Guide in Choosing Your First Stringed Instrument

Guide in Choosing Your First Stringed Instrument

You may be someone who enjoys classical and acoustic music a lot and desires to learn how to play a musical instrument but doesn’t know where to start. Or you may be a parent who wants your kid to take up a string instrument but doesn’t know which music class to choose. 

There are a variety of options for those who are interested in playing a string instrument. String instruments, also known as chordophones, are musical instruments that produce sounds either by strumming, plucking, or bowing. One of the most common string instruments is the guitar. But if you’re looking for other options aside from it, let’s take a look at these four instruments that are commonly played in an orchestra: violin, viola, cello, and double bass. 


Violin is the most popular string instrument among the four. This is known to be versatile as it can be incorporated with other modern instruments aside from being played in an orchestra. It comes in 8 main sizes where the smallest is 9 inches while the full size is 14 inches or 36 centimetres. You will know if the violin fits you if you can reach the notes with your left hand and play the instrument comfortably and in the right position. 


The viola may look very much like the violin and is identical to it in some ways. However, a viola is slightly larger than the violin which creates a lower and deeper sound because of its string length. The violin and viola share three strings which are the keys A, D, and G. In comparison, the violin has a top E string while the viola has the key C, which is one octave in the middle C. While learning to play the viola is a bit more challenging than the violin, this is a great option for people who wanted to pursue their career as a musician as violists are high in demand these days. 


Cello is known to be an instrument that’s closest to the human voice. It has four strings just like the violin and viola. However, when it comes to size, the cello is a large instrument that can be played by sitting down. It is one octave lower than the viola that could carry both the bass and the melody of a piece. Because of its size, those people with short fingers may find it hard to learn the instrument. 

Double bass

This is the largest and the lowest-pitched instrument in the string family. It can be played either by standing or sitting on a high stool. It is also used as a melody instrument in jazz ensembles. While it can be a bit of a hassle when transporting the instrument, mastering the double bass is perfect for those who desire to make music as their career because double bass professionals are also high in demand like the violists. 

Tips on Buying Your First Stringed Instrument

  • Opt for high-quality instruments. The low-quality ones may look lesser in price but it is not worth it. This may affect the sound and your motivation in learning how to play the instrument. 
  • Talk to the professionals. May it be a music teacher or a musician, asking for their advice will help you in choosing the perfect instrument for you. They may even recommend stores where you can find high-quality string instruments. 
  • Rent or borrow the instrument if you are still unsure of which to buy. This will also help you identify which one is the most comfortable to play with. 


Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as conducting interviews for the XS Noize Podcast. Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.