Violin / Viola / Cello / Double Bass

Violin lessons Leeds Violin teacher Harrogate
Cello teachers Harrogate Cello lessons Leeds
Viola teachers Leeds Viola lessons Harrogate
Double bass lessons Harrogate Double bass teachers Leeds

Are the stringed instruments suitable for all ages?


Your potential string teacher will be the best person to assess your young child to see if they are ready for learning the violin. There are smaller versions of violins available and children as young as 3 have successfully started on a smaller size and grown into the full-size version. Children do need to have a level of co-ordination and concentration, as well as patience to cope with a slow level of progress at the start. The viola is often played by far fewer younger learners, perhaps because the instrument is bigger and heavier and they have to read a different clef. There are starter cellos available for younger learners, recommended from the age of 7 upward. The double bass is the largest of the stringed instruments and not usually suitable for a younger learner. Also bear in mind that transporting cellos and double basses will often require a roomy car!




Should I buy or rent the instrument?


There are a number of options when it comes to acquiring a stringed instrument: 1. You can buy a brand new instrument. This of course will be the more expensive option, but you will be getting a fantastic new instrument! I'd recommend the 'Leeds Violin Shop' at 'Hobgoblin Music' in Leeds ( www.hobgoblin.com/shops/leedsfiles/leedsviolins.php) and Karen at 'The Music House' in Harrogate ( www.windstruments.co.uk) who will help you make the right decision when looking at purchasing options. 2. You can look for a second hand instrument to buy. There are a number of second hand selling sites (Ebay, Gumtree, Shpock, local Facebook selling sites) where you can purchase an instrument. It is advisable to do your research when purchasing an instrument this way. Find out why they are selling the instrument and look up its model number. Even better - ask your teacher their opinion or to go with you to view before purchasing. 3. You can hire an instrument for a trial period, with the option to buy. This is a great option if you don't want to commit to a new purchase before you've had a few months of lessons. There are plenty of hire to buy schemes around. I would recommend asking Karen at 'The Music House' in Harrogate ( www.windstruments.co.uk) or having a look online - simply type in 'Violin Hire' or 'Cello Hire to Buy'.




What might I find difficult about learning a stringed instrument?


You may hear some interesting squeaks and scratches as you learn how to hold your bow correctly and understand the pressure needed to produce a smooth sound. At first you may find that your arms, hands, neck and chin tire easily as you build your strength in holding and playing the instument. You will need to develop your dexterity and independence of fingers in order to play more quickly and move into different positions. Whereas on an instrument like the piano, you can see the notes you need to play in front of you, with a stringed instrument you need to train your hearing so that you can find the correct notes and stay in tune. Teachers will often put small dot stickers under the strings to help beginners find their notes. With the support of a good teacher and plenty dedicated practice you'll soon start to notice improvements!




Which brand of stringed instrument should I buy?


When making the important decision of buying a stringed instrument, you can't beat going into a music shop, speaking to an expert and trying out the instruments in person. This website by Normans has some useful information about brands - www.normans.co.uk/blog/2014/10/top-string-instrument-brands-sell-normans If you want to shop online, then there are plenty of instrument comparison and information sites to be found. I would strongly recommend buying an instrument in person though, and from a reputable dealer.




Are there different sizes of the same instrument?


Yes, there are different sizes and it's important to determine the correct one for a beginner student. The table to the left shows the recommended sizes when you measure the length of the fully stretched left arm from neck to wrist. The table to the left uses the student's height to establish the size needed for a cello or a double bass.




What social opportunities are there for string players?


Learning a stringed instrument provides many opportunities to get involved with other musicians: String Quartets String Orchestras Orchestras Folk Bands Pop / Rock band Your teacher will be able to advise you about local groups.