Is there a music sign that tells the violinist to play it like a guitar?

• Dec 4, 2019 - 15:21

Harass me all you want, beat me up if you will. But in this time of era, dose a sign like this even exist?


I believe that is a decision made by the concert master or conductor. I read online that someone went to a concert that included "Huapongo" by Moncayo and the violinists played them like guitars, but there is no indication in the score they should do this, just pizz. Even if you did write the instructions in the score, the final decision would be that of the concert master or conductor. The concert master makes all final decisions on how the strings play. If you write a double stop or triple stop, the concert master may decide to have it played divisi since he has the resources (instruments) to do that.

In reply to by mike320

I've seen a couple of live performances (and probably a few more online) in which the violins are strummed, which is a little different from pizz, but I have never seen how it was notated. My guess is that it's relatively obscure, and as such, is notated as per the whim of the composer/orchestrator. It probably wouldn't be wrong to just use staff text to indicate this.

There isn't a common musical term for that, like pizz. or pizzicato, but if you want your work to be played like that just say so in the score, like "play like guitar". Unusual playing instructions are not uncommon in modern musical work.

Everyone knows what the late Jimi Hendrix did with his guitars at the end of his sets, but there is no musical term for it (just citing another rarely-used gesture with no standard marking).

In reply to by bobjp

A good general rule is to use [EDIT] MANDOLIN chord voicing for chording on violin. I used to do a bit of a parlour trick by playing John Fogarty tunes on the violin.
Pro tip: don’t do this with your friend’s expensive concert instrument. 🙄

In reply to by bobjp

Ack! That is what I meant to say! (How is that possible... thinking one word and writing another?)
Yes, of course, the tuning is mandolin, NOT uke! (I cleaned my two mandolins, plus my uke today. You think I’d know the difference by now)

Since it is an international one, type "Play like a guitar" in English.
If you write with terminology that no one will understand, the only thing that will help is confusion.

In the movie “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World“ the captain and the doctor play part of a piece by Boccherini, where the violin is strummed. Maybe IMSLP has the original and it might have directions on it? A strummed violin sounds a bit like a ukulele, so maybe “strum like a ukulele“ would be a reasonable direction.

im pretty sure there is
i saw "quasi pizz chitarra" in this piece called huapango and im guessing it means pizz the violin in a guitar hold

In reply to by daianthony042

I mentioned the Master and Commander movie earlier in this thread. In "Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid", Luigi Boccherini gives the instruction "imitando la chitarra" for the violins.

It's listed as Opus 30 No.6 and catalogued as G324. He also uses "imitando il tamburo", "imitando un campanella", "imitando il fagotto" at other places for drum, little bell and basoon.

Link to IMSLPL:…

Attachment Size
Boccherini_G324.mscz 26.99 KB

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.