Introducing Shorty 0’Five– The Comfort Viola!

Many of David’s violins are modeled after those of Guarneri Del Gesu. David’s violas are usually 16” to 16 1/2” and of his design to allow for greater comfort for the violist. He accepts commissions for larger or smaller violas. David’s oil-resin varnish is of his formula and is thinly applied.

David has used feedback from violists to make a comfortable, acoustically-designed viola with the shortest practical string length. David has designed Shorty O’Five to appeal to players who want a small-viola-feel with a larger, deeper viola sound.


Innovative Features:

  • Short string length (360 mm) for a 407mm body – feels like a 15 3/8” viola with easy-to-finger notes.
  • Short stop length (distance between the top edge at the neck and the bridge) is accomplished by moving the corners and f-holes toward the neck. This keeps the 2:3 proportion so that notes are as easy to find as on a violin.
  • Higher overstand (distance between the fingerboard and the top of the neck joint) helps ease clearance of upper bout.
  • Narrow upper bout with sloping shoulders – makes for ease of playing higher notes.
  • Small violin f-holes on longer body (407mm) help acoustically support the lower notes on the viola by lowering the “blow tone” (Helmholz) resonance.
  • Large C bout area with wide base-bar placement and correspondingly wide bridge helps push sound out like a larger viola.
  • Cut of bridge designed with low center of gravity for ease of string activation.
  • A viola’s body length should be around 20 inches (the wavelength of the G string) to provide the acoustical support needed from the lowest notes to the highest. The viola would then be as well-designed as the violin or cello. Modern music, the choice to hold the viola like a violin instead of vertically like a cello, the relevant physical features of the player, the possibility of tendonitis, are some of the factors that dictate “what size” viola may suit a particular player.