Instrument Selections

Here are some general guidelines we use in making the best selection of a musical instrument. Depending on your age and physical size, some string instruments are more responsive for certain players than others. Knowing the basics about each one can help guide your selection!

The HP Raider Orchestra options include: Harp, Violin, Viola, Cello, and String Bass. Read more about each instrument below.

VIOLIN—Violins produce lovely, vibrant sounds. They have the advantage of being highly recognizable, and sound great by themselves or within an orchestra. It’s also very adaptable and in demand in a variety of musical genres. However, if as an older student you suffer from tendonitis, joint/back pain, or arthritic complaints, the form and methods required to play the violin may make it too strenuous for you. Also, if high pitches aren’t your favorite, choose a string instrument that doesn’t involve the treble clef.

VIOLA—the viola is great choice if you want to eventually earn income as a musician. Violists, like bassists, are usually in high demand, and the instrument itself combines the sounds of a cello with the rich, distinctive clarity of a violin, although it does have less range. The viola is slightly larger than a violin, so it’s a great choice for students who want the transporting convenience of a smaller instrument, but prefer deeper sound qualities and richer tones.

CELLO—this string instrument creates rich, beautiful tones and has become very popular in recent years. It is the closest sounding instrument to the human voice and many claim it produces a lovelier sound. An octave lower than the viola, it has a fairly equal range. It can carry the bass or melody, and the cello is a great choice for students who want to play a versatile instrument. However, the initial learning can be difficult if you have short fingers.

DOUBLE BASS—again, professional bass players are usually in high demand. If you’d eventually like to have a performing career, enjoy orchestrating the tempo, and enjoy creating the foundation for the orchestra, the bass meets those requirements. It’s a little more cumbersome to transport, but the double bass has very few musical genre boundaries. It is the most common instrument in popular music and is the most important element in creating high-quality orchestral groups.

HARP The harp is a very unique instrument. It sounds beautiful as a solo instrument as well as when it is played as part of a group. It sounds beautiful from the beginning and is a crowd favorite because of how unique harp players truly are. Transportation can be a challenge and calluses are required on ALL fingers (remember, there is no bow!), but the hard work and concentration is worth the reward.

Want to listen to some more examples?

1) Our students created a Youtube playlist of music that include orchestras playing their instruments. You can listen to their playlist here: CLICK HERE

2) The Khan Academy website includes professional musicians talking about why they chose their string instrument: CLICK HERE