Beginner Viola Class Assignments 9/23/16

Beginner Viola Class 9/23/16

This week, we learned how to use the left hand fingers to play different notes.

First, instead of holding the viola with your left hand on the upper bout, please start holding it by the neck. To do this, place your left thumb (just below the tip) on the left side of the neck against the red tape. Your left wrist should be straight. If you have any questions on how to do this, you can look at the pictures on Essential Elements page 6. Do not press your left palm against the neck (pancake hand). Pretend you are holding something in your left palm and that you don’t want to crush it.

Each left hand finger has a number: index is 1, middle is 2, ring is 3, and pinkie is 4. When you place a finger on a string, it changes the pitch of the string. The notes we learned this week are the D string notes: G, F-sharp, and E (Essential Elements, pg. 6-7). To play G, place the tip of your 3rd finger right on the blue tape (3rd tape) on the D string and pluck it. To play F#, place the tip of your 2nd finger on the white tape (2nd tape) on the D String and pluck it. To play E, place the tip of your 3rd finger on the red tape on the D string (1st tape) and pluck it. Make sure you press hard enough with your fingers so the notes “ring”. Practice Essential Elements, Exercises 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, and 18. If you have trouble with any of these exercises, please practice each hard measure slowly to fix the problem.

Also, please keep practicing good posture. Make sure your head is held up straight, not tilting to the left. And, check that you are holding your viola about level with the floor.

Good work everyone! If you have any questions, please email me at Finally, please make sure you bring your shoulder rest this week!