But only about 4% harder.
And it wasn’t even that long ago when violins were also playing about as hard as the trumpet.
When violinists were first learning to play, they had to train their technique to the point that they could easily play up to 7 notes in an octave. I know, hard. But it got easier as the years went by, and there was only one string that could be used as the ‘violin key’ instead of two.
In the 20th century, guitarists used to hammer a string up to a D, and then play higher notes. In that case, the fretboard was the fingerboard, and the other strings had to be in tune with it.
It’s true that some strings may have a ‘tightness’, or a ‘feel’ like a violin, that makes them easier to play; but that’s not the only difference between the two instruments.
Just think, it wasn’t until the 1920s that cellists actually learned how to play a violin, and they had to learn the keys of their instrument as well. The old-time cellists used the strings off their cellos, while modern players are trained to play over the strings on the cello, which are much larger.
To be fair, when the violin did go free for the first time in 1720, there was barely any violin playing left, but it has been revived quite a bit in the 20th century, and has become quite popular amongst the younger audience at college and universities.
So, there is very clearly an audible difference between a viola and viola, or even cello over strings. And it’s not just about finger strength—if you can play with perfect technique, that’s a lot more important than how hard you can play the instrument.
2. No, it wasn’t the violins that used to make music sound like the orchestra… it was the violins in your dad’s basement.
In a typical room, bassoon and basses are often used at the same time, as there’s not enough room to hear every note. But, what we’ve discussed above about the differences between the violins and stringed instruments—that’s not always true.
Sometimes, the sound of a stringed instrument can come directly from one of the smaller electric organs, such as a flugelhorn. Others make their sound because they