Strings Made Simple

Introduction to the Instruments
Instrument Care
Instrument Diagram
Importance of Practicing
Choosing the right instrument
Useful Gear
Links and Printables
About Me


Things to consider when choosing a string instrument:


  • The most popular instrument
  • Small, easy to carry around
  • Music is written in the treble clef, same as the upper staff of the piano
  • Has the E, A, D, and G strings
  • Can be played sitting or standing
  • The violin is the Soprano of the string orchestra

Treble Clef Sign


  • One of the least played instruments
  • Easy to carry around but slightly bigger than the violin
  • Same strings as the cello, but an octave higher-A, D, G, C
  • Music is written in the alto clef, where the middle line is middle C on the piano
  • Can be played sitting or standing
  • The viola is the alto of the string orchestra

Alto Clef Sign

Cello (violincello):

  • Must be played while sitting
  • Lower, richer sound
  • A, D, G, and C-same strings as viola, but an octave lower
  • Music is written in the Bass clef, the same as the lower staff of the piano.
  • A larger instrument, more difficult to transport in cars and on the bus.
  • The cello is the tenor of the string orchestra

Bass Clef Sign

String Bass:

  • Least played of all the instruments, often used in jazz bands as well
  • Very large, need a larger car to transport (van, station wagon, SUV)
  • Very few used in orchestra
  • Has the same strings as the violin, but then are reversed the highest string being G, then D, A, and E being the lowest.
  • Uses the same clef as the cello, the bass clef.
  • The string bass is the bass of the string orchestra
  • Can be played sitting on a stool or standing