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Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Tips and Tricks: 5 Ways to Improve Your Viola Skills

Being good at playing a certain instrument isn’t easy. It takes patience, time and effort to master any instrument. Take viola as an example, while the viola instrument produces authentic and engrossing tone, it takes a while to master it and be able to have the opportunity to perform in an orchestra or as a soloist.

Whether you are a beginner or already in the intermediate level, taking in consideration the following tips can help you to get better at playing viola:


1. PRACTICE YOUR FAVORITE SONG
Practicing your favourite song helps you to easily learn how to play viola. While you are enjoying

learning the desired song, it gives you more motivation to practice the whole piece. And just a trick, before practicing the song, you may want to listen to it more than a couple of times to visualize how the viola would be able to produce the sound.
2. READ THE MUSIC BEFORE PRACTICE
Admit it or not, when you want to play a certain instrument, you just want to start it right away before looking or assessing how an entire piece should be played. While enthusiasm is certainly a must in learning viola, you’ll definitely become a better player if you skim through the whole music sheet and evaluate the difficult parts of it.

There are times that when we encounter an unexpected difficult part, we tend to procrastinate and start with another song already. But you may see these difficulties as your motivation to finish playing the whole piece. It’s more rewarding to get through challenges in playing than trying to avoid it and not finishing anything at all.

3. START IN SLOW TEMPO
You may find this boring, but playing every new piece in a slow tempo is a great technique to excel as a violist. Take your time in playing each tune until you produce a superb sound. Later on, when you’ve mastered the transition and bowing, you can increase the tempo until you reach the right one.

4. ANALYZE YOUR PERFORMANCE
When you’re done playing the song at a slow tempo, it’s time to go back to each part of the composition where you are having difficulties. You may take extra time to assess how you’ll be able to get through the difficult part – may it be your transition, timing or intonation. You may also refer to educational videos online, through your instructor or friends who play viola if how they have resolved the difficulties they face themselves.

5. RECORD YOUR PRACTICES
Another alternative way that you can do improve your viola skills is to record all your practices and identify any problems while playing the composition. Through thorough listening you can focus on parts where you have complications. You may also share these with other people and take in consideration their constructive criticism.

Aside from memorizing the tunes, another vital factor in giving an excellent viola performance is mastering various bowing techniques. Trying and getting good with these bowing techniques can help you to experiment with songs over time and adjust with any composition given to you.

Bonus tip: Do not ever give up. Even when it gets frustrating and a hopeless case, always pick up your viola and get through the tough parts of it. Always remind yourself why you started learning the instrument and use the frustrations as your fuel to be better each day.

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