For beautiful tone, understanding how to tune your violin is one of the most important things for students to learn. The tuning process will support your ear training, as well as help beginner musicians recognize the connection between strings, pegs and the sounds produced by the violin.
Without an in-tune instrument, any techniques you try to learn will be offset – not to mention your neighbors might complain! Check out these 3 straightforward steps that go into violin tuning, as originally published by Lumuel Violins:
Comparing the sound difference between a reference tone and the sound of your violin.
First, you’ll typically need a source for generating reference tones for each of your violin strings. Reference tones can come from a number of sources such as a piano or a tuning fork.
Using the violin pegs to tune the sound of each string most of the way close to the reference tones.
Many problems can happen at this stage. Sometimes the pegs are really hard to turn. They appear stuck or when they actually move, the pegs feel like they are turning through sticky gum or tar. Yet another problem occurs when the peg is easy to turn, but as soon as you let go, the pegs won’t stay in place, but loosen up again. (Your violin teacher can help you combat these issues!)
Fine tuning each violin string to match the reference tone (or at least very close to matching).
To fine tune a violin, you need to hear minor pitch differences between the reference tone and the sound of your violin. This is not easy for many beginners. To put things in perspective, it can take years of ear training to discern very small pitch differences.
With proper training, you can hone your ability to tune your violin by ear. Once you’ve mastered this skill, the sky’s the limit!