in order to utilize con arco bowing.
    Play Con Arco on the Viola.mp4-canvas29 607393.jpg
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  2. 2
    Make sure that your bow arm is completely relaxed and free in order to be very flexible with the sound and intonation.
    Remember to play very smoothly with this technique.
    Play Con Arco on the Viola.mp4-canvas55 871998.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on con arco bowing on the viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about con arco bowing on the viola, please leave them in the space provided below.

Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Con Arco Bowing

Col Legno Bowing

This is a video tutorial on col legno bowing on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    A col legno is a bowing technique, which utilizes the wooden side of the bow.
    You are not using the ribbon, or the horse hairs, which is using for typical playing; but you use the wooden part instead.
    Play Col Legno on the VIola.mp4-canvas19 59795.jpg
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  2. 2
    Remember to hit the bow against the strings very lightly as if plucking them.
    Play Col Legno on the VIola.mp4-canvas31 799854.jpg
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  3. 3
    Use only the wooden side of the bow and do not let the hairs touch the strings.
    Play Col Legno on the VIola.mp4-canvas35 271219.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on col legno bowing on the viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about col legno bowing on the viola, please leave them in the space provided below.

Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Col Legno Bowing

Agitato

This is a video tutorial on how to play agitato on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    An agitato is a very thick, rough, and hard sound on the viola.
    The technique is similar to a staccato as you mostly press down hard on both types of expressions. A staccato is very light and distant, whereas an agitato is heavier and thicker. In the first example, a staccato is played and show the difference.
    Play Agitato on the Viola.mp4-canvas31 513241.jpg
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  2. 2
    Now, an agitato is played.
    Play Agitato on the Viola.mp4-canvas43 978951.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on how to play agitato on the viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about playing agitato on the viola, please leave them in the space provided below.

Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Agitato

Muting

This is a video tutorial on how to mute the viola.

Mute the Viola.mp4-canvas26 134464.jpg

Steps

  1. 1
    There are several different types of mutes you can use.
    These include plastic, metal, wood, and rubber mutes. The one that is used in the video is made of rubber. The mute helps give the viola a much softer, gentle, and warm sound. It helps when you are practicing around others to mute your instrument a little. The mute dampens the resonance of the instrument, and it is placed between the A and D strings, below the bridge.
    Mute the Viola.mp4-canvas32 764657.jpg
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  2. 2
    When you want to play with the mute, put it in place but not with force to avoid damaging the bridge or the strings.
    Just push it against the A and the D strings and the bridge. This way, you can mute the instrument.
    Mute the Viola.mp4-canvas42 689669.jpg
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  3. 3
    Now, let us play with the mute.
    Listen to how it sounds.
    Mute the Viola.mp4-canvas56 86906.jpg
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  4. 4
    Now, let us play without the mute.
    Listen to the difference between the two examples.
    Mute the Viola.mp4-canvas69 625596.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on how to mute the viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about muting the viola, please leave them in the space provided below.

Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Muting

Martele

This is a video tutorial on martele bowing on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    Martele bowing starts from the frog and moves to the head with a swift slide of the bow and back.
    The accent is made on the frog of the bow and on the top of the bow.
    Play Martele on the Viola.mp4-canvas21 062617.jpg
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  2. 2
    Keep in mind that the bow has to make full contact with the strings either from the frog or the top of the bow to make a swift accentuated movement with the whole bow.
    Remember to move the bow all the way to the top or all the way to the bottom to complete martele bowing on the viola.
    Play Martele on the Viola.mp4-canvas51 488761.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on martele bowing on the viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about martele bowing on the viola, please leave them in the space provided below.

Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Martele

Grace Notes

This is a video tutorial on how to play grace notes on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    There are two types of grace notes.
    The short one is called acciaccatura, and the long one is called appoggiatura. Short grace notes are shown as small notes stricken through the stem. Short grace notes sound very abrupt and short compared to the longer ones, appoggiaturi. You can hear the difference between these notes if you listen to the examples closely.
    Play Grace Notes on the Viola.mp4-canvas35 107238.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on how to play grace notes on the viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about playing grace notes on the viola, please leave them in the space provided below.

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Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Grace Notes

Legato

This is a video tutorial on how to play legato on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    A legato is a very beautiful and melodic type of expression for the bowing technique on the viola.
    Make sure to play legato by not taking the bow off the strings and by having a smooth and soft and delicate sound while playing. Also, your arm must remain very flexible and free.
    Play Legato on the Viola.mp4-canvas25 314527.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on how to play legato on the viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about playing legato on the viola, please leave them in the space provided below.

Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Legato

Legato and Staccato

This is a video tutorial on how to play legato slurs and staccato on the viola.

Play Legato and Staccato on the Viola.mp4-canvas7 917397.jpg

Steps

  1. 1
    Legato slurs combine notes together without interrupted the sound by lifting up the viola bow.
    Staccato is a separate and swift light note that is played in sequence. For example, if you have a legato and a staccato, you can have a passage such as "Diah-tah-tah diah-tah-tah". Now let's start playing legato and move to staccato next.
    Play Legato and Staccato on the Viola.mp4-canvas37 329036.jpg
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  2. 2
    Two legatos followed by two staccatos will be played.
    Listen closely.
    Play Legato and Staccato on the Viola.mp4-canvas58 002398.jpg
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  3. 3
    To build up the technique, listen and play as shown in the video.
    Play Legato and Staccato on the Viola.mp4-canvas60 941488.jpg
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  4. 4
    Then, continue more with staccatos and legatos in the same passage.
    Play Legato and Staccato on the Viola.mp4-canvas67 304587.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on how to play legato slurs and staccato on the viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about playing legato slurs and staccato on the viola, please leave these questions, comments, or concerns in the space provided below.

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Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Legato and Staccato

Glissando

This is a video tutorial on how to play glissando on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    A glissando is played with a slide technique.
    A glissando glides from one note to the next. All of the notes must be heard between the notes that you are playing, for example, if you are on C and you glide to A. That would make a sixth of a glissando. Let's play this glissando on the viola.
    Play Glissando on the Viola.mp4-canvas27 702985.jpg
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  2. 2
    Now, let us try a bigger glissando.
    Remember that the hand slides very steadily and very calmly if you want to play glissando on any other note. Let's play again.
    Play Glissando on the Viola.mp4-canvas58 893025.jpg
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  3. 3
    Allow the finger to slide and then stop on the end note.
    Play Glissando on the Viola.mp4-canvas67 034538.jpg
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Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Glissando

Dynamics

This is a video tutorial on how to play dynamics on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    In this video, a piano, a crescendo, and a forte techniques will be covered.
    Playing different dynamics requires the bow to push harder or lighter upon the strings. In the sense of a piano, push the bow very lightly, just touching the strings and making the voicing of the viola very melodic and beautiful. For a crescendo, increase the volume gradually from a piano to a forte. Over the part where the volume grows in a crescendo, gradually push down harder on the strings to create a crescendo technique. For a forte, push down on the bow hard in order to consistently make a forte sound.
    Play Dynamics on the Viola.mp4-canvas30 807738.jpg
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  2. 2
    Let us start with a piano to get the understanding and feeling of a piano.
    Please listen closely to the example in the video.
    Play Dynamics on the Viola.mp4-canvas68 405388.jpg
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  3. 3
    As you can hear, a piano is very melodic and beautiful.
    You must be able to have your bow arm very relaxed, loose, and free in order to create this technique.
    Play Dynamics on the Viola.mp4-canvas83 134502.jpg
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  4. 4
    The next is a crescendo.
    Glide from a piano to a forte to create this gradual volume increase. Now, "push" into the sound and glide to create a forte.
    Play Dynamics on the Viola.mp4-canvas102 892522.jpg
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  5. 5
    As you can hear, a crescendo is gradually pushing into a forte from a piano.
    It starts very soft and subtle. Then, it is going into a forte.
    Play Dynamics on the Viola.mp4-canvas90 23869.jpg
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  6. 6
    Our next technique is a forte.
    Push down harder on the bow, having more tension in your arm but still having freedom. Please listen closely to a forte.
    Play Dynamics on the Viola.mp4-canvas127 130004.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on how to play dynamics on the viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about playing dynamics on the viola, please leave them in the space provided below.

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Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Dynamics

Spiccato

This is a video tutorial on how to play spiccato on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    A spiccato is a type of bowing technique where the bow must be firmly pressed against the strings.
    When you start to play it from the frog, the produced sound has a very strong accentuation, even though it is different from an agitato and a staccato. You must press the first finger firmly against the bow to accentuate the sound further. These notes are short and all must be played with the bottom of the bow, as you will have more force and control. Now, listen to the technique.
    Play Spiccato on the Viola.mp4-canvas36 592017.jpg
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  2. 2
    Remember to accentuate with the bow when you move it up and down.
    Listen to the technique again.
    Play Spiccato on the Viola.mp4-canvas44 676091.jpg
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  3. 3
    As always, remember to have your bow arm always loose.
    Play Spiccato on the Viola.mp4-canvas47 633186.jpg
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Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Spiccato

Rubato

This is a video tutorial on how to play rubato on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    A rubato is a type of embellishment, or ornamentation, that groups several notes together in order to make a melody sound more complete and beautiful.
    For example, A, A#, A, G#, and A. Two neighboring notes around the main note create a rubato. Listen to the technique
    Play Rubato on the Viola.mp4-canvas27 77912.jpg
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  2. 2
    Let us play it a little faster to make it more expressive, melodic, and beautiful.
    Play Rubato on the Viola.mp4-canvas37 85849.jpg
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  3. 3
    A rubato makes any melody more expressive and beautiful.
    Continue practicing playing rubato to perfect it.
    Play Rubato on the Viola.mp4-canvas42 88042.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on how to play rubato on the viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about playing rubato on the viola, please leave them in the space provided below.

Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Rubato

Portato

This is a video tutorial on how to play portato on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    A portato is a sequence that connects two or more notes together.
    Each note should be outlined and of the same length, quality, or color, not shorter or longer than the other notes.
    Play Portato on the Viola.mp4-canvas14 948044.jpg
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  2. 2
    The notes should be all equal to each other.
    Portato bowing uses the bow and separates the bow into different sections, where each part of the bow is designated for a particular note. The notes are connected by the phrase. Let us play one note.
    Play Portato on the Viola.mp4-canvas25 79103.jpg
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  3. 3
    Let's play another note now.
    Play Portato on the Viola.mp4-canvas36 45703.jpg
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  4. 4
    Let's play a phrase now.
    Play Portato on the Viola.mp4-canvas39 315518.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on how to play portato on the viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about playing portato on the viola, please leave them in the space provided below.

Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Portato

Portamento

This is a video tutorial on how to play portamento on the viola.

Play Portamento on the Viola.mp4-canvas53 820902.jpg

Steps

  1. 1
    A portamento is similar to a glissando.
    You gradually slide to the next note. A portamento is much shorter than a glissando. When you play any type of melody, use the portamento bowing technique to slide gradually to the next note. Now, let's play an example.
    Play Portamento on the Viola.mp4-canvas27 153588.jpg
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  2. 2
    Use the finger that you are playing with to slide to the next note that you want to play to use the portamento bowing type of technique.
    Let's try it one more time.
    Play Portamento on the Viola.mp4-canvas47 741282.jpg
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Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Portamento

Ponticello

This is a video tutorial on how to play ponticello on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    A ponticello is a technique for strings that requires the bow to be as close to the bridge as possible.
    The bow should not be near the fingerboard or the middle. It should be as close to the bridge as it is possible.
    Play Ponticello on the Viola.mp4-canvas20 069532.jpg
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  2. 2
    A ponticello sound will be very thick, very melancholic, and at the same time very beautiful.
    Always remember to relax the bow arm. Remember to have full strokes of the bow.
    Play Ponticello on the Viola.mp4-canvas49 785808.jpg
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Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Ponticello

Vibrato

This is a video tutorial on how to play vibrato on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    Start a vibrato from the third position as soon as you place the second finger on the note and once you begin to play.
    The fingers just stay steady as they should be able to move back and forth a little, but they should still keep their proper form and shape. This is necessary for the vibration to work out. It happens when your hand as if shaking. You are shaking the fingers back and forth, rocking them like a rocking chair but in a fast motion to give them very melodic, deep, rich, and colorful sound. In the video, a finger is shaken back and forth in order to create a slow vibration of the vibrato technique. The finger is shaken or vibrated back and forth to create this special effect.
    Play Vibratto on the Viola.mp4-canvas42 007038.jpg
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  2. 2
    There are other ways to produce vibrato.
    Another way is to learn to produce vibrato is to make a finger on your hand move up and down. As a demonstration, let's play a vibrato passage, so that you can understand the purpose of vibrato.
    Play Vibratto on the Viola.mp4-canvas82 532871.jpg
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  3. 3
    You must exercise your fingers in order to play a vibrato.
    Continue practicing in order to understand more about the vibrato hand movement. Think of the hand as a single thing. This thing as one is creating a beautiful and fluid sound. The best time to use vibrato is to heighten a melodic passage to make it more beautiful.
    Play Vibratto on the Viola.mp4-canvas80 716837.jpg
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Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Vibrato

Trills

This is a video tutorial on how to play trills on the viola.

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Steps

  1. 1
    When you play trills, your fingers must be firmly pressed against the strings.
    Remember that your fingers should be loose and free so that they can move quicker. You must swiftly move your fingers.
    Play Trills on the Viola.mp4-canvas16 510726.jpg
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  2. 2
    There is also a technique called trills from the top.
    First, place the third finger on the top of a string and quickly press and release the note several times.
    Play Trills on the Viola.mp4-canvas27 50571.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on how to play trills on the viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about playing trills on the viola, please leave them in the space provided below.

Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Trills

Tremolo

This is a video tutorial on how to play tremolo on the viola.

Play Tremelo on the Viola.mp4-canvas12 894389.jpg

Steps

  1. 1
    A tremolo is played at the bottom of the bow with a swift action.
    Note that the whole arm should be relaxed and loose while playing a tremolo.
    Play Tremelo on the Viola.mp4-canvas6 15558.jpg
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  2. 2
    Remember to play tremolo with the tip of the bow.
    Play Tremelo on the Viola.mp4-canvas21 97629.jpg
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  3. 3
    Now, let's play faster using the technique.
    Play Tremelo on the Viola.mp4-canvas26 701328.jpg
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  4. 4
    Note that the bow should be firmly placed upon the strings, followed by swift movements back and forth and up and down.
    Now, let's play a little faster.
    Play Tremelo on the Viola.mp4-canvas39 9691.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on how to play tremolo on the viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about playing tremolo on the viola, please leave them in the space provided below.

Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Tremolo

Sul Tasto

This is a video tutorial on how to play sul tasto on the viola.

Play Sul Tasto on the Viola.mp4-canvas13 126045.jpg

Steps

  1. 1
    A sul tasto is a position, where you place the bow nearest and closest to the fingerboard.
    Do not place it in the center like in a con arco or at the bridge like in a ponticello, but as close to the fingerboard as possible, giving it a very airy, melancholic, and beautiful sound. Please listen closely to the first example.
    Play Sul Tasto on the Viola.mp4-canvas24 434353.jpg
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  2. 2
    Remember to have your bow arm free and flexible.
    Also, remember and note that a sul tasto has to be used as close to the fingerboard as possible.
    Play Sul Tasto on the Viola.mp4-canvas59 402057.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on how to play Sul Tasto on the viola. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about playing Sul Tasto on the viola, please leave them in the space provided below.

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Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Sul Tasto

Schumann's Piesa

This is a video tutorial on playing Schumann's "Piesa" for viola.

Understand Music Schumann's Piesa for Viola.mp4-canvas238 969422.jpg

Steps

  1. 1
    This piece is played to help identify all of the different expressions, dynamic markings, and techniques used in all the previous viola tutorial videos.
    Please identify all of the following, so that you can understand more on how to play the viola. You can leave your comments with findings below.
    Understand Music Schumann's Piesa for Viola.mp4-canvas13 484168.jpg
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  2. 2
    The first thing you have to do before you play is to tune your viola.
    This way, everything will be in tune. Your body should be relaxed: ensure that your bow arm is completely relaxed and free while playing.
    Understand Music Schumann's Piesa for Viola.mp4-canvas32 917288.jpg
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  3. 3
    Now, let's begin.
    Understand Music Schumann's Piesa for Viola.mp4-canvas35 965797.jpg
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This has been a video tutorial on playing music for viola. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns on any of the expressions, techniques, or dynamic markings used in the sample song, please leave your comments, questions, or concerns in the space provided below. Thank you for watching VisiHow!

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Video: Practice Advanced Viola Techniques Schumann's Piesa

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Categories : Music

Recent edits by: VisiHow, Toradze

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