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|Stock #: 443
15" five string viola was made, to my specifications, in
China. Ebony fingerboard, Ebony fittings.
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are plenty of notes on a violin. If you want to play the melody
there is no finer instrument. It's real loud. Its right under
you ear. You can always hear what you're doing, even in the
noisiest jam session. But, if your true love is playing harmonies
to those fiddle melodies it's sometimes nice to have a C string.
A violin is tuned E A D G (from highest to lowest). A viola
is tuned A D G C. A five string viola gives you the full range
of both instruments. Five string violins have been popular
for a long time with country and swing players (Johnny Gimble and
Byron Berline play them). But the body of a violin is not
big enough to produce a good low C pitch, so five string violins
must be electrified. The electronics can produce a C as well
as they can produce any pitch (that's another story). For
the parking lot picker electronics are not an option. Also,
you can raise the pitch of a string by shortening it or by tightening
it. So, the longer a string is the more tension it takes to
bring it up to pitch. A violin neck is just too short for
a low C string. The string is floppy, like playing on a rubber
band. Enter the 5 String Viola! This is a 15" viola
with 5 strings. The larger body and slightly longer scale
produce the low C and there is no problem producing the high notes.
you have a string tuned to a C you can produce a C# by stopping
the string at 1/18 of the distance from the nut to the bridge (essentially
shortening the string to 17/18 of it's original length). To
get a D you stop the string at 1/18 of the distance from the C#
to the bridge. To get a D# you stop the string at 1/18 the
distance from the D to the bridge etc. The finger placement
is proportional to the string length. The longer the string
the more widely spaced the finger placement. A standard
violin is 14" long (length of the back of the box of the instrument).
The string length of a violin, from nut to bridge, is about 13".
The string length of a 15" viola is about 14". The
stretch is bigger on the 5 String, but not as big as on a 16"
or 17" orchestra viola. A fiddler can adjust easily with
a little practice. I have been experimenting with 5 String
Violas for the last 25 years. I would be pleased to answer
any questions you might have.