14 Best Viola Book Reviews 2021 (Best Books to Learn Viola)

Best Viola Books & Best Book to Learn Viola

Best Viola Books & Best Book to Learn Viola

The viola is a musical string instrument. It has similar features to the violin, but the viola is bigger regarding measurement. The viola was invented as early as the eighteenth century in the Western parts of Europe.

Since its invention, the viola has gradually been established as one of the remarkable musical instruments that back up the alto singers. This is because; the viola produces sounds that are low and remarkably deeper than other musical instruments in the violin family.

Considering its uniqueness, the viola has gained a wide reputation in many parts of the world. It is taught in music schools and also online. Notable musicians and music teachers who have mastered how to play the viola have created educational books which are sold online. These books contain specific information that can help the users teach themselves how to play the viola.

What are the Best Viola Books to Buy?

2) Suzuki Viola School

  • Instructional Guide
  • Included CD
  • Different Songs for Practice
  • Listening, Memorization, and Practice

1) Essential Elements for Strings

  • Familiar Songs
  • Specially Designed Exercises
  • Ultimate Online Music Education Resource
  • Instructional Guide

3) Sound Innovations

  • Revolutionary, Flexible, and Comprehensive Method
  • Logical Sequence
  • Clean Page Layouts and Clear Goals
  • Uncomplicated Explanations

The popularity of the viola online instructional books has increased because it can be used by anyone remotely. The ease at which these books can be accessed online encourages more people to make a decision and achieve their goals to learn how to play the musical instrument. However, before purchasing a viola book guide online, it is important to find out what is being offered.

Online you will find so many types of viola instructional manuals and books. While they are all about the musical instrument, you will also notice that the learning materials and scope may differ. This is because the authors of such books may have created the content for users at different skill levels. This means you will find viola instructional books for beginners, intermediate learners, and advanced players. With this information, you can easily identify the viola instructional book that best matches your interests.

To become an excellent viola player, it is essential that you have a good understanding of the alto clef. This means, if you do not have a prior education about the alto clef keys, your choice of an online viola instructional book should be one that teaches the alto clef in simple and easily comprehensible lessons.

It is also a great idea to buy instructional books for viola players that cover a cross-curriculum. This means you can get value from the book for many years even after reaching the advanced viola player skill level. These are books that cover a cross-curriculum highlight many important theoretical and practical aspects regarding playing the viola.

It is also essential to note that some authors have included DVDs and audio CDs with their viola books. The reason for this addition is that we have different ways of learning. Some people will find it easier to learn and improve their viola playing skills by watching and studying videos.

Others may feel more comfortable following the instructions on an audio CD. However, these three learning materials complement each other. The practical instructions on the DVDs are a follow up to the theory explained in the viola instructional guide.

The following viola books offer a wide range of learning materials and approaches to help beginners and other viola players at different skill levels.

14 Best Viola Book Reviews

1) Essential Elements for Strings

This is one of the viola instructional guides specially created for beginners. If you are looking for a book that teaches the essentials and basics of playing the viola, the content in this book will be helpful.

The structure has been created to make it easy for all users to learn in a progressive way that covers the important aspects of playing the viola. For example, users of this book will learn the notes, how to hold the viola while plucking with the bow, history of the instrument, and enjoy practice sessions while playing along simple songs.

The lessons in the book- Essential Elements for Strings are easily comprehensible. Young children will find it easy to study the book and improve their viola playing skills. At the end of each lesson, you will find exercises to help practice and master the lessons that have just been explained in the book.

It is also a suitable instructional guide for teachers who can use this book to help their students in a formal educational setting. Overall, it is a good book for everyone who wants to learn how to play the viola independently.

2) Suzuki Viola School

The learning approach used by the author of this viola instructional guide is a basic process which is aimed at promoting the natural abilities of students. The book can be used by students who want to learn how to play the viola independently. Teachers will also find this book helpful in teaching their students the best techniques to use while playing the musical instrument.

The package includes a CD which features different songs for practice. Students can listen to the viola techniques used in the CD tracks and practice following the instructions. The learning materials in this package give students an exposure to the works and recordings of professional viola players whom they can learn from at their own pace.

The focus of this viola learning guide is helping students to play the musical instrument by ear. After mastering the exercises created based on ear training techniques, students can improve their rhythms and find it easier to use the fingering methods while plucking. The ear training method projected in this book will also help younger students who may not be able to comprehend viola sheet music at their level.

As students’ progress through the lessons, they encounter more difficult songs that challenge their skills eventually stimulating growth and improvement. The Suzuki music lessons for viola are essentially based on listening, memorization, and practice. This is a learning approach many students can adapt.

3) Sound Innovations

This is a beginner’s guide for everyone who is interested in learning how to play the viola. The author has compiled tips, and instructions from many professional viola players and musicians to guide students. It is a good option for people who want to learn how the musical instrument is played independently. The lessons cover essential areas such as music theory and crucial accompaniments to improve practical sessions.

The authors have created this viola book by following a particular approach suitable to guide beginners until they attain the intermediate level. The lessons are targeted at helping students improve their viola techniques such as playing the musical instrument by ear, postural guidance, learning the notes, understanding the rhythm, learning intonations, and understanding the concept behind increasing pace while playing the viola.

The lessons in this guide have been carefully arranged to help students learn through a step by step process. This also makes it convenient for busy people who wish to improve their viola playing techniques. Students who may have challenges reading sheet music will also find the tips in this instructional book helpful.

It is also a good learning option for students who wish to master solo repertoires or develop skills for more elaborate ensembles. It is easy to use; the simple targeted lessons make it easy for students to learn how to play the viola at their own pace.

4) Suzuki Viola School

This viola learning package is a combination of the paperback book and a collection of instructions and tips to help students understand viola sheet music. Students who use this instructional manual have the option to learn through private lessons which are interactive and practical. Another option is learning how to play the viola by participating in group sessions.

The instructional package also includes a CD that contains over fifteen high-quality recordings that students will find very useful. The lessons in this book are however structured for intermediate and advanced viola players. This is because the lessons have been presented in the third position and the treble clef. Beginners may find these lessons confusing because viola basics start from first position and the alto clef.

The author of this book has particularly focused on creating viola lessons to help students understand how to maintain their rhythm. The exercises and instructions for practical sessions aid users to build endurance and increase their pace while playing the viola.

It is a good learning guide, the songs included as recordings in the CDs are popular and easy to follow during the practice sessions. Students who participate in private sessions also have an opportunity to study the techniques used by their instructor closely. It is also suitable as a reference guide for students at all skill levels.

5) The Big Book Of Disney Songs

Everyone who likes Disney songs will have a good time learning how to play the viola with this book. The content of this book covers popular Disney songs that make the lessons exciting for children and older learners. This viola songbook contains eighty pages of nice Disney songs with simple lessons to help all users understand how to read the sheet music.

The learning structure presented in this book is inclined towards encouraging practical learning and developing viola playing techniques. The familiar songs also provide an opportunity for all users of this book to try the different viola playing techniques.

The author has created a viola instructional guide that can also be used by teachers in the classrooms. Students will find it easier to achieve their goal of becoming better viola players when they enjoy the practice sessions.

The large collection of fun Disney songs also makes this viola songbooks a manual that will be used for many years. This is because students at all skill levels can always open the book to practice songs even after many years. The large collection of play along songs will also be helpful to people preparing for orchestra auditions.

This viola instructional guide helps improve practice sessions because many students already know the songs, so it is easy to tell if they are not getting the notes right.

6) Easy Classical Masterworks For Viola

This is a good viola instructional book for intermediate learners. It will be especially helpful to students who wish to learn the etudes of renowned classical musicians and popular orchestra recordings. The etudes explained in this book include works by Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Mozart, Vivaldi, and many others.

The lessons created in a simple format show students how to replicate these works by using the viola. This involves studying the lessons that teach the right notes, plucking techniques and the right positions to play for each track being studied.

The lessons presented in the content have also been made easy to understand. This was done by the use of carefully created illustrations which users will find very helpful. The entire content in the book has been written in the English language. Students also have the opportunity to listen to the tracks by the famous composers before practice sessions.

This approach is commendable because it helps students to determine whether they are playing the right tune. It is a reliable book, many people who have enjoyed the works of famous composers and musicians can now independently learn how to play their favourite viola etudes.

7) All For Strings

This is a comprehensive instructional guide for the viola. Students who are searching for viola guidebooks that cover both the beginner and intermediate lessons will find this book quite helpful. The benefits students stand to gain when they use this book to learn how the viola is played are majorly about providing them with long-term skills.

After studying the lessons, students will learn the main aspects related to creating the right rhythm while playing the viola. In addition, the technical aspects related to bowing techniques, and playing viola by ear have been covered in the book. The knowledge attainable from the viola guide will make it easier for students to have a better musical experience during practice sessions and advanced lessons.

The context of this study guide for learning how the viola is played has been simplified to increase the level of comprehension of all users. The course structure will also be beneficial to students learning how to play the viola in a classroom.

The exercises have been developed for group sessions too, which makes it adaptable for use in the classrooms. The blend of music theory and practical training helps students to master what they have learned after the lessons.

8) The Big Book Of Viola Songs

The big book of viola songs contains a vast collection of popular and engaging songs. These songs are used by students during practice sessions. One of the methods used to improve viola techniques is consistent practice. Thus, students need to have access to a large library.

The songs contained in this learning guide have been particularly selected to include simple tracks for beginners and more complicated songs that intermediate and advanced learners will find useful. To complement the lessons, the author has also included instructions to teach students about the standard notations that all viola players should know and understand.

Access to a large number of songs provides more opportunities for students to practice playing songs with the viola on the alto clef. It also includes songs that can be used for practice during group sessions or solo practice sessions. Students who wish to participate in ensembles can also find appropriate songs to practice their viola skills in the book.

It is good the author has compiled such a huge list of songs (over one hundred); hence, the big book of viola songs can be owned and used as a reference for many years.

9) Foundation Studies For The Viola

Advanced and intermediate viola players who wish to study the works of Wohlfahrt, a famous and legendary viola player, will find this instructional book very useful. The structure of these lessons has been created to offer students a master class focused on Wohlfahrt’s etudes. The lessons begin with simple tips and instructions to help students understand how to hold the viola and use the bow.

Students are also encouraged to study the exceptional bowing techniques used by Wohlfahrt, in his time. There are also DVDs and CDs attached to this learning guide. Students can watch professional viola players practice the Wohlfahrt’s etudes using the skills and techniques described by the author.

The author, Rachel Barton Pine, is a renowned viola player who has mastered the special skills described in the book. She describes each part of the lessons using simple words arranged creatively to guide every user. After reading the book, users can spend some time listening to the CD tracks to understand the etudes before practice sessions.

In total, there are about thirty etudes in each of the books that make up the series. However, the intermediate or advanced learners should have a good understanding of the alto clef to get more value while using this book.

10) String Basics

Students and other people interested in playing the viola for orchestras can start on the right note with this book. It is a simple instructional guide with a large number of learning resources, and examples to help users learn and understand all about the viola.

The lessons start from the basics, users are taught how to hold the viola and the first tips to begin bowing. Other areas covered in the lessons include learning techniques such as the left-hand technique, how to read music notation, counting rhythms, and mastering the finger new notes using the left-hand finger pattern.

At the end of these lessons, students will be able to perform a variety of ensembles. This is possible because of the learning structure which covers areas such as orchestra, duos, trios, and performing rounds. The package includes a DVD which features instructional videos that teach students the tricks and tips to help them improve their skills.

Learning how to play the viola with this book is quite easy. This is because the author has included features such as coloured pictures, fingering chart diagrams and other illustrations to make the lessons easy to comprehend.

11) String Explorer

This is a simple viola learning guide that can help all students independently learn how to play the musical instrument. The lessons in this book cover the viola basics and guide the students to practice with more complex songs after understanding the basics.

The tips and hints in this guide can help students to understand the parts or the viola and their uses. The lessons also instruct students on how to hold the viola and bow, while using the left-hand technique during practice.

Students are also introduced to the alto clef, and how to read sheet music. The songs featured in this learning guide have been carefully selected to include interesting and popular songs. Students are guided to follow the simple approach to understanding how the viola is played.

The authors have written this book to include features that can help teachers use it in a classroom. It is also a good guide for intermediate viola players who need a reliable reference while learning advanced viola lessons. By participating in the lessons, students can also identify aspects of their viola techniques that need improvement. It is an easy viola guide, and the exercises are engaging.

The lessons have been arranged in a pattern to ensure that all users learn the essential aspects of playing the viola, thus preparing a good foundation for advanced viola lessons.

12) New Directions For String Viola

Many people do not need an introduction to the new directions because it is quite popular. The lessons in this viola instructional book are aimed at helping students improve their techniques. In this book, the authors have included lessons that help students build endurance.

At the end of these exercises, students will learn how to play the viola by ear to match the songs. Other advantages of the lessons in this viola guide include teaching students’ tips and hints to help them develop their left-hand technique. Students will also learn how to create a better ensemble by following the exercises in this book.

The course presented in this viola book has been divided into smaller segments for easy assimilation. Students are introduced to a learning approach through which they can get a first-hand experience on how to develop their ensembles during practice sessions.

As a medium of support, the authors of this book have included two CDs which contain play along songs. This means students have access to the right type of songs that match the lessons they have just received during the course.

The merger of music theory and practical exercises is action based and encouraging for many students. The questions at the end of each lesson can be used as a performance monitoring scale to determine how well students understood the lesson.

13) Learning The Viola

This is one of the viola instructional guides written specifically for beginners. Students and other people who are interested in learning how to play the viola can achieve their goals by studying this book.

The lessons are presented using simple music terms that can be easily understood by all learners. Students who also need additional learning resources can benefit from these lessons to improve their viola playing techniques.

The lessons cover areas such as learning about the notes, how to pluck the strings, the basics about alto clef, how to read sheet music, and tips on how to increase endurance by performing exercises to strengthen the fingers. The lessons are short to encourage students who want to teach themselves how to play the viola. There are follow up exercises that aim to test the skills of students after each lesson.

This book has been written for students as young as five years old. Learning the viola basics in this book will provide a foundation for more advanced viola lessons. The lessons are also good for people who may have forgotten many of their techniques because they have not played the musical instrument in a long time.

The simplified form of the lessons also encourages students to engage in more practice sessions. It is also a good viola learning guide that can be used by teachers in the classroom. It is a good instructional guide and a reference to remember the basics of playing the viola.

14) Double Stop Beginnings For Viola

Double Stop Beginnings For Viola

The viola lessons presented in this book are mainly focused on teaching students the double stop beginning technique. Some of the benefits students will get after studying these lessons include an increase in endurance and strength while plucking the strings with a bow, understanding the concept of finger spacing, reading notes, playing the viola from the first position, and counting the rhythm.

Students who study these lessons will also be forming a good foundation for the future as viola players when they will be expected to perform shifting and vibrato while playing the viola. Using this viola instructional guide is easy. The lessons have been divided into ten sections to make it convenient for students who want to learn at their own pace.

Viola players who can master these double-stop lessons can play the musical instrument using two notes. This is also one of the techniques intermediate viola players are interested in learning to improve their skills.

This instructional guide will also help students to play the double stops on all four strings of the viola. The exercises are short; students will find the repetitive lessons encouraging, it helps them master the best viola playing techniques at the end of the course.

Considering the importance of the double stops, this book makes it easy for students to find a solution if they have been encountering challenges in getting the double stops right during practice.

Choosing the Best Books to Learn Viola

Depending on your skill level, it is important to read about viola books before purchase. 

Another important point to note when buying viola playing guides online is if the author has included warm-up lessons for the users. These warm-up lessons usually include quick tips to remind you of the previous lessons. Books with these features help students master their skills and move on to more advanced viola lessons quickly.

2) Suzuki Viola School

  • Instructional Guide
  • Included CD
  • Different Songs for Practice
  • Listening, Memorization, and Practice

1) Essential Elements for Strings

  • Familiar Songs
  • Specially Designed Exercises
  • Ultimate Online Music Education Resource
  • Instructional Guide

3) Sound Innovations

  • Revolutionary, Flexible, and Comprehensive Method
  • Logical Sequence
  • Clean Page Layouts and Clear Goals
  • Uncomplicated Explanations

The essence of the viola books should be to encourage students’ consistent practice. This is why you should ensure that the book has been written in a simple context that you can easily understand. Without the trouble of comprehension, you can easily perform the exercises. These exercises are good. They can be found at the end of each lesson.

Exercises help you test your knowledge, so if you find them difficult, you can always review the lesson before proceeding to the next. This means you stand to gain more benefits by buying viola books that offer practice exercises.

Many children are also interested in learning how to play the viola. Authors of children books for the viola usually specify the ages that can use the book. So you can check this information before purchase.