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Changing Strings and Slipping Pegs?
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TangledUpInWriting
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January 8, 2017 - 8:56 pm
Member Since: December 15, 2016
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Hello all!  This is my first post here, so my apologies if this isn't in the right location.  A couple of weeks ago, I got my first violin and so far, I'm absolutely loving it (a Mathias Thoma MT3044 model).  However, the more I learn about the violin, the more questions I come up with!  I only have a few for now, though, regarding strings and the pegs. 

Firstly, approximately how often should the strings be changed, and how can I tell when they need changed?  Everything sounds pretty scratchy right now, so I don't think I'll be able to tell when they sound "dead"...  Right now I've been using the strings that came on the violin (no idea how old they are or how long they were used).  I've been playing about 1-2 hours every single day that I've had the violin so far.  Should I let them go until they snap, or is that bad for the bridge?

Secondly -- would cold weather affect the tuning pegs and cause them to slip?  The E peg has been giving me a bit of trouble since I got it, but this afternoon, the G peg was also slipping just a bit.  None have slipped while I play (so far) but only when I'm trying to tune it. We just experienced a pretty sharp drop in temperatures where I live, so would that be affecting the pegs, or are they just adjusting to being played and will I need to get some compound or something to keep them from slipping? 

I think that's all for now, and I apologize for making this a bit longer than what I originally planned to write out.  Any information would be very much appreciated; I don't know anyone who has experience with these instruments, and there are essentially no instructors within 2 hours of my house so I'm relying on the internet for learning!  Thanks and have a nice day, everyone! 

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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January 8, 2017 - 10:07 pm
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Hi! Welcome to the forum and the violin 🙂

I kept my first set of strings on until they were about 6 or 8 months old. At that point I knew my strings had been dull for a while, and wasn't getting the sound I wanted anymore.

For the slipping pegs, cold temperatures and furnaces will cause the air to be drier and  make the pegs slip. In the winter I keep my main violin in the case whenever I'm not playing it, and keep a case humidifier in there (I use an Oasis at my teacher's recommendation, and it's worked well very for me). That keeps the pegs behaving and the rest of the violin happy, but the fiddle I don't keep in a case the pegs slip like crazy in the winter. 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 10, 2017 - 11:34 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 12081

TangledUpInWriting said
Hello all!  This is my first post here, so my apologies if this isn't in the right location.  A couple of weeks ago, I got my first violin and so far, I'm absolutely loving it (a Mathias Thoma MT3044 model).  However, the more I learn about the violin, the more questions I come up with!  I only have a few for now, though, regarding strings and the pegs. 

Congratulations on your first violin and new journey. 🙂

The good thing about this forum is we don't care too much even if you post in the wrong location.

Please introduce yourself here: http://fiddlerman.com/forum/in.....-yourself/

Firstly, approximately how often should the strings be changed, and how can I tell when they need changed?  Everything sounds pretty scratchy right now, so I don't think I'll be able to tell when they sound "dead"...  Right now I've been using the strings that came on the violin (no idea how old they are or how long they were used).  I've been playing about 1-2 hours every single day that I've had the violin so far.  Should I let them go until they snap, or is that bad for the bridge?

Scratchy is a relative term and differs for everyone. It could even be the instrument that has a scratchy sound or that you are playing too close to the bridge.

You should be proud of yourself if you are able to play 1-2 hours a day already.
All I can say is that when they are dead and you change them, you will notice a huge difference.

If you don't know for sure, perhaps change them after 6 months. Some people say 300 hours but all strings are not created equally and many factors play into effect. How hard you play, the environment in which you practice and store the instrument.
Your own demands. the list can go on and on.

Secondly -- would cold weather affect the tuning pegs and cause them to slip?  The E peg has been giving me a bit of trouble since I got it, but this afternoon, the G peg was also slipping just a bit.  None have slipped while I play (so far) but only when I'm trying to tune it. We just experienced a pretty sharp drop in temperatures where I live, so would that be affecting the pegs, or are they just adjusting to being played and will I need to get some compound or something to keep them from slipping? 
I think that's all for now, and I apologize for making this a bit longer than what I originally planned to write out.  Any information would be very much appreciated; I don't know anyone who has experience with these instruments, and there are essentially no instructors within 2 hours of my house so I'm relying on the internet for learning!  Thanks and have a nice day, everyone!   

The weather definitely affects how pegs will stay in place but mostly change in weather. The best thing you can do to stabilize pegs is to use a generous amount of peg compound. IMAO, the Hill brand.

Here, No apologies ever necessary. 🙂 Happy to have your thoughts.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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TangledUpInWriting
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January 12, 2017 - 4:45 pm
Member Since: December 15, 2016
Forum Posts: 22
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Thanks so much for the information! 

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