There are many types of violin strings to choose from, and each has a different effect on the resonance, projection, and playability of the instrument. Because beginning violinists can find the wide variety of violin string sets on the market confusing, it’s important to learn about the basic attributes and how they influence the sound and feel of your violin before making a purchase. The first step in the string selection process is to choose the core material.
Originally, all violin strings were constructed of gut material harvested from sheep intestines. Traditionally, gut strings produced a warm, evocative sound. Eventually, steel strings became popular as they are more resistant to climate changes. The tone produced by steel is more brilliant and sharper than gut. Synthetic core strings are the newest violin strings, and they combine the best characteristics of gut and steel together.
New violinists may want to drop into a music store before buying violin strings online in order to get a feel for how each option feels and sounds on their instrument.
Start with the basics
Along with core material, there are two other attributes of violin strings — gauge and tension — which influence the type of sound you get from your instrument.
The gauge of strings refers to the thickness of the material. Thicker strings provide more volume, but are less responsive, requiring more pressure to depress on the fingerboard and a heavier stroke with the bow. Thinner strings, while more responsive, do not deliver as much projection. Beginners are best off starting in the mid-range with medium gauge strings.
Tension has a significant impact on the tonal quality produced by the violin. Higher tension strings deliver crisp, brighter tones, while lower tension options provide a warmer sound. Steel strings maintain the best tone with higher tensions.
An uncomplicated way to narrow down your choices as a beginning violinist is to think about the type of music you’d like to learn. For example, if you want to play country music, steel core strings will produce the brighter tones that allow you to play your favorites.
Never run out
Whichever category of strings you end up picking, make sure you always have spares on hand. Breaking a string is a fact of life for all violinists, from beginner to advanced, and it can be very disruptive. Keeping a stockpile of extras and learning how to go about replacing violin strings minimizes the disruption.
Stock up at Johnson String Instrument’s online violin string shop today. We have an enormous variety of strings to fit any musical style.
Copyright © 2021 · All Rights Reserved