Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Violin Strings Guide - What Are The Different Types?

There are many different types of strings on the market that many beginner violinist get a little overwhelmed by. Different types of strings will have different sounds and different playability compared to other types. The key is to find a string that fits your particular needs and not focus as much on price. The three different types options are steel strings, synthetic strings, and gut strings. All these types have different pros and cons and I will explain in more detail exactly what these types are all about.

Steel Strings
Steel strings are the most direct string on the market and are also the most inexpensive. They are used mostly by beginners that are just starting because it takes time to develop enough ability to tell the different in string sound. Steel strings stay in tune very well and are by the far the lowest maintenance string on the market. They also last the longest and are considered the most durable string. The negative side to steel strings is that they have the weakest sound quality compared to synthetic and gut strings. They are known to have a tinny type tone and sound very thin on most instruments. They work very well for fiddle players that use amps to play, but don't work as well for more advanced classical violinists who are looking for a more complex sound. The best type of steel string I would recommend on the market is Helicore Brand which are probably the best quality for the dollar. There are also some very inexpensive steel strings that can get you by that can run even under twenty dollars per set.

Synthetic Strings
Synthetic strings are the newest type of string on the market and have really revolutionized the way violins sound to the day. They have many characteristics of both steel strings and gut strings which make them a great fit for many classical violinists and fiddle players. These type of strings can be costly, but are well worth it if you find the right combination on your instrument. They don't last as long as steel strings, but have a great response time and awesome playability. They have similar qualities of overtones compared to gut strings, but not quite as high maintenance as gut strings. I recommend these type of strings to players who are a little more advanced that are looking for a better quality sound compared to steel strings. Dominant strings are the most popular synthetic strings on the market and are probably the best place to start.

Gut Strings
Gut strings are a type of violin string that is used primarily by more advanced classical violinists. They are the most expensive because they produce the richest tone and have very complex overtones. These types of strings can be dug into quite well but are also the hardest to play. That is the reason why they are used for more advanced players. These type of strings are also high maintenance as they adjust quite rapidly to changes in the humidity. The best type of gut strings that I would recommend are Pirastro Eudoxa and Obligato. Both these sets run over a hundred dollars but I believe are worth a try if you are an advanced player with money to spend.

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