Viola, cello, violin, and viol - these resembling stringed dudes come from the same family but have different sizes and varying sounds. The instrument of the hour, Viola, is slightly larger than a violin, mostly smaller than a cello, and has a deeper and lower sound than that of a violin. We’ll be breaking down everything about this instrument in the buyer’s guide at the end of this article. Bringing you detailed reviews of a few quality cheap violas of 2022 in this article.
We’ll also be catering to the internet’s most frequently asked questions about the topic at the very end. Let’s get started!
The Top Economical Violas Worth Considering in 2022
Just like a wand chooses the wizard - a viola chooses the violist. If you’re passionate about learning this instrument, there will be quite a few of them that you’ll have to play first to find your desired instrument.
However, if you’re just starting out, we’ve got a few of them scoped out above - most of them sit in the $150 - $500 range since we’re only targeting first-time buyers in this guide.
Since buying instruments online is a relatively newer phenomenon, we still suggest getting one from a physical music shop - this lets you test the instrument to your liking, prior to putting a pin on the purchase. However, if the refund policy of the online retailer you’re buying from suits you, by all means, go for it. If you’re buying from Amazon, you’ll have that and you will most probably also have a year or two warranty along with your product.
In the remaining article, we’ll hook you up with all the tips and tricks to choose a nice viola. Let’s get started!
What is a Viola?
Viola comes from the violin family, is a stringed instrument that’s either plucked or played with a bow, and has a very deep, rich, mellow sound that’s unlike any other instrument.
The standard viola is smaller than a cello and larger than a violin, that’s why it is mainly suggested for adults and not kids. However, you can get small-sized violas in the 12-13 inches size range if your kids is interested in learning this instrument.
What Are Some Famous Viola Brands to Look Forward to?
Although being brand-conscious is not a hard-and-fast rule for buying a reliable viola, it still goes a long way to consider this part beforehand. Some brands are better than others and the big names in the industry tend to be big because of their good products. So, you see, it doesn’t hurt to go for a viola that comes from a well-known brand.
For instance; Cecilio is a brand that you can consider when looking to buy a complete beginner set. They produce quality products at a fraction of the cost of the big-name players.
Similarly, if you’re looking to buy an entry-level viola that gives you enough room to grow as a violist, you can go for D Z Strad since they have decent violas - some of the best intermediate-level instruments.
Lastly, if you’re looking to go up and get your hands on a high-end instrument, you can look for a viola from Eastman Strings.
Some other famous names are Mendini, Paititi, and Cremona.
Things to Consider When Buying a Viola
Violas are very intricate and expensive instruments so it’s important to do your due homework before buying them. Even if you’re only starting out, it’s important that you keep in mind the following factors before choosing one:
The most common viola sizes are 12”, 13”, 14”, 15”, 15.5”, 16”, and 16.5”. The smallest violas are only a little smaller than full-sized violins so if you’re buying for your kid who is just about to get into middle school, a 12” viola will do you good.
Also, if you’re a beginner and you already have a violin, you can just restring your violin with viola strings to make your ends meet.
It’s important that you consider your hand/finger size and arm length when choosing a viola. If you’re doubtful, it’s always better to go with the smaller size - injuries when playing stringed instruments is almost always the result of opting for big-sized instruments.
Level of experience
If you’re just starting out, there’s no need to fret a lot and we’ll suggest you get your hands on one of the violas in the $150 - $200. However, if your aim is to grow as a violist, you can opt for an intermediate-level product so it takes you at least a while to outgrow the instrument.
The viola sports a unique sound that you otherwise can’t get out of a cello or violin. It’s neither as high-pitched as that of a violin nor as deep as that of a cello. It’s a rather warm and mellow sound and it’s important that your viola sounds that way.
When you’re buying online, there’s really no other way to find the authentic sound of an instrument than to go through the customer reviews or watch a few detailed review videos of the product in crosshairs.
A viola should ideally come with a carry case (hard case or gig bag), a nice bow, and rosin for your bow. However, keep in mind that while most kits have these items, there’s normally a need for players to purchase a new bow anyway.
The bow has a major role in determining the sound of your viola - it can make or break the texture of your tone.
Looks and material preference
While there’s no way to ensure which materials deliver the best sound, most violas are mostly made out of maple wood and have a similar natural finish/varnish. However, you can also get them in white, blue, black, or more colors.
What Types of Violas Are There?
Like most stringed instruments, there usually are two types of violas out there; acoustic and electric. The acoustic ones do not need an electronic source for sound resonance. However, with the help of a pickup, you can project the sound over speakers. The electric ones, however, depend on some sort of speaker or amplifier to produce the sound.
People Also Ask
Q: What is the difference Between Viola, Violin, and Cello?
A: The cello has the deepest sound of the three, the violin has a high-pitched sound, and the viola’s sound lies in the middle of the three. So, if you like both the tonal versatility of a violin and the deep voice of a cello, feel free to go for a viola!
Q: How much should a viola cost?
A: The viola can cost anywhere between $100 and potentially millions. Since there’s no limit to how much instruments can cost, we advise you to stay in the $400-$1000 range for violas since you can easily get a reliable viola in that range.
Q: Is a viola easier to learn than a violin?
A: It’s normally a matter of personal preference - however, it is commonly believed that a full-sized viola is harder to learn than a full-sized violin because the former one is larger of the two.
Within the city limits of NOLA, you may find Camilla hammering away on her 88, playing anything from old jazz to modern country music. Camilla's goal is to one day open a piano studio in New Orleans where she can teach the black and whites and other common jazz instruments to enthusiastic students. Ms. Haywood hopes to bring instruments to old and new musicians alike, reviewing pianos, orchestral instruments, and other products that make her tap her fingers to the beats.