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11 January 2019, 17:48 | Updated: 11 January 2019, 17:50
Thinking of learning to play the viola? Prepare yourself: here are the things no one ever tells you about the ‘big violin’.
Jennifer Stumm plays Rebecca Clarke's epic Viola Sonata with such grace and passion. Does she make you want to take up the viola? Yes? Excellent. But first, here's what you need to know about the instrument...
Playing the viola is a workout for the eyes and the mind, but mostly the arms.
“Can we not just have a *little* bit of the tune?” you cry to your conductor, among a sea of accidentals. No, you may not.
Yes, it's the bane of your life. Yes, you have to learn a whole new clef to play your instrument. But other musicians will secretly find this impressive and intriguing.
No one ever told you about the constant mockery.
The size, the bow pressure, having to carry the whole section... it's an endless struggle.
Forget sports: all you need is a string instrument and some pacy fingering to get those appendages in shape.
Once you get used to being locked in 'viola neck' all rehearsal, you'll be a virtuoso before you know it.
Unlike the fifty violinists battling for the orchestra leader spot, if you want that front desk space, IT'S YOURS.
Violists: you're essential. Never forget that.
[Cue smug smile to the second violin section]