Find Out Which Violin Strings are Our Favourites and Why One of Them Might be the Best For You!
Violin strings play a really important role in making sure you get the most potential out of your instrument. There are many different kinds of strings, each with their own tensions and materials and these will all have slightly different sounds and responses. In addition, the same strings will react in varying ways on different instruments so it’s important to find a set that works for your particular violin.
Here are a couple of examples showing you the role strings play in getting the fullest sound:
If you are interested in experimenting with strings, the good news is that they are often the easiest part of the setup to change. However, you will have to factor in the cost as they aren’t cheap!
Players will all have their own preference based on their requirements and violins. However, over the years, we have tried many different brands and tensions and this is a selection of our favourites.
These are our go-to Thomastik Infeld violin strings when trying a new instrument. In our opinion, they best combine power and brilliance without losing the magical sheen that makes the violin sound so special.
Overall, their tension is neither too high nor too low. A set of these strings will give you a very full and rich sound in the two middle strings, which are often overlooked. There is also particular emphasis on the G string. There are different types of E strings in this set and while they all sing beautifully, my favourite is the Tin Plated E and not the more expensive Platinum E.
The gold standard when it comes to Pirastro violin strings, the reputation of these strings is well deserved. We like the Evah Pirazzi standard strings but their gold counterparts have a fuller tone, while maintaining the bite and precision of the standard set.
Many of the violin makers we work with choose these as their preferred string.
We have been using Rondo strings quite a lot in some of our latest instruments. They are extremely precise sounding and the response time is very fast which is particularly helpful for instruments which do not speak immediately. This issue is more present on the G string than any other and these strings do a great job at solving it.
They also have very good power and a lot of brilliance, which many violinists tend to like!
These are brand new and they are an effort by Thomatik Infeld to add a dimension to their existing Dominant line. Dominant strings are one of the most popular violin strings in the last few decades and are used worldwide.
We were very interested to try the new Dominant Pro and were not disappointed. They have many of the good aspects of the previous generation (reliability, ease of use, beautiful sound) but add depth and colour ranges which greatly enhance their benefit to musicians.
We include here one of Larsen's most popular strings, their Tzigane line. It is used by many musicians, and for good reason.
It is not necessarily the most powerful of strings but is very precise and responds beautifully to the musician's input. It also has a clarity and elegance to the tone that not many other strings possess. These definitely work for instruments that already have power but could use a string to refine their tone.
Most musicians know that different strings will make a difference but are not aware of the extent to which they can help!
In our sound adjustment sessions, we always look at the age and condition of your violin strings to determine whether it might be time to change them. Once changed, the difference in sound will be noticed immediately, particularly on the G string which will become much more resonant.
There is no general rule on how long to use a set of strings but if you are playing your violin daily, we would suggest changing them every 2-3 months.
There is no right answer as to which string is best for you! However, we encourage you to experiment with different sets and tensions in order to make your instrument sound just right for you.
Ariel Lang is a Violinist and one of the Co-Founders of MyLuthier.co. He studied with Jack Liebeck at the Royal Academy of Music. As a freelance musician, he focuses on performing with small chamber ensembles such as the United Strings of Europe and O/Modernt.