Violin vs. Viola: What’s the Difference?

Did you know that it’s necessary to learn a new playing technique if you want to transition from playing the violin to playing the viola?

Since the viola and the violin have similar appearances and are both played under the chin, it is easy to think they are the same instrument.

Once you understand the key differences, it will become easier to figure out which one to start playing. To help you out, we’ve broken down the relationship between the violin vs viola. Keep reading to find out more.

  1. Different Sizes

The easiest way to recognize the difference between the violin and the viola is by looking at their size. The viola is slightly bigger than the violin.

Most violins have a body length of fourteen. The viola is usually more than eighteen inches long. The viola is also wider than the violin.

Both of these instruments come in several different sizes. In fact, the smallest viola is smaller than a full-sized violin. This is why these are great instruments to play if you are a beginner.

  1. Strings and Notes

Both of these instruments have four strings. But the strings have different notes. The violin strings are G, D, A, and E. E is the highest note and G is the lowest note.

The viola strings are C, G, D, and A. C is the lowest note, and A is the highest note.

Lots of musicians are interested in playing the viola because it is tuned one-fifth lower than the violin. It also has thicker strings, which means that you need to use a heavier bow.

If you are still trying to figure out “what is a viola,” it is a good idea to start by taking violin lessons.

  1. The Clefs

Violinists play in a Trebel Clef. People refer to it as the ‘soprano voice’ because it is the string family’s highest instrument.

On the other hand, people play the viola in the Alto Clef. It is the only instrument that uses this notation.

  1. Instrument History: Which Came First

Violins first came into existence at the end of the fifteen hundreds. Every instrument in the violin family comes from the word ‘viola.’

The modern viola became popular in the eighteenth century.

  1. Different Bow Frogs

The frogs are located at the end of the bows. They have a slide and are printed with a small circle. Viola bows tend to be heavier than violin bows.

It is also common for viola bows to be curved instead of straight.

Know the Similarities and Differences: Violin vs Viola

If you are thinking of taking violin classes for beginners, it is important to know how to understand the relationship between the violin vs viola. Violas are larger than violins, and they have a lower pitch.

If you want to find out more about learning music, make sure to check out the Lifestyle section of our website.

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