Choosing strings to use for your instrument can be a daunting task. Here are 7 things to consider:
1. Instrument Size
Before doing anything else, make sure you know what size your instrument is. You can find the size by looking inside the F-hole/sound hole on the front of your instrument, or by checking with your teacher. If you are playing on a 1/2-size violin, for example, make sure to get 1/2-size violin strings.
2. Thickness or "Gauge" of String
The "gauge" of a string is simply a measure of its thickness. The gauge determines how much tension is put on your instrument, bridge, etc. It also affects how easy it is to get sound out of the instrument, and how powerful the sound will be. For full-size instruments, strings generally come in 3 gauges. Different string companies label strings using terms taken from various languages; the following is a guide to the terminology used by string makers:
Soft/Light/Weich/Dolce - This is the thinnest that strings come, and a great starting place for beginners. Because it is thin, it produces a gentle sound, and is generally easier for beginners to get good sound out of.
Medium/Mezzo/Mittel - If you want a stronger sound than you are getting out of your soft strings, try a medium. Medium strings project well, but are also not too difficult to play on.
Strong/Heavy/Thick/Forte/Stark - If you are an experienced musician looking for some power in your playing, go for a strong/forte string. This gauge is generally meant for projection, so be careful about using these strings in ensemble playing.
If you are not sure which gauge you should get, medium/mezzo/mittel is a good place to start.
Strings for smaller instruments are generally made just in mezzo/medium.
Strings are made using various materials for the core. The material used for the core affects the sound produced by the string.
Synthetic - These cores are made of a special kind of nylon. These strings respond quickly when played, and give a good range of tone.
Steel - Steel strings are easier to make sound on, but are not quite as flexible as synthetic strings.
Gut - Gut strings are not commonly used except to perform Baroque music. If you are an advanced player looking to experiment with new sound possibilities, gut may be a good option.
4. Winding Winding refers to the material wrapped around the core--the surface that the bow grips to make sound. If you have certain skin sensitivities, you may need to get gold- or silver-wound strings. 5. Mix Don't worry about putting four matching strings on your instrument. In fact, most performers prefer to mix strings from various brands, gauges, etc. Using multiple brands or types of strings will give your instrument a broader range of possibilities. Check with your teacher or with other people who play your instrument to find out what kinds of combinations they like to use. 6. String Ends (for Violins) Violin E-strings come with either a loop or a ball at one end of the string. If the fine tuner on your violin has one prong, buy a string with a loop end. If it comes with two prongs, get a ball end. 7. Tuning (for Basses) If you play string bass, you need to watch for the tuning of the strings that you are buying. Bass strings are made in orchestra tuning (G, D, A, and E) and in solo tuning (A, E, B, & F#). Unless your teacher has specified solo tuning, you will probably want orchestra strings. Experiment! Ultimately, the kind of strings that you get is up to you and what you are looking for as a performer. Try experimenting with different strings as you go along. Some performers find it helpful to keep in their case a small diary of strings. Every time they get a new string, they make a note in the diary of what they like about the string, how it responds with their instrument, etc. Over time, you can develop a lot of good information about your own preferences as a musician. Not every string will work well for every musician, but don't be afraid to jump in and start trying new strings. You might just find a string or combination that you fall in love with.
Gregory and his wife, Elizabeth, teach piano and cello. They love music, and love helping others have good experiences with music. To find more ideas for beginning string players, visit their blog at [http://www.theclassymusician.com].
I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. I have added to my favorites. Thank You. marshall tx dentist
This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post! brazzers
Excellent post. I was always checking this blog, and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part, I care for such information a lot. I was exploring this particular info for a long time. Thanks to this blog my exploration has ended. ufa800.com
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. brazzers
Very useful post. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up. brazzers
Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking. brazzers
Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. brazzers
Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. cello strings