When it comes to choosing violin strings, the choices can be a bit overwhelming. Different strings can cause both subtle and profound effects on the quality and volume of your playing along with the playability and responsiveness of your violin. Yet, in three easy steps, we’ll help you find the strings that are right for you.
First, determine what kind of player you are and what kind of sound you want.
When considering which violin strings are the best, there’s no simple answer as each player is unique and each instrument is different. The kind of music you play is also a large factor. A bluegrass player may prefer the brightness of a steel string while a classical violinist may desire the warmer and richer sound of a synthetic string. Once you’ve determined what kind of sound you want, let’s move on to choosing the string.
Second, choose which type of string you need.
There are three main types of violin strings: gut strings, synthetic strings and steel strings.
Gut strings, mostly used by professional players, produce a warm and complex sound. Yet, these strings can be difficult for less advanced players because they go out of tune frequently and are very sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity.
Synthetic strings, most commonly made of nylon, continue to grow in popularity due to their stability and ability to stay in tune. There are a variety of synthetic strings on the market, and ViolinPros has chosen these three to recommend:
- Pirastro Evah Pirazzi: Brilliant and responsive, the Evah Pirazzis are a modern synthetic core string that produce a powerful, big and dark sound. These well-rounded strings have a short play-in-time and outstanding resonant decay.
- Thomastik Vision Solo: With an advanced synthetic core, these strings boast superior tuning stability. The Vision Solo creates an energetic and intense projection with a warm tone and focused harmonic content. Quick bow response and short play-in time are also characteristics of these strings.
- Thomastik Dominant: The sound of the Dominant string is full and mellow, yet rich in overtones. Other advantages include an effortless response, intricate fingering, and tuning stability even under extreme atmospheric conditions. Theses strings are similar in tone and response to gut strings without the drawbacks.
Steel strings, perfect for beginners and popular with country and folk fiddlers, are very stable in pitch and have a simple, clear and direct sound. They tend to lack complexity and are good for smaller and beginner violins. Recommended steel strings include:
- D’Addario Helicore: These warm-sounding steel strings are very responsive and produce a clear tone. Helicore is known for excellent pitch stability and longevity.
- D’Addario Prelude: Prelude strings have the warmest sound available in an affordable, solid steel core string design. These strings are the preferred choice for student strings due to their unique blend of warm tone, durability, and value and excellent bow response.
Third, buy and try!
Now that you’ve decided what kind of sound you want and what kind of string will achieve it, purchase a set and try them out. Your individual string needs are unique, and some instruments respond better to some strings than to others. Choose a string that is optimal for the style of music you want to play and give it a try.
Wanting to hear these strings played before your purchase? Check out our violin string comparison videos!