Choosing strings for your instrument is a personal and complicated process. With so many options available on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, we are here to help!
Here are some important factors to keep in mind:
What style of playing do you do? What works for a classical player may not work for a jazz musician or fiddler and vice versa. Different genres call for different types of sound, which can be achieved with different kinds of strings.
How do you characterize your instrument’s sound? Strings have the ability to enhance or stifle the particular qualities of your instrument. In order for them to help rather than hinder, know how to characterize your instrument’s sound. Is it dark or bright? Mellow or piercing? This knowledge will help you work with your instrument rather than against it.
What are you looking for? Do you want to brighten the sound? Tone down the power? Speed up response? Slow it down? Knowing what you are looking for helps make sure your strings accommodate your needs.
There are three basic types of strings: gut, steel core, and synthetic core. Keep in mind that the majority of players today use steel or synthetic core strings. The basic differences are:
Warm, complex sound
Softer under the fingers
Long settling period
Shorter playable life
Sensitive to changes in climate
Stable tuning, settle quickly
Direct and cutting sound
Thinner sounding than gut or synthetic
Warmer than steel core strings
Stable tuning and settle quickly
More subtle tonal colors than steel
Most widely-used type of string today
Similar tonal qualities to gut
**Keep in mind these are generalizations. Each type of string will perform differently for different instruments, and the varying qualities of each will appeal to some and push away others**
Experimenting with strings involves trial and error. Now through October 9th, Thomastik is having their back-to-school sale on select string sets and bundles for all instruments, making this a better time than ever to try something new with your strings. As always, our string prices are up to 55% below list price.
For more detailed information about the different kinds of strings we offer and their differences, please visit our website.
Johnson String Instrument is a proud supporter of the Johnson String Project. Our goal is to bring high quality, well-maintained instruments to under-served children throughout Massachusetts. See our program in action by watching the video below. For more information, please visit our website.
Our halls are decked and all is merry and bright here during the Holiday Sale at Johnson String and Carriage House Violins!
Carriage House Violins of Johnson String Instrument
Our friendly and knowledgable staff is here to help with gift ideas for musicians on your list. If you are in New England, we hope you can visit our beautiful new space in Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts!
Make an appointment to try violins, violas, cellos, and bows in our private trial rooms or recital hall at Carriage House Violins, or visit carriagehouseviolins.com to view our vast collection of instruments and bows. Starting a home trial for a player who needs a new instrument is a great holiday gift surprise!
Wristies provide excellent warmth while keeping your fingers free! Made of incredibly soft and comfortable Polartec polyester fleece, they are water repellent, retain body heat, and wick away moisture. Highly recommended by hundreds of professional string players!
The JSI Deluxe Violin Stands are beautiful handmade hardwood stands designed to hold a full-size violin and bow. The Deluxe Cello Stand holds a 3/4 size or full-size cello and bow. The wood is skillfully and tastefully decorated and finished with a golden brown varnish. The padded suede interior of the stand gently cradles the instrument, and comes in different colors. They provide easy access to the violin, as well as a stunning display for any home or performance environment. A great gift for anyone who wants to display their instrument beautifully!
Strad Rosin for violin, viola, or cello in a violin-shaped box:
This makes a great gift both for the excellent rosin–the formula for which is based on an old Italian recipe–and also for the beautiful box it comes in, handcrafted from root of tuja wood, and precisely carved to-scale in the shape of one of Stradivarius’s famous violin forms! Specify violin/viola, or cello formula.
The JSI Super-Wide stand light illuminates four pages of sheet music with nine LEDs! Runs on three AAA batteries, power adapter (included), or USB. With two brightness levels, a flexible lamp post, and firmli gripping clamps, this light can be adjusted to accommodate virtually any lighting need!