also available: Introductory Violin Lessons
The Scroll is a beautiful carving at the top of the viola. It helps the instrument with weight distribution but is mostly decorative!
The Tailpiece holds the viola together by attaching to the bottom of the instrument. This is where the Fine Tuners are located.
The Fine Tuners are turned to tune the viola strings to the correct pitches. They are used when the string is close to the correct pitch, but not yet perfect.
The Pegs are turned to make large adjustments in string tightness. Beginners will usually use the Fine Tuners instead.
The Neck is between the body of the instrument and the Pegs. It is one way we hold the viola.
The Fingerboard is the long black piece on the top of the viola. This is where we put our fingers to stop the string and make higher notes.
The F-Holes are how the sound escapes from the inside of the viola.
The Bridge holds the strings up. It also helps hold the Soundpost in place.
The Chin Rest is where we put our chin when we hold up the viola.
The Soundpost is located inside the viola! It is how the viola makes beautiful tones.
Parts of the Bow
The Stick is usually made of Wood, but sometimes Fiberglass or Carbon Fiber.
The Bow Hair is made from the hair of a horse tail! It needs Rosin* to grip the string.
The Winding can be made of rubber, leather, or wire. It helps distribute bow weight and makes the bow hold more comfortable.
The Frog is the rectangle part attached to the bottom of the bow. It usually has a little circle called the "Eye"
The Tip is the top of the bow. It is very fragile and part of how the Bow Hair is held in place.
The Screw is how the bow hair is tightened and loosened.
*It is necessary to apply Rosin to the bow hair in order produce a good tone.
How to Hold the Viola
How to Hold the Bow
The Bow Hold always feels awkward at first,
but with patience and perseverance,
it provides the greatest comfort and control once mastered!
- Try experimenting with holding the violin and bowing the strings.
- Pluck or Bow each string one-at-a-time while saying the name of that string.
- Learn the names of all the parts of the violin.
- Remember the names of each of the strings.
- Practice holding the violin and bow correctly.
- Experiment with bowing and plucking the strings.
- "Care and Maintenance"
- "Anatomy of The Viola and Bow"
- "Holding the Viola and Bow"