Best Strings For Cello:The Ultimate Guide In 2020

Best Strings For Cello

Introduction:

Cellists are known to spend more time than the violinists with their instruments. This is due to the difference in their easy combination of strings. Cello strings are getting popular every single day. But the problem comes in when you want to find the right cello string for yourself. Having the best strings for your instrument especially best strings for cello is very essential. This will even make a beginner look like a pro.

Choosing the best strings for cello in 2020

Name of the Cello StringsRecommended For
1.  LarsenIntermediate/Expert
2.  Thomastik versumIntermediate/Expert
3.  Pirastro – ObligatoIntermediate/Expert
4.  D’Addario- hellicoreBeginner
5.  PrimBeginner/ Intermediate/Expert
6.  JargarIntermediate
7. Pirastro PassioneExpert
8. WarchalIntermediate/Expert
9.  Pirastro evah pirazziIntermediate/Expert
10.  Thomastik-Infeld SpirocoreBeginner/Intermediate
11.  Thomastik-Infeld – DominantBeginner/Intermediate
12.  MeranoBeginner

It should be known that cello strings can last up to a year so long as you have high-quality strings. Different strings are made from different materials, this will bring different qualities even if the maker is the same. Below are some of the best cello strings that you can choose to have for your cello.

Larsen

This is one of the most popular strings known among the cellists. This is the string that is made in Denmark. It has a steel core hence one of the best. This is because it is known to produce one of the best tones due to the steel core.larsen are known to be bright. They are also popular due to the full-bodied thus making them one of the best cello strings for your cello.

Larsen has been highly reviewed by cellists around the world. Furthermore, Larsen released new magnarcore strings which is the best replacement of spiracles. Larsen becomes the best when it comes to the quality of the string and also the tone that it can produce.

Thomastik versum

This is another set of strings that are so great. The core is made up of steel spirals hence it will provide one of the best sounds. These strings are sturdy enough therefore it provides you with a humble time of playing it. You can practice using these strings for a long time without getting bored.

The strings are known to produce a high-quality sound that will not bother the audience. The strings are a bit costly but they will prove to you how your cello can be versatile. If you aim in improving your cello skills, then these strings will surely get you to the next level of your playing.

Piastro-obligato

These strings are made with a synthetic core in their G, D, and also the C strings. This is the best alternative to steel core strings. They don’t last the same but their quality is unquestionable. They are known due to the quality sound they produce. Its soloistic sound is so great. If you want a perfect alternative for your steel cello strings then this will offer better results.

The good thing is that these strings are braced with tungsten thus allowing better stability on the lower end of your instrument. If you love the string core then you can opt for the obligato that has a medium steel core A-strings.

D’Addario- hellicore

These are the best strings that are also affordable. These are the cello strings that sound great fro. The bottom to the top. These cello strings have a lower tension hence making them easier when depressing. Since these strings will sacrifice some power that the lower tension offers. Then this power can be used for other strings. The hellicore strings are good when in the higher on the fingerboard.

Prim

This is another affordable choice when it comes to the cellist. These strings are good for all levels of the strings. This tone is great for bright and also the warm tone. These strings are so great for orchestral and even chambers ensembles. They are known to be the most popular choice when it comes to folk style music. This is due to their quick response and also the low cost.

They are also known for their durable nature hence easing the tuning double stops. these strings are made from a solid steel core. It is also wounded with chrome steel. They are the best affordable strings that are prefdered by most cellists.

Jagar

These are the other affordable cello strings in the market. They are also the best strings that one could get. They are k own to be great and also responsive. Jagars are known to produce some of the complex sounds that you can get. If you require the complex sounds, then this will offer excellent results. It has its silver sound line which is so great.

This is a string made by the skilled string makers. The core has been made with a flexible steel core. It is one of the best strings which produces a well-balanced tone and it is also very easy to play. The strings are known due to their distinguished sound in every genre of music.

Piastro-passione

It is one of the best strings with a balanced complexity and also stability. The passion G and C strings are gut. These strings are made from steel. This makes it durable it is known to be warmer than the metal core strings. It has a good response and also the great power projection. The transition to the upper registers is so smooth.

It is also an affordable set of strings that offers a great sound projection. It is used by a good number of cellists due to their exciting features. Its quality is also good and it can last a good period. Its power projection is also huge hence they are the best set of cello strings.

Warchal cello strings

These strings are made of a synthetic core. It also features a medium gauge that will produce a full and also a rich sound. When it comes to tension, they are known to be softer than the metallic strings. The soft tension enables the strings to work amazingly especially if you want a softer side of playing. For the strings to reach their full potential, you have to give them a 3 to 4 days span.

If they don’t sound well the first time you play them just be patient a bit. After a few days, you will love the sound projection of these strings. They are the best synthetic strings in the market. If you want a softer playing ability then these strings are the perfect type for you.

Pirastro evah pirazzi

These strings might make you fall in love with them. This is because they have a variety of strings with each string having a specific sound projection. These sets will make you enjoy a versatile instrument. These are the strings that are said to be the most coveted set. The strings gs have been made with a synthetic core hence offering a quick response. It also gives the ability to be played with ease.

Some cellists have said these strings produce a louder sound so if you are looking for the set with a louder sound then this is the best for you. They are the best set of strings with great quality and they are also durable. It also offers a broad dynamic range and a sweet sound projection.

Full set high-quality cello strings

They are steel core cello strings. It is ideal for those who are learning to play the cello. It is also great for improving the existing skills that you have. They have a great ability to produce a warm sound. They are resistant strings that you can get. Its price is also an affordable one.

Resistant nature enables it to withstand the learning process. This is why these strings are very ideal for learning. This set of strings has different sounds and also the sharpness. This will help you in developing your cello style of playing.

Best cello strings combinations

C-stringG-stringD-stringA-string
1Spirocore TungstenSpirocore TungstenLarsenLarsen
2Spirocore TungstenChromcorChromcorLarsen
3ChromcorChromcorDominantDominant
4Evah PirazziEvah PirazziLarsenLarsen
5Spirocore SilverSpirocore SilverLarsenLarsen
6HelicoreHelicoreEvah PirazziEvah Pirazzi

Best cello strings: Buying guide

Best Cello Strings

Choosing a cello can be a daunting task especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. They form the largest group in the strings family which implies you need to be precise in what you want. I have provided some factors that you need to consider before you buy one.

Cello categories

Before you begin buying cello it is important to understand that it comes in various categories which include professional, intermediate, and student. This depends on the expert level. Therefore you can take the student if you’re a beginner or intermediate if you are at least you have some skills. Professional is for the experts those who have mustard its craftsmanship and they can play cello professionally.

String type

Cello has two types of strings; steel and nylon. The string that you choose depends on quality and durability. For instance, nylon strings are flexible and comfortable hence it can facilitate an effective learning process .they are also durable and offers finger comfort. On the other hand, still, string types are a little bit difficult to play but they produce louder volume and bow response than their counterparts.

The material

The material used is a very important consideration that you should also focus on before you choose to buy one. the top parts should be made using spruce wood for durability and beauty. Marple can be used on the sides of the neck and the back. Additionally, ensure that and pin is adjustable and the tuning pegs are made using ebony. There are other quality woods such as boxwood and rosewood which can also be used to enhance durability and appearance.

Size

Cellos come in various sizes that is why it is important to choose the right size. Therefore to use a full-sized cello you should be at least 5ft tall. However, if a child is under 5 feet they are other smaller sized sellers that are comfortable for them .you can choose a ¾ size cello or ½ size cello depending on the comfort and the size of the child.

Gauge

Thickness is also another important factor that you should also consider because these cello strings come in various gauges which determines the sound produced. Therefore, thicker strings are better because they provide a rich and full sound.

Price

Just like any other device you need to have a good budget so that you can buy one with the best products in the market that will meet your needs. You can find the strings for less than $100 for a full set to $200 depending on your budget.

Conclusion

Having a cello is great but also the strings have a great way of springing your cello to life. Selecting the best strings is essential for cello playing. Also, know what you want to achieve with your cello to find the perfect strings. The above strings gs are some of the best set and it will be great if you tried them.

Best Cello Strings: FAQs

Q: How are cello strings made ?

The concept of making these strings is to ensure they are flexible and they can vibrate properly. This is because of flexibility and enhances proper tuning and responsiveness to ensure the vibration modes are effective to provide a harmonious sound as they respond to the bow.

Q: What are cello strings made of ?

In the past cello strings were made using the intestines of sheep, goats but due to modern innovation, the strings are made using metallic materials such as chrome, titanium, aluminum, and silver .others are made using synthetic products to enhance the volume and durability.

Q: How to tighten cello strings ?

Tightening the cello strings is a straight forward process that requires you to turn the peg in an anti-clockwise direction and you will notice there is some tightening of the strings.

Q: Why are cello strings expensive ?

Cello springs are expensive compared to the ordinary guitars because of the materials and the process used in making them. Besides, the pricing of the strings depends on the skill level because professional tends to be more expensive than the beginners due to additional features and quality levels.

Q: Where can I buy cello strings ?

Cello springs are available in both local and online stores. the most important thing is to ensure that you are buying them from a certified and authorized dealer who complies with the manufacturer policies and warranties. This is to ensure that you are in a position to purchase a quality product that will serve you for long.

Q: Why do cello strings break ?

Cello strings can also break if it is not properly maintained because majority or breakages occur when the tuner pinches the strings causing breakages.

Top 10 Best Ukulele Brands for True Music Lovers

Best Ukulele Brands

Introduction:

It’s not hard to see why so many musicians fall in love with the humble ukulele. While significantly smaller and softer than its big brother the guitar, the ‘uke’ has an undeniable charm. The ukulele’s sound is rich and warm with a wistfulness that evokes long, languid summers and simple romance.But the question is What are the best ukulele brands?

In recent years, the stringed instrument has featured on many different albums with artists such as Ingrid Michaelson and Eddie Vedder championing its use. Not only does it sound fantastic, but it’s also easy to play. It’s certainly easier to master than the guitar or mandolin because it only has four strings. Yet, knowledge of chord shapes and scales can still be transferred to most other stringed instruments.

Add to this the fact ukes are small enough to be portable, less pricey than guitars and unbeatable showstoppers at parties. Have we convinced you to give it a try yet? Maybe our guide to the best brands will help make up your mind. If you’re buying a new ukulele, this article offers advice on the best makers.

What Are the Best Ukulele Brands?

1. Kala

Kala is probably one of the recognizable ukulele brands on the planet. The maker has an exceptional reputation and is considered to be among the best. Kala sells a diverse array of ukulele models with instruments designed for learners and experienced musicians.

From its California headquarters, Kala designs and builds ukuleles with magical voices and long lives. The company prides itself on its build integrity and conducts some of the most rigorous quality control processes of any instrument maker.

For this reason, its products can sometimes be a little pricier than rivals. Yet, it doesn’t stop Kala from being our all-time favorite brand. If you pay more for quality, you’re guaranteed to get it from a Kala. For a mid-priced ukulele, try the Kala KA-15S Soprano.

Pros

  • Balanced, even tone across the whole range
  • Affordable prices for impeccable quality
  • Use of woods which produce wonderful tones

Cons

  • Probably needs an extensive (maybe pro) set up

Recommended Model:

Official Kala Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit

Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

2. Lanikai

Lanikai is a slightly more traditional manufacturer for musicians who prefer to keep things authentic. The brand makes ukuleles in a ‘traditional’ style with soft, light tones that sound closer to what you might think of as popular uke music.

These magnificent instruments sound joyful and they’re a delight to play and experience. If you want to know what are the best ukulele brands, Lanikai is surely one of them. The company’s motto is ‘makes me happy’ which should tell you about its values.

Lanikai ukuleles are some of the most affordable. You’ll find them among the cheapest available. This is no comment on their quality because they are built reliably, demonstrate marvelous craftsmanship and provide a great start for new players. We’re especially fond of the Lanikai LU-21 Soprano.

Pros

  • Generally fantastic build quality
  • Sometimes uses atypical/interesting materials
  • Always comes with a superb set of strings

Cons

  • Very rare craftsmanship errors (not common, but sometimes)

Recommended Model:

Lanikai Ukulele (QMBLCET)

Lanikai Ukulele (QMBLCEC)

3. Mahalo

If you’ve been playing for a while already, your first ukulele might have been a Mahalo. Surprising numbers of people begin with a uke from this particular brand. While it also produces more sophisticated ukuleles for experienced players, it is best known for making superb starter instruments.

Mahalo’s understanding of what makes a perfect beginner uke is invaluable. You’re unlikely to find fancy designs and nifty add on features here, but the quality levels are consistently high. The brand makes simple looking, gorgeous sounding instruments with a classic shape and familiar tone.

We recommend Mahalo to first time players. If you’re learning to play the ukulele, these instruments can make the whole experience more enjoyable. However, if you’re taking a step up – buying a second or third ukulele – you might find Mahalo ukes to be overly plain. The Mahalo Kahiko MK1TBR is one of our favorites.

Pros

  • Always gives well balanced tones
  • Classic, simple, uncomplicated styles
  • Among the best ukes for beginners

Cons

  • Sometimes the intonation is off

Recommended Model:

Mahalo Ukuleles MR1LBU Rainbow Series

Mahalo Ukuleles MK1TBS Kahiko Series 

Mahalo Hano Series MH2 Concert Ukulele

4. Hola!

What’s the best ukulele brand around? It’s a complicated question, but we do know the answers aren’t all big names. You may not have heard of Hola because it’s a smaller manufacturer that is just starting to gain traction.

Hola has soared in popularity in recent years because beginners love the cute, neat appearance and crispy tone of its ukes. Like Lanikai, it’s known for producing affordable instruments that are user friendly and non-intimidating to beginners.

We noticed during our tests that intonation sometimes needed adjustment right out of the packaging. In a couple of cases, a change of strings was required to get the instrument sounding precise. The low price of these ukes is worth the risk of a little extra work in our opinion. Try the Hola! HM-21 Soprano for a ukulele with a gorgeous shape, great tone and formidable build quality.

Pros

  • Crisp, balanced tones across the range
  • Comfortable contours for pain free playing
  • Some interesting uses of tone wood

Cons

  • Strings are okay, but sound better with an upgrade

Recommended Model:

Hola! Music HM-21BU Soprano Ukulele Bundle

5. Luna

Luna makes a wide variety of musical instruments and is a highly trusted international manufacturer. Lots of musicians use Luna’s ukes, guitars and other products, so you may know the name already. The brand produces some truly outstanding high end ukuleles.

We can praise its starter instruments – they really are very good – but the real magic is in Luna’s premium ukuleles. They look exceptionally beautiful with intricate designs expertly carved into mahogany bodies.

Instruments like the Luna Honu Soprano are significantly pricier than some of the other products on our list. They’re definitely worth it though. The Honu, in particular, delivers a strong, unwavering tone which makes it sound like it costs three times its actual price tag.

Pros

  • Beautiful, intricate etched/carved designs
  • Tone punches above its price bracket
  • Some of the most unique ukes for their price range

Cons

  • Factory strings aren’t great (may need replacing)

Recommended Model:

Luna High Tide Koa Concert Acoustic/Electric Ukulele

Luna Honu Tribal Turtle Soprano Ukulele Pack

6. Oscar Schmidt

Oscar Schmidt is another brand that’s better known for producing full sized acoustic and electric guitars. In fact, its guitars are so popular they can overshadow the brilliance of its traditionally styled ukuleles. Oscar’s ukes are affordable, versatile and very nice to look at.

Several years ago, the company invested a lot of time and money in the production of its ukuleles. Quality and tone are noticeably better and there are some wonderful designs to choose from. Take the Oscar Schmidt OU5 Concert Ukulele, a gorgeous piece of kit with abalone binding and a Nyatoh neck.

For those looking to combine quality and style, these ukuleles are a great place to start. Versatile, bright and crispy, they sound fairly classic. Expect good intonation right out of the packaging and a satisfying balance of build integrity and tone.

Pros

  • Fantastic intonation right from the start
  • Robust, versatile tones across the range
  • The ukes with koa bodies are gorgeous

Cons

  • At the upper end of affordable

Recommended Model:

OU2T-A-U 4-String Mahogany Tenor Ukulele

OU28TE-A-U 8-String Tenor Ukulele. Satin Finish

OU2P-A-U 4-String Pineapple Concert Ukulele,Satin

7. ADM

We include ADM on our review of the best uke brands because the maker’s precision and attention to detail are next level. The company isn’t as well-known as Mahalo or Luna. It’s a smaller brand with a limited range. However, its starter ukuleles expertly meld durability, classic aesthetics and clear, crisp tones

ADM instruments like the ADM Koa Concert Ukulele sound just as precise picking out metal tunes as they do jazz or country songs. We want to point out the ADM Soprano Mahogany Ukulele is one of our favorite choices for children. The cutaway upper body allows plenty of room for flexible wrist positioning.

These stylish ukuleles are also available in some of our favorite colors. If you can bring together clear, sweet notes, decorative engraving and a delicate sunburst varnish, do you have the perfect uke? We’ll let you try one and find out for yourself.

Pros

  • Student grade ukes for novices and pros
  • Affordable but with high end features
  • Ukes come with fingerboard stickers for beginners

Cons

  • Tuning can be a little stiff/awkward at first

Recommended Model:

Concert Ukulele Ranch 23 inch Professional Wooden ukulele

ADM Soprano Ukulele Beginner Ukulele 

8. Diamond Head

Diamond Head is another less well-known brand, but its excellent ukuleles are worth your time. The majority are made from mahogany which gives Diamond Head’s ukes a great deal of resonance and clarity.

Again, they look fairly traditional. The Diamond Head DU-200C Concert Ukulele is even purposefully shaped to help it produce a solid and clear signature note. We found the strings to be a little unreliable. However, there’s a lot of quality to enjoy for a mid-priced instrument.

Diamond Head ukuleles aren’t the most exceptional on the market. If you’re looking for perfection, we’d recommend one of the other brands on our list. What they do deliver is reliable performance, an attractive design and a foundation for learning.

Pros

  • Body shape facilitates the signature tone
  • Trademark tenor wood is crisp, consistent
  • Some of the most affordable full sized concert ukes

Cons

  • (Sometimes) come with minor craftsmanship errors

Recommended Model:

Diamond Head DU-150 Soprano Ukulele

Diamond Head DU-134 Vintage Series

Diamond Head DU-200 Deluxe Natural

9. Cordoba

Cordoba produces ukuleles in a variety of shapes and styles. Our favorites are the tenor ukes. With impressive craftsmanship, a trademark tenor tone, solid build quality and a sweet price tag, it’s hard not to love them.

For this reason, we recommend Cordoba’s ukes if you want to get really intricate and hone your fingerpicking skills. Its instruments tend to be fairly bright in their aesthetic. The woods used are light and clean which contrasts with some of the darker ukuleles put out by brands like Mahalo.

If you’d prefer a concert uke, the Cordoba 20CM Concert Ukulele is one of our brand favorites. It delivers impressive resonance, volume and clarity, three characteristics you should look for in all good concert ukes. For a beginner, it’s a tad expensive. Perhaps you could start off with one of Cordoba’s more affordable ukuleles and treat yourself to this sophisticated beauty when you’re ready to level up.

Pros

  • Cordoba rarely fails where quality is concerned
  • Guaranteed a good set of strings
  • Beautiful, traditional styles

Cons

  • Some of these ukes can take an age to tune

Recommended Model:

Cordoba 20TM Tenor Ukulele

10. Donner

Donner is one of the youngest brands to be featured in this review. The maker has been producing ukuleles for less than a decade. It might not sound like a big deal, but it’s more unusual than you might think. Most of the world’s celebrated instrument manufacturers have a rich and varied history to fall back on.

Donner was launched in 2012 with the goal of ‘creating new music and performance experiences.’ Its ukuleles are frequently lauded for their affordability, tone and overall build integrity. For instance, the Donner DUS-3 is a spruce topped soprano with a cheery and focused tone.

The use of spruce means it plays with exceptional clarity. It’s a wonderful ukulele for performance whether on a stage or at home with your friends. Donner doesn’t have the reputation or history of the bigger boys – the brand is still growing and winning round fans – but we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Pros

  • Affordable with similar qualities to high end ukes
  • All wood is screened and age dried over years
  • Often come with lots of accessories/freebies

Cons

  • Some starter ukes look a little flimsy

Recommended Model:

Donner Soprano Ukulele Mahogany DUS-1 21 inch

Frequently Asked Questions

what are the best ukulele brands

Q: What Are the Different Types of Ukulele?

There are four main types of ukulele. These are the soprano, concert, tenor and baritone ukulele. They vary according to their tones and the types of sounds they can produce. It’s useful to think of all the different voices in a choir. Some sound higher and ‘sweeter.’ Others produce a much deeper tone with more bass.

They’re played in much the same way (only the baritone differs a little). So, the right ukulele for you will depend on the type of sounds you’re trying to produce. The soprano produces higher pitches and emits minimum bass. It is often what people think of when they imagine ukulele music; jangly, sweet and romantic.

Concert ukes are larger than sopranos with a slightly longer neck. This shape makes it easier to pluck up and down the frets. Concert ukes are great for starters because they are fairly simple to master. They are a little deeper than sopranos where tone is concerned. However, the difference is probably less than you think.

Tenor ukuleles are steadily increasing in popularity as more people use them for solo performances. They cover a broad range of frequencies and can hit lower notes and tones than the soprano or concert version. In fact, tenor ukes are probably the closest match to a regular acoustic guitar.

Baritones ukuleles are the trickiest to learn because they are tuned differently to the rest. They’re less popular and their specific requirements mean it’s harder to transfer songs mastered on a soprano or concert to a baritone uke. They don’t sound too different from regular guitars, but they’re not the obvious choice for a beginner. That is unless you’re happy to put more work into lessons.

Q: I’ve Never Played Before. What Type of Ukulele Should I Buy?

The only rule for beginners (who don’t want to make things really tough for themselves) is to steer clear of baritones. They are by far the hardest ukes to master and play skillfully. The tenor, concert and soprano versions all come with their own unique benefits and are completely suitable for starters.

While the soprano ukulele is where most beginners start, it can pose problems for larger players with bigger hands. If you are worried about size, opt for a concert or tenor because both will give you a fatter, friendlier fretboard.

Once you’re a comfortable, confident uke player, you can always switch to a different instrument and try something new. As a beginner though, it’s best to keep things simple.

Q: How Much Should an Affordable Ukulele Cost?

The amount you should spend, particularly on a first uke, is entirely dependent on your preferences and level of interest. If this is a new passion, it makes sense to spend more on an instrument you love.

If you’re not sure ukulele playing is for you, but want to find out for sure, opt for something cheaper. That way, if it doesn’t work out, you haven’t spent a great deal of money (and you have a beautiful new ornament).

There are ukuleles out there for as little as $20. We strongly advise against buying an instrument this cheap. Even if you’re a pretty casual learner, a poor quality uke is going to leave you uninspired and unmotivated to play.

Our recommendation is to work with a minimum of $50. If you’re looking for a knockdown ukulele, this is still a very cheap price. If you shop carefully though, you can find very impressive instruments in this bracket. Ideally, you want to be spending between $80-$100.

The Final Word On Best Ukulele Brands

If you want to know what are the best ukulele brands, first identify your preferences and personal goals. What do you want to do with this instrument? Are you learning? Would you like to sound better onstage? Are you just looking to try a uke with a different type of shape and sound?

All of these motivations are valid and, depending on your own goals, should inform your decision. There is no single best ukulele or victorious ukulele brand because the perfect shape, style and tone are different for everybody. This is our review of the brands we love and think you should consider.

As they’re quite a varied and diverse bunch, we’re confident there’s something to suit everybody. The most important thing is to do your own research even if it’s just a little time spent reading customer feedback. If you’re buying online, make sure to use a company with a robust returns policy. You can never be sure about an instrument until you’ve picked it up and played it.

Banjo Brands to avoid

Banjo Brands to avoid

Introduction:

The banjo buying guide is the best for every beginner player in the banjo playing industry. There are top 10 banjo instruments for beginners, and these include; Raguebanjo starter park review, the Dearing Goodtime banjo brands, there is also Jameson 5-sting, Epiphone banjo brand, and Oscar Schmidt.

These are just a few banjo brands that are in the market. Each banjo brand has its pros and cons. When you are out there looking for the best banjos to purchase, you should be aware that there are those banjo brands that you have to avoid buying.

Abiding to a very resourceful guide on how to purchase your first banjo brand, will help you not to make the same mistakes beginners of banjo players always make. Most banjo brand players that make mistakes during the purchase are beginners.

The guide will, therefore, help you to buy a banjo brand with a good reputation in the market. To know what banjo brand to avoid, we need to understand what makes a lousy banjo brand and what to look for. This comparison table will help us to know the banjo brands to avoid.

Banjo brands to avoid: Important Points To Consider

Banjo Brands to avoid

Items to consider in choosing the best banjo brands, Good banjo brands & Bad banjo brands.

The Head stock:

In good banjo brand, the head stock is well fit and never loose when playing the Instrument while in bad banjo brand, the The tuning pegs in the head stock move too freely and the Instrument cannot be kept in tune.

The neck:

Best fingerboard of your banjo brand should not be in any case overly worn.The fingerboard of good banjo brands should be fixed appropriately to ensure there is no movement between the neck and body of your Instrument.Bad banjo brands have Fingerboard with bare and rough spots that makes it uncomfortable to play.

The body:

This is where you will get the resonator, tension loop, and the tone ring. If it as a stable bridge.?Banjo brands with a loose bridge while playing.This can make your hands because all the strings of the banjo brand to shift as you play.If it is not able to hold the strings firmly due to poor quality or wear.

The sound:

Good Banjo brands produces a desirable and quality sound whether it’s a four strings or five string banjo brands while Bad Banjo brands produces undesirable sound when played.

Consider banjo brands with advantages:

  1. Good reputation in the market.
  2. High quality banjo brands.
  3. Banjo brands that produces comfortable tunes when played.
  4. Budget friendly banjo brands.
  5. Comfortable when playing and able to satisfy all your needs.
  6. Banjo brands with stable strings.

Banjo brands To Avoid with Disadvantage:

  1. Wears out quickly.
  2. Bad reputation in the market.
  3. Banjo brands that are poorly manufactured.
  4. Brand that produces unpleasant sound when played.
  5. Banjo brand that is cheap in the market. This is because a cheap instrument gives you very limited resources.

Note that when you are especially a beginner of a banjo brand player and you are hunting on the best banjo brand to purchase, avoid anything that is Gold Star, Jameson, Gold tone and Dearing. These banjo brands offers models that will give you pleasant tone when you play and they are comfortable to play. You will never regret considering them in the market. Make sure that the shop you will visit to buy your banjo brand instrument will give you an opportunity to try the Instrument before purchasing it.

Top Banjo Brands: (Best Recommendation)

Deering:

Deering Goodtime 2 5-String Banjo

Deering Artisan Goodtime II 5-String Resonator Banjo

Vangoa

Vangoa 5 String Banjo MINI

Dean

Dean Backwoods 6 Six-String Banjo

Recording King

Recording King RK-R20 Songster Banjo

Banjo Brands to avoid: FAQs

Q: what banjo brands should I consider?

Answer: This Is A Question Many Starters Of Banjo Brand Players Will Always Ask Themselves. “Should I Begin With An Open Back Banjo Brand Then Back Up With A Resonator Banjo Brand?”The answer to this frequently asked question is NO. To select which banjo brand to select depends on what you are going to play.

Q: How is the banjo brand rim made?

Answer: The best banjo brand you should go for are those made of a three-ply maple rims. This produces a desirable tune when playing.

Q: How many strings should the banjo brand Instrument be made of?

Answer: The common banjo brand to buy is a five string banjo instrument that is tuned GDGBD. This is also known as the G- tuning banjo brands instrument.

Q: Do I start with a resonator or an open back banjo brand?

Answer: To simplify this issue we need to understand the difference between a resonator and an open back banjo brand, resonator banjo brands are normally used for the bluegrass and the country music whereas an open back banjo brands are used in the old time and folk.

Q: Is the intonation of the banjo brand Instrument accurate? Or does it play in tune?

Answer: Generally, banjo brands built with plastic rims should be avoided if the tune is to be highly considered. Remember the tune or sound of your Instrument should always be as attractive as possible.

Q: Is the Neck of the banjo brand properly shaped?

Answer: Avoid banjo brands with slender and poorly shaped neck; this will make your Instrument to be unstable when playing.

Q: what is the size of the head of banjo brand?

Answer: Most high quality banjo brands normally use 11inch diameter banjo brands with either medium or high crown height banjo brands that is always handy during replacement.

Q: Are all banjo brand tuners geared?

Answer: All the best tuning machines are normally made of gears; this means turning the string tension when you play will take less effort. All professional banjo brands are geared.

Q: is there warranty given when you buy a banjo brand instrument?

Answer: Good banjo brands will always come with a 6 year warranty to cover for defects that might arise due to materials used or workmanship.

Final Verdict:

In conclusion, you do not have to be talented in stringed Instrument playing to choose the best banjo brands in the market. The above comparison will help you to differentiate between a good banjo brand and a bad banjo brand in the market. This is most important to beginners of banjo brand players. Although there is a wide variety of banjo brands in the market, choosing the best one is never an easy decision.

What is the Best Ukulele to Buy: Top Choice for All Ages

Introduction:

Do you fancy giving playing the ukulele a go, but you are unsure where to start? The ukulele is a great instrument to learn that is a little different from the guitar or the violin that are both played by the masses. Deciding to play the ukulele is just the first step however to your future as a budding musician. You will need to see which ukulele is best for you.

There are plenty to choose from both acoustic and electric, and for beginners and pros. There are even special ukuleles for the youngest of learners. In this article we have picked out some of the best for both beginners and pros, hopefully answer the question “what is the best ukulele to buy”

Introducing Ukulele for beginner:

What is the Best Ukulele

The great news to newbies to the ukulele is that it’s not an expensive instrument and it’s also easy to learn. This means that you can have hours of fun with an instrument that is light and easy to take with you on the move. From busking to traveling, the ukulele is becoming more and popular both amongst guitarists and also amongst those who simply want to learn to play an inexpensive stringed instrument.

In some countries such as the UK, the uke as it is commonly called is now found in the school band or orchestra; a far cry from just simple recorder lessons of yesteryear. In Canada, kids have been learning the ukulele at school for decades.

As a guitar player, it’s really quite easy to learn the ukulele, the only problem you may encounter being the high “G” found on the lowest string. The ukulele is tuned in fifths just like the guitar; and just for information, you can now purchase a 6 string guitalele. But, let’s get back to the purpose of this article and introduce you to some of the best ukuleles available today.

What is the Best Ukulele to Buy Right Now

Martin T1K Tenor

The best ukulele for you will depend on a few things, one of the most important being your budget. If you are not on a strict budget, you could easily invest in a Martin T1K Tenor. This has to be one of the best ukes there is that is not vintage, not a custom order, and not rare.

If the ukulele is your main instrument and you will play regularly, then you may like to spend more on your instrument. But, for those who are just starting out, there really are few benefits of spending big sums of money on your first Uke.

Mahalo

In our opinion, one of the best ukuleles on the market for fun at festivals or at how is the Mahalo. It’s a low cost, fun ukulele that is perfect for strumming in the park. The Mahalo comes in different variants, the “flying V” being a particularly popular one. This uke is perfect for some inexpensive fun or as a gift for a guitar player.

Things to Look for When Purchasing a Ukulele

What is the Best Ukulele to Buy

Just like with any instrument you are hoping to buy, there are certain criteria that need to be met and certain things that you should be looking out for. The three main things you should be taking into consideration are the neck feel, the range or voicing, and the construction. It is perhaps also important to note the type of tuning; electric ukes are often strung with a low “g” rather than the acoustic high one.

Construction

The type of wood used in the construction of the ukulele can drastically alter the sound of the instrument. Darker woods are generally considered to be better for soprano ukuleles, and brighter woods better for baritone and tenor instruments; a lot however goes down to your own ear and personal choice.

Voicing

The voicing of one ukulele can be radically different from the next. The most common and the highest is the soprano ukulele; this is followed by the concert, tenor, and finally the baritone. A baritone uke is not actually that unlike a half-sized guitar, this being the case most especially with a steel strung uke. Voicing is undoubtedly the most important variable that you should be considering when purchasing a uke; others are the string type, the re-entrant tuning, and the body size.

Top 8 Ukulele To Buy:

1. Mahalo Soprano Ukulele

As mentioned above, the Mahalo is one of the best ukuleles on the market for some casual summer strumming in the park or at a festival. The Sengon construction, soprano voicing uke is acoustic and comprises 3 nylon strings. With a launch price of $37 it’s affordable to almost anybody. It’s cheap and cheerful, and it’s a durable model that holds its tuning fairly well.

You may however find you outgrow the basic model, wishing to upgrade to the Fender or Kala once you become a more confident player. This uke is available in all colors and shapes, including printed patterns. Really, there’s a model to suit everyone out there!

Recommended Model:

Mahalo Ukuleles MR1LBU Rainbow Series

Mahalo Ukuleles MK1TBS Kahiko Series 

2. Kala Mahogany

This is more pricy than the Maholo, with a launch price of 115$. The construction is mahogany on the top back and sides, and the voicing for this model is concert. The Kala comprises 4 nylon strings and is an acoustic model. This model sounds great and is still reasonably priced for those who are stepping up to something that is a little more than casual strumming.

Recommended Model:

Official Kala Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit

Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

3. Martin T1K Tenor

As mentioned above, this has to be our all-time favorite Uke on the market. Once you invest in the Martin T1K, you have a ukulele for life. However, this particular model is not within the price range that everyone can afford. At 702$, when you invest in the Martin T1K you will however have a ukulele for life. Made of solid koa on the top and sides, this acoustic ukulele comprises 4 nylon strings. The only downside we can find to the Martin is that it’s not available in the soprano version.

4. Fender Venice

If you are searching for an aesthetically pleasing ukulele, then the Fender Venice wins hands down. This basswood and walnut soprano instrument with 4 nylon strings has a launch price of a very affordable 70$. The fender boasts a cool headstock and is available in a wide range of colors.

The stylish finish of the fender is perfect for someone looking for an entry-level price instrument. The surf green is one of our favorite colors, a talking point even when it’s just hanging on a wall.

Recommended Model:

Fender Grace VanderWaal Signature Ukulele

5. Yamaha Guitalele

For something a bit different, and a ukulele that is suited to guitarists, we recommend the spruce top, maranti back and sides Yamaha. This acoustic instrument comprises 6 nylon strings and baritone voicing.

With a launch price of 92$ it’s the perfect choice for guitar lovers and for those who are after something a little bit different. This uke is only recently becoming widely available. It should also be noted that it is tuned without the re-entrant “g” and is tuned to A.

6. Ashbury Resonator

In our opinion, the Ashbury Resonator is the best uke you can buy if you wish to record. Built with a mahogany top, back, and side’s construction and concert voicing, it comprises 4 nylon strings. A pricey model that looks great and sounds awesome, it’s designed for recording purposes. The approximate price for this concert ukulele is 350$.

7. Fender Grace VAnderWall Zuma Signature

Priced at 188$ this Fender Grace is our top choice for an electric ukulele. This model boasts sapele top, back, and sides, and concert voicing with 4 nylon strings. This uke is relatively affordable and also sounds good when unplugged.

Recommended Model:

Fender Grace VanderWaal Signature Ukulele

8. Risa LP Electric Tenor Ukulele

Another good choice for an electric uke is the Risa LP. This is probably the best ukulele on the market for rockers, although at 552$ it is not within the reaches of everyone. Unlike the other instruments in this review, the Risa LP has 4 metal strings, also comprising a mahogany construction and tenor voicing. This uke comes without the re-entrant “G” making a perfect choice for those that are already familiar with the guitar.

What is the Best Ukulele to Buy: FAQS

What is the Best Ukulele

Now that you have seen just what’ on offer, and hopefully you have made a decision on which ukulele to purchase, it’s time to answer some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding this musical instrument. When it comes to learning to play the ukulele it’s not enough to just buy the best you can for the money; you also need an understanding of the instrument and how it both differs and is similar to other instruments such as the guitar.

1. Q: Is the Ukulele Easier to Learn than the Guitar?

This really depends on your definition of “easier”. It is certainly true that you can learn to play the ukulele with less effort at the start, and in this case, it would be deemed an easier instrument to play than the guitar. However, to become really proficient, you will need to put in a lot of practice.

The uke is popular for beginners as after just a few days you will be making music. The nylon strings of the ukulele make it easier to play than the guitar, and also, chords are easier. Many people go on from playing the ukulele to the guitar, finding the transition very easy.

2. Q: Are the tuners the same with guitars and ukuleles?

The answer to this question depends on the particular instrument you have. Baritone ukuleles tuners and ukulele tuners are not the same. You can however use a guitar tuner to tune a uke. The best option would be to invest in a chromatic tuner.

3. Q: Is the Ukulele an easy first instrument?

No instrument is truly really easy to learn, not even the recorder you had in school. The uke however is not difficult to learn; it is comfortable. Like all instruments however, you will need to practice in order to become a proficient ukulele player. As the instrument only has 4 strings, it is for example, easier to learn chords than with a 6 string guitar.

4. Q: Are Ukulele and Guitar Strings the Same?

A simple answer here; no they are not.

5. Q: Are all Ukulele strings the same size?

No, they are not. They are all different lengths, depending on the scale of your instrument. This is measured from the nut to the bridge. A soprano will have a scale length of thirteen inches and a total length of twenty one inches. The baritone uke has the largest scale length and therefore requires the longest strings. In short, every set of strings will not fit perfectly on every type of ukulele, and it is a good idea to buy new strings from a music store where you can see what you are buying.

6. Q: How Often Do I Need to Change the Strings?

This depends on how often you play and how serious your ukulele playing is. What is more important is that you change all the strings at the same time, so your sound will be uniform. After playing the uke for a while you will learn when your strings need adjusting or changing; you don’t just change them when they snap.

7. Q: What are the Strings Made Of?

Most commonly and almost always with acoustic model, the strings are nylon plastic. You will find metal strings on an electric version sometimes.

8. Q: Are Ukulele chords the same as Banjo and Mandolin chords?

The short answer to this is no, they are not all the same, some are and some are not. All three instruments are different. A mandolin and a uke do not have the same chord are not tuned in the same way; banjo chords however are the same, providing the instrument is tuned in the same way.

Conclusion:

Learning to play the ukulele is lots of fun. You only have to look at the different colors and designs of this instrument to realize that you will love the uke. From strumming in the park or at a festival to more serious playing, there is an affordable ukulele waiting for you. The ukulele is a relatively cheap instrument when compared to the guitar or violin, a beginners’ instrument costing as little as just 37$ for the Maholo Soprano.

Remember that when choosing a ukulele its not just about choosing a stunning color or pattern that will be the talk of your home. Choose the voicing carefully, opt for a solid construction, and make sure you take note of the type of tuning for your new musical instrument.

Ukulele Brands To Avoid: Top 5 Consideration In 2020

Ukulele Brands to Avoid

Introduction:

If you are looking to buy your very first ukulele or fancy buying one as a gift for someone, you will have a huge amount of makes and types to choose from. An online search will often come up with information on the best brand to buy or indeed the ones that are best value for money. But, what about ukulele brands to avoid?

In this article I will cover everything you need to know to make sure you make the right choice the first time, including some of the most frequently asked questions from people new to the uke.

Ukulele Brands to Avoid: Top Five points

A quick look online and you will find big brands like Kala, Cordoba, Luna, and Lanikai. All these brands have plenty of reviews online and it’s easy to work out if they could be for you. But, let’s say you take a look on Amazon. You will see lots of ukuleles that look really similar to the big names.

But, which are reasonable quality and which should avoid. You may find they sell the instrument together with a case and strings, all for a lower price than the branded one. It’s a bit like buying a cheap car. You can save lots of money when you choose a car that looks like a big brand one, but is actually marketed under a practically unknown name.

Of course, the amount you spend on a ukulele can’t be compared to purchasing a car. But the principle is the same. Sometimes you can get an excellent deal; other times you will quickly regret the purchase you made.

1. Cheap Ukulele Brands

Ukulele Brands to Avoid

When you are looking online for cheap ukes, some of the following names will crop up time and time again:

  • Hricane
  • Huawind
  • ADM
  • Donner
  • Vangoa
  • Kaka
  • Ammoon

Not all of the above are bad, and some are quite good and relatively good value for money too. But, you will find that most of the above brands are often listed as ones you should avoid. You can judge this by looking at the negative reviews.

So, is it always better to pay for a name that is well-known? Will it always mean you receive a better quality instrument? The answer is probably yes to both of these questions.

But, depending on your budget, you may not be able to afford the model you really want. It’s a bit like the car you really want to drive but know you will never be able to afford.

So, let’s take a look at why some of these brands should be avoided and how to ensure you make a purchase that is good value for money.

2. Made in China

Like with the majority of cheaper items, cheap ukuleles are most often made in China. This does not however mean you should not buy a ukulele purely because it was made in China. Even the big brand names like Kala that make high-end ukes in the US make some of their cheaper models in China.

What this means that across China there are plenty of factories that are making ukuleles that are worth buying. So, you can’t simply cross off a brand because it is made in China. Across China you will also find generic instruments made that are then branded afterwards.

This is like many foods that you buy in supermarkets. You will often find that the supermarket own-brand and the branded equivalent item are exactly the same, just in different packages, and of course with two very different prices.

3. Inconsistency of Quality

Ukulele Brands

One point that should be noted is that the quality of cheaper brands can be very inconsistent across the range. Both Donner and Kmise make some great models that are popular and well-made. But both these names are also renowned for making some pretty bad quality ukes.

When buying online from such companies, another problem you will find a lot of times is that it is hard to differentiate between the listings, the pictures looking the same even though one model may be great and the next an awful instrument.

As a beginner, it’s important not to get lured in by the lower prices. Minor issues can be fixed by someone with experience, but at the end of the day, your instrument should not be defective in the first place. How many times have you bought a child’s toy that was made in China, and as soon as you take it out of the box you have to fix it before it works?

You also need to be very careful with the way things are labeled. The wood used for a uke is extremely important and has a big effect in the tone. Solid woods are preferable to laminate, but you will often find false advertising amongst cheap and replica brands.

They may be advertised as solid mahogany or koa when it is quite clear that they are actually laminates. Even if they sound good, you are paying for something that you are not actually getting, as solid ukes are of course more expensive than laminates.

4. Don’t be lured in By Low Prices

One of the tricks to lure people in to buying a cheap brand is the accessories that are solid together with the instrument. With a strap, tuner, strings, and a case included for a lower price tag than a brand ukulele with no accessories, it is easy to fall into the trap.

You can find non-branded packages priced far lowe than a Kala or Cordoba uke. But, remember the age-old saying. You get what you pay for! When you buy a Kala, you are paying for a brand name that you can rely on. It might be convenient to buy everything together in a kit, but a pretty case or strap won’t make your instrument play any better! Ukulele Brands that you can trust include:

  • Makala
  • Kala
  • Mitchell
  • Luna
  • Lanikai
  • Cordoba
  • Oscar Schmidt
  • Ohana

Common mistakes people make when shopping for a ukulele include spending too little money, not learning about the different sizes available, and buying based on looks. Don’t buy a uke just because it looks great, and before you buy, research the different types available and decide which one suits you best.

5. Laminate Versus Solid Wood Ukuleles: Ukulele Assembly

Ukulele Brands to Avoid

One way to spot a cheap ukulele is when it is made of laminate. Instead of solid wood, it is made from several layers of wood, or even other laminate materials. You will found that a great deal of entry-level ukes are indeed made of laminate, and it doesn’t necessarily make them a bad choice.

In fact, laminates are not just more affordable; they are also warp-resistant and more durable than solid wood. However, for the traditional sound and a vibrant tone, solid ukuleles win hands down.

As a beginner, a laminate uke can be more than you need to get you started; it is more important to check the brand of the instrument than rule out all laminate ukes. Some of the best brands offer very affordable laminate ukuleles that are perfect for traveling and for casual playing.

Top 3 Best Ukuleles:

Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

Lohanu Ukulele Concert Size Bundle

Cordoba 15TM Tenor Ukulele

Top 7 Ukulele Brands: (Best Recommendation)

Kala:

Official Kala Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit

Makala:

Makala MK-SD/LBL Light Blue Burst Soprano Ukulele

Oscar Schmidt:

Oscar Schmidt OU2 Concert Ukulele

Luna:

Luna High Tide Koa Concert Acoustic/Electric Ukulele

Luna Honu Tribal Turtle Soprano Ukulele Pack

Cordoba:

Cordoba 20TM Tenor Ukulele

Lohanu:

Lohanu Ukulele Concert Size Bundle

Hola! Music:

Hola! Music HM-21BU Soprano Ukulele Bundle

Ukulele Brands to Avoid: FAQS

Q: Which Ukulele Should I Buy as a Beginner?

Answer:

As a beginner, you won’t want to spend too much money on your instrument, unless you have an unlimited budget. What is more important is to choose the scale of your uke. The four scales are as follows:

Soprano:

The smallest, and just 53cm from head to tail, sopranos are very portable and create a classic sound that is perfect for beginners

Concert:

A concert ukulele is 10% larger than a soprano and has a warmer tone that is also louder. A concert uke is a good beginners’ choice for someone with big hands

Tenor:

The tenor is the most versatile uke there is, sporting up to 19 frets. They are the instrument of choice for solo players

Baritone:

The baritone is the largest of the ukulele family, and the most similar to the guitar. They are 74 cm from head to tail and have a very warm sound, very similar to a classical guitar.

Q: What is the quickest way to learn the Ukulele?

Answer:

If you want to learn quickly, then it’s best to start out with a soprano or if you have big hands, with a concert ukulele. Make sure you don’t spend too much on your instrument, but look for a quality brand that is made of solid wood.

Our above guide will show you which models to avoid. You should tune your uke to GCEA, learning first to play some basic chords. Sit pack, strum, sing, and enjoy your new instrument. You may like to learn alone, or you may like to pay for classes.

You could also opt for casual classes from a friend or someone you know locally that plays. If you want to try learning to play alone, they are literally thousands of tutorials you will find online that will help you.

Q: Which wood is best for the best sound?

Answer:

Ukuleles are made from a variety of woods. What perhaps is most important rather than choosing the wood is avoiding cheap laminate models. When buying online it is very important to read the description very carefully and enlarge the pictures so that you can really see what you are buying. Some great woods for ukes are:

  • Amara: The amara is an evergreen tree that is found in South America. The wood gives a warm tone that is unique and clear. You can select amara wood ukuleles in differnet colors, but you will never find too the same.
  • Koa: The koa tree only grows in Hawaii, and is an acacia tree. As Hawaii is the native home of the ukulele, it is easy to see why koa is a popular choice. It is traditional and simply stunning, the koa ukulele have yet another distinctive sound.
  • Mahogany: Mahogany has been used in the manufacture of musical instruments for centuries. Instruments such as the piano are often also found made from this wood that can vary from light pink to dark, reddish brown. Mahogany tends to darken with age, so it is easy to see which instruments that are advertised as made from matured mahogany is the real-deal.
  • Sapele: Sapele is a tropical, African hardwood that is Golden to dark reddish Brown. It is similar to mahogany, being a close relative, and once again is a great choice for a quality instrument.
  • Zebrawood: This wood comes from West Africa and can vary in color from cream to light or dark brown. Its name comes from the streaks it boasts that resemble the stripes of a zebra.

Q: Is it Safe to Buy Cheap Ukuleles Online?

Answer:

When buying a ukulele, it doesn’t matter how much you want to spend. It is always better to buy in store where you can see what you are getting for your money. Most replica brands and cheap brands aren’t found in your local store for a variety of reasons.

False advertising is common with cheap brands, and advertising a solid wood instrument that is actually a laminate is something that people can only get away with online. If you are going to buy online, try to avoid anything other than official pages.

If you think you have found a bargain that comes with lots of accessories such as a case and a strap, prepare for disappointment. When you finally receive you shipment, that will most commonly arrive from China, you will most likely be very disappointed in what you see.

Final verdict :

Like with any item you are thinking of buying, there are brands that you should definitely avoid when buying a ukulele. As I said above, some of the leading brands do use factories in China and other countries for their cheaper models.

So, don’t right off a purchase purely on one fact. Look at the online reviews and think about your purchase. As a rule of thumb, if you can afford a known brand, buy it. Even if it’s only as a beginner’s instrument; cheap brands are exactly as they appear.

They are cheap, they are often badly made, and they won’t last the test of time. By spending a bit more, you will have an instrument that looks better, sounds better, and will provide you with much-improved quality and playing time.

Harmonium Price in 2020

Harmonium Price

Introduction:

You have decided to do it–you have always wanted to learn how to play the harmonium, so you finally decided that you would do it. However, perhaps you didn’t anticipate how many different harmoniums there were to choose from, let alone the different brands that you had to choose from. And then there’s the cost. In this article we will discuss about the different Harmonium Price and best Harmonium Price of different harmonium brands.

Harmoniums are not an inexpensive instrument, and because you are spending so much money, you will want to do a little research before committing to buying a certain brand or harmonium type.

There is no rush in choosing the type of harmonium you want–whether it’s from a different part of India or a certain brand. You should take your time and do as much research as you can before you decide on what kind of harmonium you want.  

Different Types of Harmonium:

Be thorough in your research. There are several different types of styles and brands of harmoniums, each suited to a different lifestyle or use, each unique to each and every other person.

When you decide on how often you will use your harmonium, what type of genre music you want to play, and how often you will be moving the harmonium around (do you have a nomadic lifestyle or do you own your own home, etc), then you will be able to decide the best brand for your new harmonium.

History of the Harmonium:

Best Harmonium Price
Travel Harmonium Indian Instrument Keys

The history of the harmonium is a long one–starting back in the fifteenth century, the harmonium instrument evolved from the reed organ instrument, which originated in India. It came to dominance in the eighteenth century but was overthrown in popularity by the organ in the mid-twentieth century.

However, for nearly three hundred years this was the instrument of choice for missionaries, travelers, and people all over the world. This is a rather unique instrument, one that is a great choice if you are wanting to try to learn an instrument beyond the “usual” violin and piano choices that you are given.

Not many people have heard of a harmonium, so while you are learning to play it, you will already be somewhat of a novelty.

To understand the costs associated with the harmonium, you must first understand the time and history that it took to develop the harmonium. It developed from the reed organ in India, over the centuries until sometime in the nineteenth century the harmonium was developed.

It was the most popular version of reed instruments until the electric organ was created in the twentieth century.

Today, the harmonium remains a popular instrument in the eastern part of the world, mainly India.

All of these types, the influences, and extras that you can add to your harmonium (or, rather, choose to buy a harmonium with these extra features), add to the costs and overall value of the instrument.

Harmonium Styles

Portable harmonium

Scale change harmonium

Double/Triple reed harmonium

Smaller harmonium

What are the costs of buying a harmonium instrument?

There are two different types of harmoniums you can buy–the Delhi style harmonium and the Kolkata style harmonium.

These produce very different sounds, with the Delhi style harmonium costing from $500 USD to $1,000 USD. The Kolkata style harmonium costs anything from $1,200 USD to $3,000 USD.

These are basic harmonium costs. Why do harmoniums cost so much? There are many different variations between the two basic styles of harmoniums.

portable style Harmonium :

These types of harmoniums are built to fold up into a suitcase esque box, and you have a handle that you can use to carry the harmonium around like a suitcase.

This is a great option for anyone who has to travel often and wants to bring their harmonium instrument with them. It is easier to buy a portable harmonium and bring it with you than a regular harmonium that has two side handles.

scale change harmonium :

Scale change harmonium are a very special kind of harmonium that allows you to slide your keyboard up and down, up to four half steps.

This is a special feature that is useful to people who want to play music in multiple keys and/or cannot play their harmonium easily in different keys. Most harmonium makers consider their best harmonium instrument to be the three reed scale change model.

Double and/or Triple reed harmonium :

The Double and/or Triple reed harmonium is also a favorite with some. These are harmoniums that have two or three reeds per key–with the triple reed harmonium having a fuller sound compared to the double, as well as more flexibility.

Smaller harmoniums :

Smaller harmoniums are also increasing in popularity. These are, as they sound, designed to be smaller than the usual harmonium instrument. This type of harmonium is usually double reeded with no scale change feature.

In addition to the different types of harmoniums and all of the features that you can get with it (some of which were not listed), there is also the type of material that the harmonium is made out of.

Harmoniums can be made out of lighter woods (birch, cedar, pine), depending on what is available, or can be made out of heavier woods (maple, olive wood, ebony, etc), and their reeds are usually made out of brass or copper.

All of these materials need to be of the highest quality possible in order to produce a superior sounding instrument. The difference in costs between the Delhi style harmonium and the Kolkata style harmonium is down to the differences in weight. The Delhi style harmonium weighs significantly less than the Kolkata style harmonium.

Harmonium Costs

How Much Does A Delhi style Harmonium Cost?

Delhi style harmonium: $500 USD to $1,000 USD

It may be tempting to buy an inferior or knock-off version of a properly construct harmonium, because of how much it costs. But if you want to buy a quality instrument made from high-quality materials that will last you several years, then you will need to spend at least $500, at the bare minimum.

How much does a coupler harmonium cost?

A harmonium that has a coupler means that it has the ability to connect one key to its higher or lower corresponding key. When you engage the coupler on the harmonium, then it can play at least two octaves of the same note, at exactly the same time.

This is an attractive feature to some because it means you don’t need as many reed banks to give your harmonium a rich, fuller sound.

However, you will need to pump that much harder to get extra air into your instrument, so that the sound can be maintained. Like any other feature of the harmonium, its usefulness depends on what you want to use the harmonium for.

Prices for a harmonium with a coupler vary somewhat.

Harmonium Brand: Maharaja Musicals

Features:

  • This harmonium is handmade in India.
  • In USA, 9 Stops,
  • 3 1/2 Octave,
  • Double Reed,
  • Coupler,
  • Natural Color,
  • Standard, Book,
  • Padded Bag,
  • A440 Tuned,
  • Musical Instrument Indian Sangeeta (PDI-ABG)

Price: $415

Harmonium Brand: Maharaja Musicals

Features:

  • This instrument was handcrafted in India.
  • 1 Stops, In USA,
  • 3 1/2 Octave,
  • Double Reed,
  • Coupler,
  • Natural Color,
  • Standard, Book,
  • Padded Bag,
  • A440 Tuned,
  • Harmonium Indian Musical Instrument (PDI-AAE)

Price: $419

Harmonium Brand: Maharaja Musicals

Features:

  • Handcrafted in India.
  • Handmade Harmonium,
  • 3 1/4 Octave (Saptak),
  • 7 Stop,
  • Standing,
  • Coupler,
  • Multi Bellow,
  • Book & Padded Bag,
  • Tuned A440,
  • Dark Mahogany Color, PDI-DB

Price: $348

Harmonium Brand: Bina

Features:

  • Handcrafted in India.
  • BINA No. 8,
  • 7 Stops,
  • 3 1/4 Octaves,
  • Coupler,
  • Tuned To A400,
  • Double Reed,
  • Natural Color Book,
  • Nylon Bag (PDI-DJF)

Price: $485

Recommended Model:

 BINA PRO-GRADE INDIAN PORTABLE Harmonium
PRO-GRADE INDIAN PORTABLE

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BINA 23B Deluxe
BINA 23B Deluxe

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BINA PRO-GRADE INDIAN PORTABLE 9 SCALE CHANGER
PRO-GRADE INDIAN PORTABLE 9 SCALE CHANGER 

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FULL RANGE 3½ OCTAVE BINA PORTABLE HARMONIUM
FULL RANGE 3½ OCTAVE BINA PORTABLE HARMONIUM

The Best Harmonium Brand to Buy:

Harmonium Price

Without a doubt, the best and most frequently occurring harmonium brand that is brought up is the Maharaja Musicals brand, which is located in India.

Thankfully, we can use the postage system to order any type of harmonium you want and have it shipped to you wherever you live, no matter the country.

If you want a great harmonium that is handcrafted and built to last, then you need to order your harmonium from India. Don’t be fool by anything anyone is selling that is “handmade” from a different country.

If they do not source them In India, do not buy the instrument. With proper care and handling, then you should be able to keep your harmonium for several years.

All care should be handled consistently to insure your instrument’s high-quality sound.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Harmonium:

Pros:

As it was said before in this article, there are several different types of harmoniums, and several ways to group them. You can group them first, between a harmonium you travel with, or a harmonium that should stay in your residence.

The former, is obviously lighter (although harmoniums are rather bulky) in weight, while the latter is very heavy and made of heavier wood.

These can also be called Delhi harmoniums (lighter harmoniums made in the city of Delhi in India), and Kolkata harmoniums (heavy harmoniums).

There are also harmoniums that you can fold up (folds into itself and the bellows cover the top), or you can just buy the “standard” harmonium.

It is great to have all of these options regarding the type of harmonium you want to buy, particularly because it is still fairly traditional, and you are buying a traditional instrument to make a traditional sound.

It’s not like wanting to learn how to play the piano to play Chopin and then buying an electric keyboard. When you buy a harmonium, you are buying an authentic, traditional sound. Of course, if you want an electric harmonium, you can also buy that.

You can also choose a harmonium based on the genre of music you want to learn how to play. While you can buy a coupler to help change keys and play a wide variety of genres on your harmonium, it also helps if you buy the correct harmonium to play the type of music that you want.

The Delhi harmonium is best suited for western music, while if you want to learn how to play middle eastern folk music, then you should get the Kolkata harmonium.

Cons :

With every instrument, there is a con or two. Nothing is perfect in this world. If you want to learn how to play the harmonium, you cannot buy from anywhere but India. It is only in India that quality harmoniums are built to last, with good quality materials.

If you can find someone who sources them in India but sells harmoniums in your country, you should first verify their information, and then take advantage of that situation. If harmoniums are not packed carefully, they can be damaged in transit.

Next, harmoniums are very expensive. To get a halfway decent harmonium that you will not have to replace in two years or less, you have to spend at least five hundred dollars. If you want a quality instrument, you will have to pay for it–and shipping too!

Lastly, some are unprepared for how heavy and bulky the harmonium actually is. Even though it’s smaller than a piano–it is not a piano, and it is still a heavy reed instrument made out of wood.

Even the “lighter” harmonium isn’t actually “light”. It’s “lighter”. This is not an instrument where you just drop a harmonium in your lap like a lightweight electric keyboard, you have to make sure you have a place for it and for you to play it–because it is a heavy, wooden box essentially.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Harmonium Overview :

Pros

  • An interesting, unique instrument.
  • Don’t have to stick to one type when buying.
  • Can play a wide variety of genres of music , from western to eastern music

Cons

  • Length of time: the instrument that should only be made in India.
  • Expensive.
  • Bulky and cumbersome, depending on the type you get.

Conclusion:

Don’t be afraid to buy a new instrument–a harmonium is a great instrument, and even though it can be pricey, it is worth the cost. Just be careful and make sure you use it for its intended use.

If you want to travel, you should not buy the heavier Kolkata style harmonium but should buy the Delhi style harmonium.

So don’t wait any longer–the harmonium has been waiting for you this entire time! Hopefully, this article has helped point you in the right direction towards owning your own harmonium and deciding which style and which extra features you want to have on your harmonium.

Because of the cost, you will want to do extensive research on the brand and type of harmonium that fits best with your lifestyle, your needs, the type of genre you want to play, and then the cost that you can afford.

Viola Instrument For Sale in 2020

Viola Instrument For Sale

Introduction:

The viola is often famed for its mellow and deep tone, subsequently making it an essential instrument in any orchestra. However, purchasing an appropriate viola instrument for sale is not easy as there are several factors you need to consider, such as the instrument’s external beauty, its sound as well as The quality of its artistry.

All these factors combined consequently affects the price of the viola. Therefore making The task of finding a high-value viola brand of exceptional quality and affordable quite challenging.

Moreover, viola bows are crucial as these are what you will use to play The viola, and The finding proper viola bows for sale is not easy too. Luckily, some having known The dependable viola brands, you can narrow down which bows are of remarkable quality and help you narrow down your search. 

Should you buy a viola?

When looking for a viola, The common question that crosses your mind is whether to buy a viola or to rent one. Especially when you factor in The viola instrument price, which can be quite high.

Additionally, you need not only consider The cost you will incur purchasing or renting The viola. But also The costs associated with owning The instrument.

Therefore, after considering these two factors, only then can you decide whether or not you should rent a viola or find viola bows for sale and buy one. 

Viola prices for The different levels

Violas are available in many different levels depending on your expertise as a player as well as The learning stage you presently are in. Usually, most students start by first renting a viola before finding viola instruments for sale to make their own.

Fundamentally, there are three categories within which violas fall under, and these are;

• Student Violas:

These violas are ideal for if you are a beginner, that is, a young player or student still in The early stages of understanding how to play The viola. At this stage, you mostly focus on tone production, The playing basics, bowing, fingering, among other techniques.

Therefore, The maple, commonly dyed black to look like ebony is occasionally used for fingerboards and pegs, with these two areas often exposed to further friction.

Violas in this class include Cecilio, Cremona, Stentor, and Merano, with The design of these instruments intended to keep low costs Whereas still maintain a consistent tone. The viola instrument price of these violas ranges between $200 to $2,500.

• Intermediate to Advanced violas:

Intermediate violas integrate better craft, and this consequently results in The sound being produced to be much better. Furthermore, they feature stronger projections as well as incorporate more dynamics.

Some of The common violas under this category which come together with fine viola bows for sale include Yamaha, Primavera, and DZ Strad, while Eastman Strings is classified as an advanced viola.

Integrated into these violas are fingerboards and pegs which are crafted with ebony plus this instrument is mostly handcrafted. Viola instruments for sale in this category usually range from $500 to $10,000.

• Professional violas:

These violas emanate wide dynamics as well as a rich tone thanks to its pure craftsmanship which incorporates The finest wood quality. Nevertheless, The viola instrument price of these works of art is costly and typically cost anything from $10,000 and above. 

Viola Cost

Recommended Viola Model:

Eastman Strings

Andreas Eastman Model 405
Andreas Eastman Model 405

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DZ Strad

D Z Strad Viola Model 101

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D Z Strad viola Model 120

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D Z Strad Viola Model N2011
D Z Strad Viola Model N2011 

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D Z Strad Viola Model 600
D Z Strad Viola Model 600

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D Z Strad Model 800 Viola Outfit
D Z Strad Model 800 Viola Outfit

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Yamaha

Yamaha Model AVA5-140S 'Braviol' Student Viola
Yamaha Model AVA5-140S ‘Braviol’ Student Viola 

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Yamaha Model AVA5 Viola
Yamaha Model AVA5 Viola 

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Yamaha Model AVA7 Viola
Yamaha Model AVA7 Viola

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Merano

Merano 16.5" Student Viola
Merano 16.5″ Student Viola

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Merano MA200 16" Solid Viola
Merano MA200 16″ Solid Viola

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Merano 16" White Viola
Merano 16″ White Viola

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Stentor

Stentor 1038-15.5 Student Viola Outfit, 15.5-Inch

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Stentor 1038-16 16-Inch Student Viola Outfit
Stentor 1038-16 16-Inch Student Viola Outfit

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Cremona

Cremona SVA-130 Premier Novice Viola
Cremona SVA-130 Premier Novice Viola

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Cremona SVA-175 Premier Student Viola
Cremona SVA-175 Premier Student Viola

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Cremona Viola - Acoustic (SVA-500 15.5")
Cremona Viola – Acoustic (SVA-500 15.5″)

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Cecilio

Cecilio CVA-500 14-Inch Solid Wood Viola

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Cecilio 16 Inch Viola with Tuner, CVA-600

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Cecilio 16.5 Inch Viola

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What other instruments do you need?

Apart from a viola, there are other additional accessories that you need, and this will subsequently affect the overall price of the viola. Some of these accessories are;

• Viola Bow:

Finding a suitable viola bow to use with your viola bow is critical since it ensures that the sound quality is exceptional.

However, you also need to find viola bows for sale that are affordable and still offer you with quality.

Recommended Viola Bow Model:

D Z Strad

D Z Strad Model 300 Viola Bow
D Z Strad Model 300 Viola Bow 

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D Z Strad Model 302 Top Viola Bow
D Z Strad Model 302 Top Viola Bow

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D Z Strad Viola Bow Carbon Fiber Model 303
D Z Strad Viola Bow Carbon Fiber Model 303 

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Merano

Merano 12" Viola Bow
Merano 12″ Viola Bow

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Merano 13″ Viola Bow + others

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Merano 14″ Viola Bow

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Cecilio

Cecilio Ebony Frog Brazilwood Viola Bow – Size 12″

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Cecilio Ebony Frog Brazilwood Viola Bow – Size 13″

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Cecilio Ebony Frog Brazilwood Viola Bow – Size 14″

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• Shoulder Rest:

Whereas this is an optional piece, it is ideal as it adds a layer of comfort and support between your viola and yourself.

Recommended Viola Shoulder Rest Model:

D’Luca VV200-14 Viola Shoulder Rest 

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MI&VI Viola Shoulder Rest

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Everest Black EZ Series 15″-16.5″ Viola Adjustable Shoulder Rest

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Vizcaya Viola Shoulder Rest for 15” to 16.5” Violas
Vizcaya Viola Shoulder Rest for 15” to 16.5” Violas

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Kun Original Viola Shoulder Rest
Kun Original Viola Shoulder Rest

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 • The viola case:

The viola is a very fragile instrument, and considering the viola instrument price often is not cheap, you need to take extreme care of it. Thus a viola case is vital regardless of if you are a student or a professional

Recommended Viola Case Model:

 Bam 2200XL Contoured Hightech Adjustable Viola Case
Bam 2200XL Contoured Hightech Adjustable Viola Case

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Featherweight C-3907V Viola Case 16″

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 Gewa Concerto 331 Adjustable 15"-16.5" Viola Case
Gewa Concerto 331 Adjustable 15″-16.5″ Viola Case

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 Protec Viola MAX Shaped Case, Fits Violas 15 to 15.5"
Protec Viola MAX Shaped Case, Fits Violas 15 to 15.5″ 

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Paititi 16 inch Professional Oblong Shape Lightweight Viola Hard Case 

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• Rosin:

It usually is applied on your viola bow, and it aims to generate friction between your viola and the bow. So, without the rosin, your viola cannot produce any sound.

Recommended Viola Rosin Model:

Melos Light Viola Rosin
Melos Light Viola Rosin

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Andrea Orchestra Cello Rosin
Andrea Orchestra Cello Rosin

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Andrea Solo Viola Rosin 1/2 Cake
Andrea Solo Viola Rosin 1/2 Cake

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Andrea Solo Viola Half Cake Rosin
Andrea Solo Viola Half Cake Rosin

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Factors that affect the price of the viola and bow

viola instrument price

Weight and size of the viola

Like any other instrument, there are several factors which affect the price viola price. Some of these factors are size and weight of the viola, type of wood used, quantity, overall quality, the instrument’s appearance, as well as the construction method.

Additionally, another critical factor which affects the viola price is the number of violas being made. Usually, the viola makers need to design and assemble this instrument mostly by hand, and this consequently limits them as there is a limited number of violas they are in a position to make.

The viola quality is not always a guarantee since wood imperfections as well as other factors eventually have an impact on the weight, sound, and feel.

Nevertheless, if the master craftsman possesses superb skills and expertise, the subsequent instrument he makes will be of excellent quality. And this consequently raises their reputation further.

Thus, there will be an increased demand for his services. And due to this, he might decide to charge more for any viola instrument he makes. This will eventually have an impact on the viola instrument price.

Overall instrument quality

The price of the viola is affected by its overall instrument quality, and this usually is linked to the instrument’s age.

If the craftsman performs a superb job and everything goes according to plan, the viola will possess all the desirable qualities like the absence of buzzing or wolf tones, have a remarkable response as well as projection, things players value a lot.

Older viola instruments occasionally look terrible since they have scratches, small dings or wear of varnish.

However, as wood as time passes by tends to settle, the continued use of the viola results in the older violas frequently better quality sound in comparison to new violas. Thus, older violas occasionally are preferable to new violas, thereby cost more.

Aesthetic appeal

The visual appeal of the viola eventually affects its price. Whereas the response and sound of the viola is considerably more crucial than the appearance of the viola, some players want to have instruments that are still attractive visually.

So, violas which have wood grain, rare detailing, or color usually are cost more since the sellers are to showcase the detailing involved, which is not easy to replicate and takes more time. Subsequently, this causes the price of the viola instrument to increase.

The selected wood and construction method

The precise method of construction, as well as the wood, used affect the weight of the viola. Additionally, weight is affected by size too, and artisans often like experimenting, which is the best proportion.

A combination of all these factors affects the way that an instrument is balanced; its tone is as well as how it resonates.

Typically, the bigger violas generate better results plus possess more preferable projections. And this is vital, especially when you consider that mid-register instruments plus viola sounds get lost when in an ensemble’s overall texture.

Therefore, it is no surprise that professional players opt for the well-balanced violas which tend to produce louder sound despite having to pay more for the viola instrument.

The wood used in the manufacture

The wood used in making the viola consequently affects the price at which the viola instrument will be sold. Often, violas are made from reasonably common wood varieties like spruce and maple.

Nevertheless, an artisan can decide to use practically any wood he deems fit depending on the sound he wants it to produce. It is because the wood density typically influences the darkness or brightness of the viola’s tone as well as its resonance.

Moreover, the use of exotic wood leads to the viola costing more, but its use does not guarantee you that the sound quality the viola produces will be excellent.  

How to choose the ideal viola?

viola instrument for sale

Quality of Material

The quality of the materials used to make the viola impact both the viola price and sound. Usually, the cheaper woods from China and America produce brighter sounds in comparison to the sweeter and warmer tones of European woods, which are more expensive.

Furthermore, the price of a viola instrument for sale is affected by the “flame” found on the sides, back and scroll of the viola. It is because typically a “high” flame content is found desirable for its beauty plus it generally is an indication of better sound quality and higher viola price unlike one with no or little “flame.”

Subsequently, well-made violas can hide the center crinkle on the back thanks to the flame. And this is one of the ways of swiftly detecting quality artistry.

Consult your teacher

The advice professional violists and violin makers give is that as a student, it is prudent to always consult your teacher first before buying a viola.

The reason for this is your teacher understands you better than anyone else would hence enable them to make ideal recommendations due to their bond with your and experience.  

Test the viola

Whenever you go to a viola shop to buy one, it is essential that your first test it before making any payment.

Consequently, you can tell whether the size of the viola is comfortable for you if its resonance is right as well as whether the projection is far enough.  Factors that affect the price of the viola and bow.

How To Choose The Ideal Viola?

Should I Buy or Rent a Viola?

If you are looking to buy a student viola, you most likely will be tempted to rent a viola since you may not have a long-term commitment to play the instrument. Consequently, you do not have to worry about reselling once you stop playing the instrument.

However, viola renting is only a viable and cheaper option for the short-term as you are not expected to pay the instrument’s total cost immediately. Otherwise, buying a viola is the most economical option regardless of the potential risks and issues associated with owning this instrument.

Furthermore, the biggest disparity between a purchased and rented violas is that once you buy the instrument, you can always decide to sell and recoup some of your investment. This is especially so if you care and maintain your viola correctly, ensuring it does not lose much of its initial value.

Depending on the model and make, the price of other violas increases over time, so if you decide to sell them, you can make a slight profit.

Where should you buy a viola?

Buying an extremely expensive viola is not necessary. It is because there are many high-quality instruments within the mid-price range, which can also satisfy your needs perfectly.

Nevertheless, the primary factor you need to consider is always buying your viola from a trustworthy retailer that offers you with a refund policy and permits you to test out their instruments.

Moreover, it is vital that you consult your teacher, who consequently will provide you with invaluable advice regarding what you should be looking for in a viola.

There are also other reputable vendors who have viola instrument for sale, and these include luthiers, second-hand retailers as well as the eBay and Amazon if the only option you have is the internet.

Conclusion:

The bottom line is, when you are looking for suitable viola to buy, you need first to confirm that The viola instrument for sale as well as The fine viola bows for sale is affordable.

Likewise, you need to verify that The sound it produces is of superb quality, plus it feels comfortable while playing. With this in mind, you will be able to determine which viola instrument for sale will best address your needs.

Singing Bowls For Sale: A Complete Guide (2020)

Best Singing Bowls

Introduction:

Investing in your first singing bowl or expanding your collection can be daunting when you see all of the different singing bowls for sale. If you’re new to the market or simply looking for a different variety than you already own, this product guide will provide some of the basic information regarding the pros and cons of each variety of singing bowl.

I also provide my choice for each category to cut out some of the guessing work and help you find great products.

Variety of bowls:

Singing bowls are a variety of standing bells that are played differently. Most standing bells are played by striking the instrument with a mallet. Singing bells are played by running a mallet around the upper edge, or rim, of the instrument. This will produce a long musical note.

The note produced depends on the type and size of the bowl. Different notes are best for different uses, so it is important that you know what effect you wish to achieve and what note will help you achieve it before making your purchase.

Most of the singing bowls I review below come in several different notes. If you like my choice but need a different note, you will likely be able to find what you are looking for from the same sellers that I list.

In this overview, I discuss antique singing bowls, large singing bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, Himalayan singing bowls, glass singing bowls, crystal singing bowls, and used singing bowls.

When looking for purchasable singing bowls, these are the most common varieties you will find. For a quicker breakdown of my choices, please refer to the comparison chart towards the end of the article.

ANTIQUE SINGING BOWLS

antique singing bowl for sale
antique singing bowl

You may desire an antique singing bowl because of its added historical and cultural significance. Finding genuine antiques can be tricky. When looking for antique singing bowls for sale, you must also consider whether or not the seller is trustworthy and has a good reputation.

I have done a bit of this work for you, and provide my top choice for quality antique singing bowls for sale.

My Choice:

6.25″ Medium Antique Singing Bowl with Faint Engravings

Price: $449.00

Recommended Antique Singing Bowl Models:

Nepal-engraved with 5 buddha-Real antique singing bowl

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8.5″ Hand-hammered Tibetan Singing Bowl
(Antique Finished)

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Silent Mind ~ Tibetan Singing Bowl Set ~ Antique Design

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Joseph Feinstein offers a collection of rare, antique singing bowls from Nepal. His products receive high ratings from customers. Each product available on this site provides a sound clip allowing customers to hear the instrument being played before purchasing.

In addition, each antique singing bowl comes with a certificate of authenticity, two free mallets that were personally selected by the seller, and a free handmade cushion. Until 2019, this antique collection was considered part of his Singing Bowl Museum.

While the website does include the information that they, as a company, have been in business since 2001, they do not offer details regarding how old the singing bowls actually are.

LARGE SINGING BOWLS

singing bowl for sale
Large singing bowl

When looking for singing bowls for sale, one must consider the size. Smaller singing bowls may be desired for their portability. But larger singing bowls offer deeper vibrations, which can be desirable for meditation practices.

Large singing bowls are also useful when playing in a group, as their sound may resonate more than a smaller bowl. Large singing bowls are typically 12″ or larger. Some companies make singing bowls that are several feet wide, but these are certainly not ideal for travel.

It is also important to note that it is not guaranteed that a larger bowl will produce a deeper note than a smaller bowl, as thickness will also affect the note.

A thicker bowl likely means a higher note. In looking for large singing bowls for sale, I have sought out a thin bowl that will produce a deeper note. I’ve also chosen one that is 12″ because, while it is not as portable as smaller bowls, it is still possible to transport it if necessary.

My Choice:

12″ B Note Singing Bowl

Price: $139.00

Recommended Large Singing Bowl Models:

9″ G Throat Chakra Old Tibetan Singing Bowl

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10″ Hand Hammered Tibetan Singing Bowl for Master Chakra Healing

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8″ Solar Plexus Chakra Tibetan Singing Bowl~ for Meditation,

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The online company, CVNC, offers a unique look to their singing bowls. They are made of frosted quartz and look more modern than traditional singing bowls.

CVNC offers many different singing bowls for sale, including this larger bowl that plays a strong B note. They include a mallet with every purchase. Compared to other large singing bowls for sale, this bowl is sold at a low price.

TIBETAN SINGING BOWLS

Tibetan singing bowl

If you are seeking a Tibetan singing bowl for sale, you most likely value tradition and authenticity. Some websites will claim to sell Tibetan singing bowls in reference to the style of the bowl rather than its origin.

I have found a trusted seller who provides bowls made in Tibet. Traditional Tibetan singing bowls are made from a blend of 7 metals, although there are varieties that include 2-4 metals.

The range of metals will contribute to the notes produced by the singing bowl, and 7 metals will create a range of sound and vibrations that is both beautiful and relaxing.

Tibetan singing bowl

My Choice:

Kathmandu Valley Collection Singing Bowl

Price: $199

Recommended Tibetan Singing Bowl Models:

Silent Mind ~ Tibetan Singing Bowl Set 

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Reehut 4.2” Tibetan Meditation Yoga Singing Bowl Set

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Innovahome Handmade palm-size Meditation Yoga Singing brass Bowl Set

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Because these bowls are handmade in the Kathmandu Valley, an exact size cannot be guaranteed, but this bowl is approximately 6-7″. The company guarantees ethical treatment and payment for their craftsmen, who hand hammer their bowls with a unique blend of 7 metals. These Tibetan singing bowls for sale offer clear, beautiful notes that can be sampled online before purchase.

HIMALAYAN SINGING BOWLS

himalayan singing bowl

While Himalayan singing bowls may include Tibetan singing bowls, they can also refer to singing bowls from Nepal or India. When looking for Himalayan singing bowls for sale, this may create some confusion.

One distinction between Tibetan and Nepalese preferences is color. Often, Tibetan bowls are a darker copper while Nepalese bowls are a lighter gold. My choice for Himalayan singing bowls for sale was made in the Nepalese tradition and is golden in color.

My choice:

5.5″ Golden Singing Bowl in F#

Price: $74.00

Recommended Himalayan Singing Bowl Models:

8″ Solar Plexus Chakra Tibetan Singing Bowl

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10″ Hand Hammered Tibetan Singing Bowl for Master Chakra Healing

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5.5″ Energetic Chakra Healing Yoga Hand Hammered Tibetan Singing Bowl

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As with my other choice from Joseph Feinstein’s collection, this bowl comes with two free mallets and a free handmade cushion. It also provides a sound clip that allows the buyer to sample the note and tone produced by the bowl.

This site offers other Himalayan singing bowls for sale if you desire a different size or thickness to produce a different note.

GLASS SINGING BOWLS

 singing bowl

If you are in search of glass singing bowls for sale, you may have some difficulty. Any search for glass singing bowls will show, instead, listings for crystal singing bowls for sale. This is because the glass will not produce the right sound and buyers do not want to provide glass singing bowls for sale if the quality cannot be guaranteed.

Do not be dismayed, however. There are many types of crystal singing bowls in different colors and sizes that are incredibly beautiful and high in quality.

If you desire the appearance of glass, I have found crystal singing bowls that are clear and shining that mimic the look of glass.

My choice:

Clear Quartz D Note Crystal Singing Bowl 7″

Price: $299.98

Recommended Glass Singing Bowl Models:

440HZ 8″ A Third Eye Navy Blue Chakra Quartz Crystal Singing Bowl 

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Musical Instruments Crystal Singing Bowl

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Sunreed offers a variety of clear quartz singing bowls. So you will find the size and note you need with the appearance of glass.

As of right now, it does appear that crystal bowls that have been made to look similar to glass are pricier than more standard crystal bowls. So you may want to consider how important it is to you that your singing bowl resembles glass.

CRYSTAL SINGING BOWLS

crystal singing bowl

Metal singing bowls are more traditional than crystal singing bowls and produce a medley of notes that come together to make complex music. Crystal singing bowls are a modern creation and produce one long, clear note that many people use for meditation.

Certain notes are considered to be aligned with specific chakras, so if you need specialized healing, crystal is the best option for you. There are many different options when it comes to crystal singing bowls for sale.

For example, my choice listed above for a larger singing bowl is made of opaque, pearl-colored quartz, which means that it resides in the crystal family.

Crystal singing bowls can also come in a range of colors, so you are not limited to the lighter pearl tones. One advantage of finding crystal singing bowls for sale is the variety available, and I will sample a few of those here.

Crystal Singing Bowls

Multi-colored Crystal Singing Bowls

Silver Sky Imports offers a fun and vibrant variety of crystal singing bowls that are sure to please the eye.

However, they are significantly pricier than most crystal singing bowls, ranging from $900-$2,000. If you are looking for something unique to add to your collection and are willing to spend a great deal of money, these may interest you.

However, they are not my choice, simply because this price is so high compared to the many crystal singing bowls available online.

My Choice:

TOP FUND Crystal Singing Bowl Violet A# Note 8″

Price: $109.99

Recommended Crystal Singing Bowl Models:

TOPFUND C Note Quartz Crystal Singing Bowl

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432Hz Perfect Pitch F Note Heart Chakra Frosted Quartz Crystal Singing Bowl

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TOPFUND D Note Quartz Crystal Singing Bowl 

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If the color is still what you seek, TOP FUND offers a solid violet or solid blue singing bowl for a significantly lower price than most places that offer colorful crystal singing bowls.

The bowl comes with a wooden-handled mallet that is not as ornate as some options. But it is never required that you use the mallet that comes with your singing bowl.

The company offers free replacement for bowls broken during delivery, which is a big perk when it comes to ordering delicate products online.

USED SINGING BOWLS

used singing bowl
used singing bowl

Looking for used singing bowls for sale is a different process than looking for antique singing bowls for sale. If you are looking for used singing bowls, you are likely to consider budget over cultural significance. It need not be old or “antique,” but rather affordable.

However, quality is still an important factor. Nothing is more upsetting than finding and purchasing a used singing bowl for sale just to discover upon arrival that it is beaten up and fails to produce the desired music.

Oftentimes, sellers of used singing bowls will use the words “vintage” or “antique” in the descriptions for their singing bowls for sale. This is something you will want to look out for.

If you are purchasing a used or pre-owned singing bowl in order to find a lower price, I suggest looking for singing bowls that cost less than $60. For $60 or more, you can easily find a lovely, brand new singing bowl.

You will also want to make sure that the seller has good ratings from previous customers and has some type of guarantee for the quality of their products. eBay is a particularly good site to browse because they ensure that buyers will get their money back if the purchased product is unsatisfactory.

My Choice:

Singing bowl + striker, 5 1/4″

Price: $45

Recommended used Singing Bowl Models:

SHANSHUI Singing Bowl, 5 inch Meditation Tibetan Set

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3 Pcs Tibetan Singing Bowl Standing Bell Set

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There are a few reasons why I like this used singing bowl. It is simple. The seller has provided several images from different angles that allow me to see that it is in fairly good shape.

Finally, it has a money-back guarantee if it arrives damaged. These are all things you will want to look for in a listing for used singing bowls.

However, the seller does not say exactly what note the bowl plays, which is one of the drawbacks of buying used singing bowls. There are certain luxuries you are not guaranteed, and that can include notes, materials, exact measurements, and origins.

If these are things you are not willing to sacrifice, you might want to consider saving up a little more money to purchase a new singing bowl.

Hopefully, this product guide has provided some of the information you need to make an informed decision about singing bowls. Below, I have compiled the information about each of my choices as a review of everything you’ll want to know about these products.

    Variety

Our Choice 

Price 

Pros 

Cons  

          Antique

Himalayanbowls.com

$449 

Historical and cultural value. Unique designs. 

Can be expensive. Can be difficult to verify authenticity.   

Large 

CVNC on amazon.com

$139 

Bigger vibration. Louder notes. 

Not easily portable.   

Tibetan 

Dharmashop.com 

$199 

Traditional. Handmade. Typically made from 7 metals. Several notes at once. 

Not one guaranteed size if handmade.   

Himalayan

Himalayanbowls.com 

$74 

Traditional. Potentially lower prices. 

Can be difficult to verify authenticity.   

Glass 

Sunreed.com 

$299.98 

Unique and aesthetically pleasing.

Not true glass. Closest option is clear quartz.   

Crystal 

TOPFUND at amazon.com 

$109.99 

Many options. Single, strong note. Good for aligning chakras. 

Not traditional.   

Used 

eBay 

$45 

Lower prices. 

Less information available to buyer. Less options. Potential damage or low quality.    

Conclusion:

I hope that you find the perfect singing bowl for you and that this guide helps you get started on your spiritual or meditative quest for peace and harmony. The journey of purchasing a singing bowl is a journey of self-improvement.

Finding the best available singing bowl for your needs will hopefully be a little easier now that you’ve done some research and seen the different benefits or drawbacks of each variety!

Viola Strings: A Complete Guide (2020)

viola strings

Introduction:

Have you always been curious about the viola? What is it? Is it a violin? What are its strings made of? Are there different types of materials you can use for your viola strings? How often should those viola strings be replaced? How many notes can you play on the viola strings?

Learning how to play the viola can be a very rewarding experience on your part, especially as you learn the history of the viola and how it was developed over the centuries, as technology and culture changed and adapted to the modern-day tastes of the time. To play the viola is to play a little bit of history, each and every day.

History of the Viola

Starting periods:

The history of the viola is long and varied–and it begins in the sixteenth century. We don’t particularly know when the specific instrument, the viola, was created, however, we do know that instruments in the violin family were created between 1530 and 1550.

These instruments are linked closely to the eventual creation of the viola. This creation began in northern Italy, alongside some of the most infamous musicians in Italian history e.g. Antonio Stradivari, Gasparo da Salo, and Andrea Guarnieri to name a few.

To start with–all stringed instruments that were created in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are named, in some form, after the viola. There were two specific names–viola da gamba and viola da braccio. The differences in these names have to do with how the instruments are played e.g. viola da gamba means “played at the leg” and viola da braccio means “played on the arm”.

Developing Periods:

While there were many different variations in design, over the next few centuries, it was not until the eighteen hundreds that the viola would have its final design, that would change the way we look at it.

This design change was helped by the fact that by the eighteen hundreds, playing music in concerts in large halls was becoming a very popular past time, and coupled with a stronger bow design–it was time.

Within the entire violin family, strings were made of heavier materials, their tension was increased to help boost their projection, the neck was redesigned to be slightly lower and longer, which made it easier for the player’s arm to move up and down, and then in the body of the instruments, the bridge and the bar were reinforced with better materials.

However, it was not until the late eighteen hundreds that the viola and the violin were given the same prestige to trained musicians. It was then that composers began to write concerts and concertos made specifically for the viola, which led to even more redesigns to the instrument itself.

The History of Viola

Considerable things for violas

This long and varied history only adds value and richness to the instrument, which is why it is perfect for any new or experienced musician to tackle. If you are interested in playing the viola, you should know everything you can about it.

Everything is important–not just the history, but also how to maintain your viola in its best condition for as long as possible. If you are aware of every inch of your viola, you will become a better player, a better musician.

Viola strings are one of the most important aspects of your viola–without them, your viola cannot be played. If they are not properly tightened, then your viola will not sound its best while you are playing it.

What is the Difference Between “Viola” and “Violin”?

viola

You have probably had this question before–even if you are an experienced musician, you have at least had someone ask you this question. What is the difference between a viola and a violin? It can’t be that they only have a few letters difference between them.

While the viola and the violin are both stringed instruments that were created and developed roughly around the same time in history, there are a few key differences that make them two distinct instruments–even to a layperson who doesn’t know the first thing about musical instruments.

size

The first key difference is size. The violin is markedly smaller than the viola. It is a fairly easy difference to tell, particularly when the two instruments are side by side with each other. The violin is generally about 36 centimeters (14 inches) long, while the viola is generally between 39 and 41 centimeters (15.5 to 16.5 inches) long.

musical notes

The next difference is something that really only knowledgeable musicians would know–and it deals with reading musical notes. Violin musicians read their music notes starting with the treble clef, while viola musicians would learn to read their music notes starting with the lesser-known alto clef.

bow frogs

The third difference is the bow frogs. Bow frogs basically indicate where you would how the bow e.g. the frog part is the end of the bow, where you hold the instrument. To indicate this, the bow frog is usually decorated with a colorful slide and a small circle.

Viola and violin bows differ, because the viola frog bow is usually slightly heavier than a violin frog bow, and sometimes the frog on the viola frog bow is curved, instead of straight (as it is on the violin bow).

pitch

Do you have an ear for the pitch? This fourth difference deals with differences in pitch–the pitch of a viola is lower than the pitch of a violin. This is because of the difference in starting notes. The first note on a violin is an “E”, which is five pitches higher than the first note on a viola, which is an “A”. Because of these differences, a viola has a much mellower sound than a violin.

strings

The fifth difference has to do with their strings. Not only are the viola strings thicker than violin strings, but they are also arranged differently for different notes. Viola string order goes like this (lowest to highest): C, G, D, A. Violin string order goes like this (lowest to highest): G, D, A, and E.

VIOLA vs. VIOLIN

5 Key Differences Between the Viola and the Violin

1. Size: the viola is larger than the violin.

2. Musical Notes: viola musicians read the alto clef, while violin musicians read the treble clef.

3. Bow Frogs: viola bow frogs are heavier and curved, as compared to the violin, where their bow frogs are smaller and straight.

4. Pitch: a viola’s pitch is lower, with a much mellow sound, while the violin pitch is higher.

5. Strings: viola strings are thicker and are arranged to form different notes as compared to the violin.

Viola verses violin (Infographic):

viola vs violin
Infographic: viola vs violin

Types of Violas

Violas

Throughout the years, violas have been categorized differently, depending on a variety of factors that were important during that time period. However, the most important factors can be characterized by–size, time period, and musical purpose/genre.

Differences in Viola Categorizations

-size

-time period

-musical purpose/genre

Viola Types: Size

While throughout the history of the viola they have been made at a fairly wide range of sizes, nowadays, there is a strict guideline that dictates the acceptable size range of violas.

This is all due to the range that you want the viola to have–if it is a lower range, then the soundbox has to be larger to create that tone, which would then not allow the actual instrument to fit under your chin.

So because of this, a lot of people experimented with the soundbox and fingerboard length of the viola. As a result, the majority of violas are either 14 to 15 inches or over 17 inches long.

Viola Types: Size Differences Between the Alto and Tenor

These two viola types–alto and tenor–are based on size. This was one of the first designs of the viola, and they have different purposes.

The tenor viola plays a lower part than an alto viola, so its body is bigger to register a lower tone of the instrument.

The alto viola is a middle to a higher tone, so it did not have to be as big as the tenor viola.

Generally, there were at least three violas played together, and as many as five in an arrangement. However, as the violin became popular, the viola became used less and less, which accounts for the wide range in sizes of the instrument.

Viola Types: Differences Between Time Periods

Pre Baroque Time Period

Before the viola was invented, there were several instruments that were similar to the viola that was played. The term “viola” was used well before we had created the instrument the viola, yet this references different instruments–most popularly the three-stringed Violetta or the lira that was played upright during the era of the Byzantine Empire.

Baroque Time Period

This viola, known as the Baroque Viola, was the forefather of the modern viola. This instrument was created in the sixteenth century. Compared to our modern-day viola, it has a shallower angle on the neck of the instrument, thicker strings, and lower tension.

This is where the classifications of the violas come in e.g. the creation of the alto and the tenor violas. Crafting techniques allowed for more design advancements in the eighteenth century.

Classical Viola

As new techniques allowed for stronger tension and higher range and projection of the viola, thus came the advent of the classical viola in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

This viola has a smaller, thinner neck, higher tension in the strings, and has been adapted to be made with many different types of wood, strings, and the addition of a chin rest makes it easier to play.

Electric Viola

Surprisingly enough, these were created and sold, starting in the 1930s, and do not contain any sound boxes of f-holes. Because of this, they are generally used as amplification devices, to other instruments. They are very rare, particularly as classical violas are not as popular as violins.

Semi Electric Viola

The difference between a semi-electric viola and an electric viola is that the semi-electric produces sound acoustically and then uses an amp to project the sound out. This helps retain a more natural sound, versus an electric viola. The amp is added by using a “pick up”, and this can be added to any classical viola you want.

Viola Types: Genre

Generally violas have only four strings, however, there is another type that adds another string (five-string viola), which blends the viola and violin styles. This type of viola easily lends itself to fiddle music and can be somewhat tricky for viola and violin players to learn.

Viola Types Overview:

-Size differences include the alto and tenor, mainly. There are also children’s violas.

-Time Periods: pre-baroque, baroque, classical, electric, semi-electric

-Genre: five strings

The Ins and Outs of Viola Strings

There are many different types of materials you can buy for your viola. It all depends on the sound that you want, and what your budget is for your strings (as they do have to be replaced, but we will get to that later).

The three main categories for viola strings are gut, steel core, and synthetic core.

Viola String Categories

-gut

-steel core

-synthetic core

Viola Strings: Gut

Gut strings used to be the only type of strings that we used to play string instruments e.g. the viola. Originally, they were either actual guts from birds (or their tendons or intestines from other animals), it was not until the eighteen hundreds that the strings were made by wrapping gut around metal strings.

For those playing baroque or renaissance era music, gut strings are the most highly prized strings of all. However, these strings are a bit more temperamental than others, as they are very sensitive to temperature and humidity.

They are also harder to tune, go out of tune easily, and have to be replaced much more frequently than other string types.

Nowadays, silver and aluminum are mainly used as the cores of the strings.

Viola Strings: Steel Core

These strings hold their pitch a lot easier than gut strings, but not as easily as synthetic core strings. They are smaller in diameter and so their tone is very bright and focused, while they also adapt easily to the musician’s style. These strings are popular with electric viola players.

Viola Strings: Synthetic Core

Synthetic core strings are composed of materials that are synthetic e.g. nylon and mixes of various fibers. These are very popular among bow players, particularly as they have the best of gut tonally (a richness) and of steel core strings (durability). These strings are also much more dense, and stronger, which makes them less vulnerable to temperature and humidity changes.

Top Ten Viola Strings (Brands)

Dominant

These strings are made with a nylon core and were created in Australia. A very popular synthetic string, it soon became the yardstick upon which all other viola strings were measured.

These are multi-stranded strings that are flexible, offer a stable sound, maintain pitch, and offers a warm tone to your playing. These strings have a long life and are offered in six different lengths, as well as three different sizes (light, medium, and heavy).

Recommended model :

Thomastik-Infeld 141 Dominant Synthetic Core Viola Strings

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Thomastik Dominant up to 16.5″ Viola String

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Dr Thomastik Viola Strings 

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Spirocore

These strings are steel cored and are very responsive, as well as powerful. These are very popular with lower end viola players. They come in light, medium, and heavy sizes.

Recommended model :

Thomastik-Infeld Viola Strings (S20A)

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Thomastik-Infeld Thomastik S20
Thomastik-Infeld Thomastik S20

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Thomastik Infeld Spirocore Viola String

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Evah Pirazzi

This is a synthetic core string that is wrapped in metal. Generally, it is available in aluminum or steel. They project a warm and complex tone, and are available in the following sizes: soft, medium, and strong.

Recommended model :

Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold Viola String Set

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Pirastro Evah Pirazzi up to 16.5″ Viola String

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Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold Viola G String

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Obligato

This contains the same core as the Evah Pirazzi, yet offers a single enhancement–it projects an amazing tone, which can help lighten up the darker tone of the viola instrument.

Recommended model :

Pirastro Obligato up to 16.5″ Viola String Set

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Pirastro Obligato up to 16.5″ Viola G String

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Passione

This string is interesting, as it is made up of stabilized gut–which helps it not be as sensitive to temperature and humidity fluctuations. It is stabilized by winding it with aluminum. This helps preserve the complex tone of the gut, but also help maintain the power of the string.

Recommended model :

Pirastro Passione Viola String Set 

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Pirastro Passione Viola C String

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Pirastro Passione Viola D String

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Larsen

These contain a steel core, and as such are darker in tone than the Dominant strings. These will project a very powerful sound, although it will not be as complex as other string types. These strings come in heavy, medium, and light.

Recommended model :

LARSEN Viola Strings

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Larsen up to 16.5″ Viola A String 

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LARSEN Viola Strings 

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Prim

These strings contain a steel core, and their bright, fun tone make them popular with folk songs and fiddlers. These are perfect strings for those who are just starting out or don’t play their viola very often, as they are relatively inexpensive. They come in the sizes heavy, medium, and light.

Recommended model :

Prim Viola Steel Strings

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Prim Steel Viola C String

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Prim Strings 4543S Viola G String

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Helicore

These steel core strings lack power and complexity that you would find in other strings and are used to play generally the most popular types of music. Their tone is clear and easy enough to play, so it is popular with beginners. They offer four different lengths and are available in heavy, medium, and light sizes.

Recommended model :

Helicore Viola D String 13-14

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Jarger

These strings are metal wound (usually in silver), and project a clear tone, warmth, and clear sound. They are also moderately powerful and have a surprising warmth and depth to their sounds. These strings are popular with musicians who like to mix up their string types. They are available in three sizes–heavy, medium, and light.

Recommended model :

Jargar 16.5″ Viola String Set Medium

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Brilliant

Low tension and synthetic core string, this is one of the most responsive strings on the list. It comes in two lengths, small and large.

Recommended model :

Warchal Brilliant 15″-16″ Viola D String

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Top Ten Viola Strings Overview

-Dominant

-Spirocore

-Evah Pirazzi

-Obligato

-Passione

-Larsen

-Prim

-Helicore

-Jarger

-Brilliant

Viola String Chart

viola
Label Core Manufacturer
Alphayue Synthetic Thomastik
Alliance Synthetic Corelli
Amber Synthetic Warchal
Aricore  Synthetic Pirastro
Ascente Synthetic D’Addario
Brilliant Synthetic Warchal
Cantiga Synthetic Corelli
Capriccio Synthetic Dogal
Chromcor Plus Steel Pirastro
Chorda Gut Pirastro
Chromcor Steel Pirastro
Crystal Synthetic Corelli
Dominant Synthetic Thomastik
Eudoxa  Gut Pirastro
Evah Pirazzi Synthetic Pirastro
Evah Pirazzi Gold Synthetic Pirastro
Fortune Synthetic For-Tune
Helicore Steel D’Addario
Jargar Steel Jargar
Jargar Superior Synthetic Jargar
Kaplan Amo Synthetic D’Addario
Kaplan Vivo Synthetic D’Addario
Kaplan Forza Steel D’Addario
Karneol Synthetic Warchal
Larsen Synthetic Larsen
Larsen Steel Larsen
Obligato Synthetic Pirastro
Oliv  Gut Pirastro
Passione Gut Pirastro
Peter Infeld PI Synthetic Thomastik
Piranito Steel Pirastro
Permanent Steel Pirastro
Prelude Steel D’Addario
Prim Steel Prim
Pro-Arte Synthetic D’Addario
Red Label Steel Super-Sensitive
Spirocore Steel Thomastik
Superflexible Steel Thomastik
Synoxa Synthetic Pirastro
Tonica Synthetic Pirastro
Virtuoso Synthetic Larsen
Vision Synthetic Thomastik
Vision Solo Synthetic Thomastik
Warchal Brilliant  Synthetic Warchal
Zyex Synthetic D’Addario

Viola Strings Comparisons

There are many viola string comparisons you can do–ultimately it is up to you as the musician to make your own decisions and experiment with the type of music you want to play or create.

However, with some brands, you can make several viola string comparisons.

Viola String Comparison Overview

-Evah Pirazzi and Obligato

-Evah Pirazzi and Dominant

-Dominant and Larsen

-Spirocore and Larsen

-Spirocore, Dominant, and Vision

-Helicore, Kaplan, and Prelude

-Brilliant and Karneol

There are so many viola string comparisons, it would take several pages to list them all!

Viola Notes

Viola Notes

As with any instrument, notes on the viola are limited, out of the seven notes available. These viola notes are C, D, G, and A. The treble (or G) clef is used to read notes for a viola composition, usually when the notes start getting high. The alto clef is used much more frequently with the viola, because it is lower than the violin.

Viola FAQs

Q: How do you know if you will like the viola vs. the violin?

A: The only way you can know this is if you listen to different pieces of music played by each instrument, particularly in styles and genres of music that you enjoy. Listen to what you like, and see if you think the viola improves it or not. If you think it does, then the viola might be an instrument you are interested in learning how to play.

Q: How old is “too old” to learn how to play the viola?

A: As with all instruments, the earlier you learn how to play an instrument, the better you will be at that instrument. However, it is never too late to learn an instrument and to love music. Whether you are five or fifty, or even twenty-five, don’t let your age and lack of previous experience get you to doubt yourself and not try to learn how to play an instrument.

Q: What are the differences in “clefs” between violas and violins?

A: Viola musicians read the alto clef, as opposed to the treble clef that violin musicians read on their sheet music. However, viola musicians should learn how to read both of these notes, because they are both used in advanced compositions.

However, viola musicians read the alto clef first, and more frequently than the treble clef. This all has to do with the range and tone of the music, as violas register in a lower tone than a violin.

Q: What are the best viola strings to buy?

A: The best viola strings to buy are: Dominant, Spirocore, Evah Pirazzi, Obligato, Passione, Larsen, Prim, Helicore, Jarger, and Brilliant.

Q: What are viola strings made out of?

A: Viola string material composition has a long and varied history, starting with gut, muscles, and tendons from animals for several centuries–particularly in the medieval era. As technology and crafting techniques became more polished and were developed, so did new strings. Steel core and Synthetic core strings are the fruits of that labor.

All three strings are still used to this day, to varying degrees of success. The type of string you use depends on the genre of music you are playing, the sound that you want to convey to yourself and your audience.

Q: What notes do you play on the viola?

A: The notes that are played on the viola are: C, D, G, and A.

Q: How many positions can you play the viola in?

A: There are seven regular positions that you can play your viola in. Beginners, those who have just started to learn how to play the viola will usually play in the first position. Intermediate skilled musicians, those who have some experience playing the viola will shift between first, second, and third positions.

Finally, advanced musicians can play anything from the first position to seven positions and those that are even more than advanced can go into the eighth position and beyond. However, once musicians reach that skill level, they are not as enamored with positions and just choose how best to play their piece.

Q: When should you replace your viola strings? How often should you replace your viola strings?

A: Replacement of your viola strings strongly depends on how often you play it. If you play your viola frequently–every day, for instance–then you should replace your strings every three to six months. If you do not play it frequently, then you can get away with not replacing your strings. In this case, generally, you can get away with only replacing your strings once a year.

However, there are also other factors to replacing your strings–as not only are they affected by how often you play them, but also the environment they are in. Temperature, humidity, pollutants, and tension all affect how long your strings last, and the condition they stay in.

Q: What are the signs that tell you it’s time to replace your viola strings, regardless of how long you have had them?

A: There are several signs that tell you when they should be changed, regardless of how old the strings actually are. If your viola strings are dirty or grimy looking, it’s time to change them. When it is producing dull sounds and getting duller by the day, it’s time to change them.

If your viola cannot hold a pitch for a reasonable amount of time, then it’s time to change the strings. A good rule of thumb is: If you cannot remember the last time you changed your strings, you should probably change them. It wouldn’t hurt, anyway.

Conclusion

Has this article convinced you to start playing the viola? Have you learned so much more about the instrument than you thought you ever would, particularly about viola strings? It is surprising and shocking to see how much history and design there is and has been put into four thin strings on an instrument.

The viola string order, the arrangement of the viola notes, matters immensely when it comes to creating sound. And we are privileged to be the recipients of several centuries worth of experimentation regarding the viola, as well as every other instrument in the viola-violin string family that built the instruments we play today.

Remember, no matter how new you are at playing an instrument, the most important thing you should do is be willing and eager to learn. It is never too late to learn how to properly play an instrument, just as it is never too late to learn about your instrument’s history or proper care for the first time.

How To Select Good Harmonium in 2020

How To Select Good Harmonium

Introduction:

A harmonium also known as a ”pump organ” is a keyboard instrument. It originated in Europe and is highly popular with Indian music. The harmonium is one of the most respected instruments in Indian music. The rising popularity of harmoniums has created interest from people around the world. Before we know the answer to the question “how to select good harmonium?” we have to know the origin of the harmonium.

origin of the harmonium:

You may be surprised to know that India was not the origin of the harmonium. It was first invented in Europe by Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein who was a professor of physiology at Copenhagen.

It grew an immense amount of popularity in churches and private homes because they could not afford expensive organs. Due to the different versions available, the harmonium popularity continued to grow throughout the 19th century.

They required no electricity, which allowed them to be a great fit for travel. The harmonium was first introduced to South India by Portuguese missionaries. The missionaries wanted to conduct their weekly prayers on Sunday morning, but couldn’t carry their organs around.

After it was introduced, it also became popular with Indian musicians for its simplicity and portability. Although the harmonium was initially a western instrument, the east made it their own and it became a staple of their culture.

Origin Of The Harmonium

most common features:

Now that the origins are covered, it’s important to know the most common features when deciding on how to select good harmoniums.

Harmoniums come with several parts. Keys, bellows, drones, stop, coupler, and reeds.

STOPS:

Stops also known as knobs, are larger than drones and are in the front of the harmonium. They provide an opening and closing of airflow into the air chambers.

DRONES:

Drones are the smaller knobs. They play a fixed note but can also be customized to the musician’s choice.

REEDS:

Reeds come in 3 different octaves: bass, male and treble. Bass is the lowest, male reeds are a bit higher and treble reeds are an octave higher.

BELLOWS:

Bellows are needed to pump air into the harmonium. It usually comes in 2- fold, 3-fold or 7 fold. But the fancier harmoniums have 7-fold.

OCTAVE COUPLER:

Octave couplers add an octave to notes, this helps with adding volume to your music.

How To Select Good Harmonium: Top Ten Tips

Before someone purchases a harmonium it’s important to first learn the different types. There are several techniques that musicians use when they’re deciding how to select good harmonium.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF HARMONIUM:

There are ways to ensure that you pick out a proper harmonium that fit your needs. Different types of harmonium brands give musicians various options to choose from.

STANDARD

COLLAPSIBLE

FOLDING

Standard harmoniums are ideal for almost everything except for air travel.

Bulkier but more reliable than folding models.

Folding harmoniums are small, less bulky and can be easily transported.

They have durability and are more reliable than collapsing harmoniums. 

It has fixed bellows with very  little possibility for leaking.

There are clips on the side of the harmonium that stabilizes it. But, these clips commonly break.

It has more durability and less moving parts. 

There is more reliability due to it having less moving parts than a standard.

Very clunky with lots of instability.

It comes with full sized bellows for optimal performance and air retention.  

It comes with full sized bellows for optimal performance and air retention.  

It comes with full sized bellows  for optimal performance and air retention.

It's quite bulky and doesn't break down for easy transit.  

It can be rocky as you pump because it isn't anchored to the base like folding models.

Very prone to breaking because of all the moving parts. 

However, many people don’t quite understand what to look for in a harmonium. So, here are 10 considerations to review whether you’re a beginner or a regular player:

1. PORTABILITY

Portability should be considered before making an investment in a harmonium. There are 2 different general types of harmoniums, non-portables, and portables. Non-portables are called stand-up or upright harmoniums and their box is just a single box, that doesn’t change shape.

However, portable harmoniums also known as collapsibles are made of 2 boxes, an inner box, and an outer box. They collapse into a smaller sort of briefcase shape.

2. RANGE

Some harmoniums have just 2 1/2 octave of range on the keyboard. Some have 3 1/2 and others may have more. The average harmonium is around 3 octaves.

Therefore, a 2 1/2 octave harmonium should be fine for beginner players. It will also be adequate for people who play the harmonium regularly.

3. FANCY HARMONIUMS

It’s important to not get blindsided by fancy harmoniums. There are some harmonium makers that put unnecessary special features on them. Most professional musicians won’t use these features.

So, beginners who are just starting out would be tempted to purchase this type of harmonium. It’s easy to be fooled into thinking that it is of better quality and has more value because of all the added features. This includes a scale changer.

Some people like it, but most people don’t actually use a scale changing mechanism. It may also come with tons of buttons called,” stops” that serve different functions. Some of them you just open them up to allow air into the bellows.

The other smaller buttons open up drone notes. More buttons/knobs don’t mean better. It’s important to choose based on what you need and will use.

4. REEDS

Take into consideration how many sets of reeds that the harmonium has. There are harmoniums that have just a single set of reeds that sound very thin.

However, most harmoniums have 2 sets of reeds, a low set, and a high set. They’re played simultaneously, so they blend together to provide a rich sound. This is what most players use because it sounds great.

There are other harmoniums with 3 sets and even 4 sets of reeds to provide a bigger, louder and fuller sound. More reeds would generally make the harmonium a lot heavier and less portable.

5. INSTANT KEYBOARD RESPONSE

If you’re testing out several different brands of keyboards, you’ll notice that some brands have a lag time when pressing a key on the keyboard. So even if you have already primed the keyboard there still might be a lag. In a quality harmonium, it should not take time to get the sound, it should be instant.

6. GOOD SUSTAIN

You want your harmonium to be able to maintain a nice even sound. Different types of harmonium brands have a variety of sounds. It should sound even unless there are leaks in the bellows. Sometimes this may happen because they’re shipped from India, so various parts of the harmonium could be uneven.

7. REPUTABLE STORE

Sometimes they’ll come from India in various states of disrepair. So, the stores that sell it to you are importing it and getting it in good condition before you purchase it.

Therefore, it’s essential to make sure that the store is reputable and that they’re doing good repair work. Also, if you’re getting one shipped from an online store, it may have minor problems such as buzzing reeds.

Occasionally, you’ll receive a harmonium with the key sticking down or a buzzing reed. These are quite easy to fix, but you’ll need the store that you ordered it from to talk you through it over the phone. It could take a little time to get fixed, which is why you need a reputable store to walk you through the process if it happens.

8. JOLLY

Often you’ll see on the top of a harmonium, a glass jolly. Jolly is a Hindi word that means window, it’s removable and it serves as a baffle or a mute. That’s where the sound is coming out of the reeds.

The jolly’s objective is to mute the sound or even it out so that it isn’t blasting out of the reeds. However, if you desire to play a lot louder you can always remove the jolly. Some harmoniums also have a wooden jolly with similar mechanisms.

9. ENJOY THE SOUND

Whether you are a beginner player or someone who’s more experienced, it’s important to love the sound of your instrument. Do you like the tone of the harmonium? Sounds and tones often change and sound differently depending on the brand that you’re using.

If you go to an actual store and make a purchase, listen to several harmoniums and you’ll hear the differences and fluctuations of tones.

10. TUNE

Making sure that the harmonium is in tune is an important consideration. A-440 is the international standard for tuning. It’s a certain pitch that all instruments in some way or another reference. An interesting fact is, a couple of centuries ago before American musical standards became the international norm, British standards were applied.

In Britain, they were using a standard of A-444, a different tuning frequency, and reference. So when harmoniums came from Britain, by missionary shops to India, the Indians liked them and started manufacturing them.

Some manufacturers keep A-440 and others may use A-444. Also, Indian manufacturing is not a very standardized and consistent process. If you’re not sure about the harmoniums tuning, then it’s important to ask the store to make sure that you’re getting A-440 tuning.

How To Select Good Harmonium

PROBLEMS

Sticky keys, rattling noises, and buzzing reeds are some of the most common problems with harmoniums. If you hear a rattling noise, it’s usually in the top cover. Removing the cover could help it go away.

If there are buzzing notes then something may be stuck between the reed and its frame causing the buzzing sound. To test if you have a leaky bellow, you can squeeze them gently until there is a little resistance.

When you’re squeezing the bellows and don’t feel any resistance, then there might be a problem. Beginners should ask lots of questions to ensure that they’re getting a high-quality product. Also, it’s a smart idea to get your harmonium tuned at the store to prevent future issues.

Additionally, you should bring a picture and a description of your ideal harmonium. Although there are some problems that you can fix on your own, there are also problems that you will need assistance with.

Most importantly, if you’re having problems with your harmonium and are not sure how to fix it, take it to a professional. Take it back to the store that you purchased it from. If you made the purchase online, then find a reputable store to help you or return the harmonium.

Harmonium Comparisons:

different types of harmonium

Before choosing your desired harmonium, make sure that you check out prices from different locations and choose the correct brand that is right for you. Since modern harmoniums are built in India it’s good to compare the two regional styles of harmonium construction.

DELHI STYLE HARMONIUM:

 • The Delhi style harmonium is quite inexpensive compared to other musical instruments.

 • It’s one of the most popular harmonium brands. You can use them if you’re a beginner or intermediate player.

 •It has a lightweight and portable design that is easy to maintain

 • It has a dynamic tone that can be used to play many different styles of music like folk, indie, ambient, etc.

 •Has an affordable price around the range of $500-1000

KOLKATA STYLE HARMONIUM:

• The design is very detailed and solidly constructed.

• It has 3-4 reed sets that play across a broad range of octaves, producing a full tone.

• The complex engineering, more labor, and material make this the least affordable option.

•The price is no less than $1200 and even higher quality is around $1800.

KOLKATA 9-STOPPER PORTABLE FOLDING
KOLKATA 9-STOPPER PORTABLE FOLDING

Click Here for Pricing & Reviews on Amazon

Conclusion:

Hopefully, this was helpful and you’d be able to find some clarity and understand how to select good harmoniums. With its rich cultural background, variety of styles and affordable prices, it’s no wonder why the harmonium is a popular instrument.

There are plenty of choices to choose from and brands offering different features to fit each musician’s needs. When proper research is done, both beginners and experienced players will enjoy the fulfillment that the harmonium can bring.