Weight matters

Isn’t it already heavy enough a viola??!

One of my dearest friends is a webdesigner and amator musician, he plays electric guitar.

We are very close, yet we write each other every now and then, sometimes years can pass between one chat and the other. The other day, one of those chats. How are you doing, how’s the family, and hey! Have a look at our new website! (By the way, it’s still a work in progress, but you can have a look as well. It’s in Italian by now but google translator does a great job).


Uhm… could I give you a first feedback? I admit I red it as someone thinking that holding a cello on the shoulder is a wierd thing to do, and I am sure I am not the only one… and I was looking for the weight, but there’s no indication anywhere!

Ok, so let’s go and weight it. And also add some comparison, just for good measure.

We can’t be grams precise, it would make no sense.

Here are some measures:

  • Violin, with shoulder-rest and chin rest: 500 gr (1.10 pound)

  • Viola (16.77 inches, 42,6 cm), with shoulder-rest and chin rest: 730 gr. (1.60 pound)

  • Violoncello da spalla (with leather strap attached): 1 kg (2.20 pounds)

  • Ukulele banjo Maxitone: 1.300 gr (almost 3 pounds)

  • Ukulele banjo Dixie: 1 kg (2.20 pounds)

  • Electric guitar: from 3,2 up to 5 kilos. (7 to 11 pounds)

So, Violoncello da Spalla is probably the lightest instrument played with a strap, as you shouldn’t need a strap to play a banjo-uke (George Formby did without and so do the serious ones). And Violoncello da Spalla is far more comfortable than a big viola with shoulder rest.

You can also try to play it without a strap, I guess they did it.

Further readings:

Violoncello da Spalla
How to make a practical leather strap
1. Take a leather stripe about 5mm thick, 4 cm wide and no less than 130 cm long that you can typically find at a shoemaker shop. What they use to make belts will be perfect. 2. Draw the outline on it: in the centre, it must be wide about 4 cm to be comfortable, for a length of about 40 cm, then it must taper down to a tiny strap, no more than 7 mm wide …
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Updates from our workshop

I spent a great part of the week preparing my talk for the Women in Lutherie Conference. Making new slides, recording, editing, it always takes up a big amount of time. I could just trim the corners and clean up the ribs this week. Alessandro instead has almost finished with carving the back.

Featured video of the week

As we mentioned last week Sergey Malov won a prize at the Opus Classic Awards, at this video his performance at the awards gala.