Including why you can’t just play an F with the bottom two holes open:
Especially for the third hole from the top, this looks lovely. I can manage most of the rest of it with no difficulty, but both of these keys would help.
– when you finger the third hole down with your pinky.
Well, not “easier” per se. Maybe “less painful.” I wish the thing came with a rest of some kind so that the weight of it could go on my knee. It’s a bit to hold up and play at the same time.
And I’m still kind of grossed out at the idea of swabbing spit out of the thing. X-P It will sound fine, until it doesn’t, and it starts to sputter like an old beater pickup truck with water in the fuel line. Which I suppose is a fine metaphor.
It’s getting easier, especially with that pinky trick. But it’s still going to take some doing. I’ll see about “Con rauco mormorio,” since hey, it’s in D right?
You know what else is rough about this thing?
There’s nothing to push against. With the viola, you can feel the strings and the bow, and the reaction of the instrument feeding back into your arm. There’s friction. With the piano of course you’re pushing levers around, and they have weight and resistance.
With this thing, there’s no resistance. It’s like balancing in the air — if it were a hydraulic system, I’d say that there was no back pressure. That’s severely challenging.
On the good side, vibrato is a snap and a half.
1) My right wrist hurts. I’m avoiding middle C.
2) I think D will be a nice key in this thing.
3) It’s hard to play something where you can’t see where you have to put your fingers. That’s a difficulty I hadn’t anticipated; piano and viola both put your hands under your eyes.
4) That said, it sounds pretty, and quiet. Quiet is nice.
The Check (as they say) Is In The Mail, and I will have a left-handed viola-scale pochette by around Halloween or thereabouts from this fellow, the quite nice Don Rickert. I also got myself a carbon fiber Coda bow — the Diamond NX, which I’m really looking forward to.
I’ll have to be careful; I can feel the ominous rumblings of Gear Acquisition Syndrome stirring deep within the lightless abyss of my soul, and as a confirmed cheapskate and lifelong skinflint, I’d really rather not accumulate a bunch of dust-collecting garbage I don’t need. (Especially when I still have to get the fingerboard replaned on my main instrument.) But still, that pseudo-Baroque-looking gamba-shaped thing I linked to in the post before this one looks sweet as a summer grape, and can be made in 16″ viola scale … Crap.
GAS aside, it will be heaven to be able to travel with a viola. The case is evidently 34″ long but only 4″ x 4″ in cross-section, so although it’s technically longer than permitted, I am confident of being able to get it past a gate agent at an airport, and since it’s longer than needed to hold the instrument, I may even be able to fit the disassembled recorder in it. The round case would have been shorter, but looks depressingly like a pipe bomb, so even though the repurposed fly rod case is longer than I’d like, it looks a lot less threatening.
Nevertheless, I do however anticipate being taken aside and having to explain the thing to TSA when going through security, which will be a pain.
“It’s a travel violin.” (I won’t say “travel viola,” because they probably won’t know WTH a viola is.)
“A travel violin.”
“Wait here, please.”
If I didn’t hate high-pitched noises so much, this wouldn’t be an issue, and I’d just play a piccolo or something and stick the thing in my pocket. Instead, I am fated to get sent through the porno scanner for the rest of my life anytime I fly with this thing. I suppose the fact that a left-handed viola will have effectively been considered a terrorist threat is the ultimate viola joke, but I’m none too fond all the same.