When you are looking to take a stringed instrument on, whether as a hobby, talent, or lifelong musical passion (maybe even a career), then there are a number of things which you need to take into consideration. These include size, cost, dexterity of the hands, whether there is a teacher local to you, whether you think it is cool, or even whether you feel you are being forced into it.
There is only one choice you have to make, and that is whether YOU like the sound of the instrument which YOU are going to be learning. Remember, you are the person who is going to be putting in hours of practise to ensure you play the very best you can do. You are going to be the person who will perform, and you are the person who will carry on this instrument through your life.
Don't let cost be a factor, because if you have the passion then the money can be sourced; you can pick up a brand new introductory instrument from companies such as ours (Normans Musical Instruments)
for very little money, which will teach you the basics and work with you for a number of years until you need to take the next step. There are schemes backed by the government, such as AIPS (Assisted Instrument Purchase Schemes)
, which are not finance packages, but schemes that can allow you to buy a violin (for example) for around £50, brand new and VAT-free! You can always approach your council music-service, all of which run different schemes. Some offer rental schemes, such as Normans Rental
(but not on strings), some will loan you the instrument free of charge, and some even give grants or bursaries as your career progresses.
Don't be put off by the size of an instrument either. If YOU like the sound of a cello
and want to learn one, but feel that you are too small, then don’t worry, because just like shoes, they come in different sizes! If you are not too bothered about which stringed instrument you learn, but know that you want to learn one, then you may decide that a viola
is for you; this is seen as a rarer instrument for people to choose to play, thus there are more scholarships out there, and more often than not, less competition to get into orchestras because there are not as many viola players as there are violinists.
Do not feel that you have to just go straight into learning one instrument, and then that’s it for life. Why not try the one you really want, and if you find it’s not for you, try another. Finally, make sure you find a suitable teacher for you. The last thing you want is to have some music teacher who is not enthusiastic about their own instrument which they are teaching you. You need a teacher who will inspire you on to greatness. Speak to your music-service, and also have a look online or speak to other members of orchestras to source the right tutor for you. There are charities, foundations, clubs and even online learning courses you could enrol in. The only person who can stop you from learning a stringed instrument... is YOU! There are even silent strings
which mean that the neighbours cannot even stop you from learning for being too loud! There really is a solution to every string player’s problems; it is just whether you want to be one of them?!
for some excellent options for starter stringed instruments.