In the musical family, the strings are the most versatile group. Listen to your favorite movie score and you will probably notice the most beautiful parts, other than individual instrument solos, are string passages. The power of an orchestra string section is unsurpassed.
So no wonder your child wants to start lessons on a string instrument in Los Angeles! Violin is the most popular of the strings, but is it the best choice? As a violinist myself, I do not recommend it as a first instrument. It is one of the hardest, if not the most, to play in general, which means starting on it is also an extreme challenge. It takes a year or two just to develop a decent sound, let alone any more advanced techniques and being comfortable enough to play music by ear or a handful of pieces that led you to want to play it in the first place.
The viola is simply a bigger version of the violin, and as such presents many of the same challenges, even if on a somewhat smaller scale. Due to its sheer size, the bass is not recommended for small children, and even though there are small sizes to start out with, it is still an awkward instrument to get around because of the amount of arm movement and shifting needed to get to different notes and strings. The cello is the winner in the category simply because it combines the best of both worlds; it is able to provide a bass line for any ensemble it’s part of while also being able to hold its own as a solo melodic voice.
Any beautiful violin melody can be easily transposed to cello, and it is a much more comfortable position than the violin. You are sitting down and the way you place your hand on the instrument feels a lot more natural. Moreover, because of the thickness of the strings, it does not sound nearly as scratchy as its soprano counterpart.
I hope I was able to shed a little bit of light on the different members of the string family and helped you make your decision. As always, we are here to help! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to give us a call! For more information, please visit our website at http://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com or give us a call at (818) 902-1233.
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