Are you a beginner violinist who needs some guidance on what type of violin strings to purchase? Below, violin teacher Montserrat P. shares some expert tips on how to choose the best violin strings…
Choosing the best violin strings for your instrument is extremely important. Finding the proper strings guarantees you’ll be able to play your violin to its full potential, which leads you to achieve more efficient development as a musician.
Unfortunately, if you don’t have the right guidance, selecting your strings can turn into a rather complicated and confusing process. It is not a matter of what type of violin strings you want, but instead the type of strings your instrument needs in order to produce the sound you want.
If you’re a classical violinist, for example, you wouldn’t want to choose violin strings that are better suited for a country fiddler or vice versa.
There are several different types of strings available. Lucky for you, we’ve created a mini guide that will help you to find the best violin strings to suit your instrument and desired sound.
Let’s get started!
What are the 4 Strings on Violin?
What are the strings on a violin and how many strings does a violin have? The four strings on a violin are typically made of gut, steel, or synthetic materials.
- The lowest-pitched string is the thickest and is tuned to the note G3.
- The next highest-pitched string is tuned to D4.
- The second highest-pitched string is tuned to A4.
- The highest-pitched string is the thinnest and is tuned to E5.
All of the strings are played with a bow, and the player can apply pressure to the strings with their left hand to change the pitch. The four strings on a violin are an essential part of the instrument’s unique sound.
Of course, if you sign up for violin lessons, you’ll cover all the violin string notes and violin string names pretty early on. You’ll also learn other aspects of playing the instrument, like violin string tuning and other information, like what you see in the video below:
What is the Order of Violin Strings?
The standard order of violin strings is G-D-A-E. The G string is the highest sounding string, while the E string is the lowest sounding string.
Each string is tuned to a different pitch, with the G string being the highest pitched and the E string being the lowest pitched.
The four strings on a violin are typically made of different materials, with the G string being made of gut or synthetic gut, the D string being made of gut or nylon, the A string being made of nylon, and the E string being made of steel.
What Type of Strings are Best for Violin?
When it comes to choosing the right strings for your violin, there are many factors to consider. Different types of strings are made from different materials, and each offers its own unique benefits.
For example, gut strings are the traditional choice for classical musicians, as they provide a rich, mellow tone. However, they are also less durable than other options and can be more expensive.
Steel strings, on the other hand, are a popular choice for beginners and students. They are more durable and easier to tune than gut strings, but they tend to produce a brighter, harsher sound. If you’re not sure which type of string is right for you, it’s always best to consult with a professional.
With so many options available, they’ll be able to help you find the perfect set of strings for your instrument.
What Are Violin Strings Made of?
The strings on a violin are made of different materials, depending on the desired sound and feel. The three most common types of strings are gut, synthetic, and steel. Each type has its own unique properties that make it better suited for certain types of music.
For example, gut strings are typically used for classical music because they produce a warm, mellow tone. Synthetic strings are often used for pop and rock music because they have a brighter sound. Steel strings are typically used for country and western music because they have a twangy sound.
No matter what type of string you choose, be sure to get the correct size for your violin. If you’re not sure which size to get, ask your teacher or a local violin shop owner.
Violin Strings Review: Three Main Types
Before you can choose the best violin strings, you need to know your options. There are several different types of strings you can choose from, and getting familiar with each and every one of them is the very first step toward making a sound decision.
1. Gut core strings
Gut core strings were the very first type of violin strings made. While many claim that they are made from cat gut, these strings are typically made with sheep intestines.
In terms of sound, gut core strings have a warmer, more complex sound than others and a very low tension. They are usually preferred by professional musicians who specialize in baroque music. These strings do have their disadvantages—specifically, they are more expensive and less durable.
Gut core strings are very sensitive to temperature and humidity changes, which make them prone to getting out of tune and/or breaking. Let’s just say that there’s a reason why they are mainly used by professional violinists.
2. Synthetic core strings
Synthetic core strings are the most popular choice among musicians. This type is much more stable in pitch, deals better with temperature and humidity changes, and costs less than gut core strings.
Besides the previously mentioned benefits, many professional musicians and students prefer synthetic core strings, because they are also more flexible when it comes to playing different music genres.
Even though the warmth and complexity of the gut core string is still present, the sound of a synthetic string is less complex and a little bit harsher. Nonetheless, synthetic core strings are still a very good option for both experts and beginners.
3. Steel core strings
Steel core strings were introduced as an alternative to gut core strings. The string’s core is covered by metals, such as silver or steel, which makes them much easier to work with when it comes to tuning, for they are not affected by changes in the atmosphere.
This feature, along with their extremely low price, is why steel core strings are widely used by beginner students. Tuning your instrument is not something you learn in your first private lesson, and steel core strings offer the stability needed for the student to be able to practice without having to worry about tuning his or her violin.
However, these strings do not have any warmth in their sound. They are often described as loud and bright, which is not particularly liked among classical music circles. However, this sound is perfect for jazz, bluegrass, and folk music.
Tips for Choosing the Best Violin Strings
Now that you’re familiar with the three main types of violin strings, you’re one step closer to finding the best violin strings for you and your instrument. Here are some other tips to consider.
- Weigh the pros and cons: Take some time to really think about the advantages and disadvantages of each type to help you decide which one best matches your level and aspirations. The last thing you want to do is make a rash decision and end up regretting it later.
- Ask the right questions: Are you an intermediate student exploring different styles? Or do you consider yourself a hardcore baroque player? Ask yourself these types of questions before making a decision; you do not want to end up with the wrong strings.
- Seek a second opinion: Even though you know your musical self pretty well, it’s never a bad idea to ask for a second opinion. Ask your violin teacher or your fellow students what strings they use or if they have any suggestions.
How Do I Know What Size Violin Strings I Need?
Once you’ve determined which type of string you want, the next step is to start thinking about the string gauge, which is just a fancy way to refer to its width.
Most players stay in the middle gauge because it offers the best of both worlds: the volume of the thicker gauge without its massive tension and slow response, and the precision of the thin gauge without its low projection.
So, which string gauge should you choose? Well, that depends on your instrument and what type of sound you want to make. If your violin is already loud enough, for example, you might want to turn to a thinner gauge. If your instrument has a hard time projecting its sound, a thicker gauge might be better.
At this point in the process, you will really want to ask somebody with more experience for some help. An experienced violin instructor will be able to tell you what your instrument needs in order for you to achieve what you want.
Where to Buy Violin Strings
Now that you have gone through the process of figuring out which strings you need, you’re ready to buy them and start working your way toward the peak of your artistic development. Below is a list of websites where you can find awesome brands that carry the best violin strings.
- Shar Music: This online violin store has a wide variety of violin strings to choose from as well as other accessories. The site gives you all of the information you need to make a confident decision, including information about the brand, warranty data, and helpful ratings and reviews from actual customers.
- Johnson String Instrument: Serving as New England’s largest violin shop, Johnson String Instrument carries all of the top violin string brands at great prices. Don’t live in New England? Don’t worry, you can purchase items online through the company’s website.
- JustStrings.com: With a name like JustStrings.com, you know this online musical instrument strings and accessories store has an impressive selection of violin strings.
Other Helpful Resources
- Violin String Review: If you want to find some honest reviews of violin strings, visit Violin String Review, a website dedicated to supporting and promoting strings.
- Violin Information: Authored by a professional violin maker, this website has tons on great information about the ins and outs of purchasing strings and other accessories.
- Consordini.com: This informative website has a ton of great reviews on a wide varitey of violin accessories. Check out this post on the 10 best violin strings.
How to String a Violin
If you’re a beginner, you may be wondering how to string a violin. While it may seem daunting at first, it’s actually quite simple. You’ll need to start by selecting the right type of string for your violin.
There are four different types of strings, each with its own pitch. The highest-pitched string is called the E string, while the lowest-pitched string is called the G string. Once you’ve chosen the correct strings, you’ll need to thread them through the slots on the tuning pegs. The E string goes in the slot at the top of the pegbox, while the G string goes in the slot at the bottom.
Finally, you’ll need to tighten or loosen the strings until they’re in tune. With a little practice, you’ll be able to string a violin in no time!
A Violin String for Every Player!
There’s a perfect violin string out there for every player, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional. With so many different types of strings available, it can be tough to know where to start. But don’t worry – we’re here to help!
Now that you have this information, go and start the process of finding the best violin strings for your instrument. Hang in there, ask for help when it gets confusing, and remember how amazing it will be once your strings are ready and you can start playing!
Montserrat P. teaches violin and music theory lessons with TakeLessons. Originally from Costa Rica, she is now completing her studies at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She is bilingual in English and Spanish, and has been teaching music lessons since 2012. Learn more about Montserrat here!