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How do know when your strings are worn out?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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RosinedUp
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November 1, 2012 - 7:58 pm
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And more:

Do strings wear out from playing or just from being under tension?

How many hours can you play before your strings wear out?

How do the strings change physically as they wear?

Do you know by the way they feel when you bow them?

Do they sound different?

Is there any way to tell by looking?

What problems might seem to be caused by worn out strings but are not?

What kinds of strings last a long time and which wear out sooner?

Please address any or all of the above, or answer a related question that I have not asked.

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screeeech
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November 1, 2012 - 9:35 pm
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I'd like to know too! I think I finally wore out my first set of strings. I had not played in about 2 weeks picked it up tuned up and it sounds wrong

 

Or maybe I'm just rusty. I'll play for several consecutive days and see.

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pky
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November 2, 2012 - 12:03 am
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I'm definitely not an expert on violin strings, but try to answer your questions to my knowledge.

RosinedUp said
And more:

Do strings wear out from playing or just from being under tension?

both

How many hours can you play before your strings wear out?

if you are like fiddlerman play 8 hours a day, you will change your strings 3 or 4 times a year, if you are like my daughter, play about 30 minutes to an hour a day your strings may last over a year. In addition, the life of your strings also depends on the quality of your strings (e.g., dominant strings will last longer than ceicilio strings that come with your ceicilio or mendini violin)

How do the strings change physically as they wear?

Less responsive, sound change, if you look at them with magnifying glass, you may see "cracks," the wrapping thread may flair.

Do you know by the way they feel when you bow them?

Check our the FM's video on how to change strings, he had an A strings that sounded awful and that he had to change it.

Do they sound different?

Yes, it may be subtle, or it could be like the FM's A string.

Is there any way to tell by looking?

Look at the strings where they contact the nut and bridge, and look at the wrapping thread of the strings.

What problems might seem to be caused by worn out strings but are not? What kinds of strings last a long time and which wear out sooner?

read

http://violininformation.webs......#834966789

Please address any or all of the above, or answer a related question that I have not asked.

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cdennyb
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November 2, 2012 - 12:57 am
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excellent reply pkythumbs-up

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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DanielB
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If you can see actual physical damage on the string, or if it has a bad sound, then definitely.

To me, I know a string has seen better days when it starts being harder to get good sounding harmonics from it.  Then it is heading into "dead".  It may be a while yet before it actually breaks or something, but some of the tone has expired it's natural lifespan. 

I haven't had any violin string actually break yet, but with other stringed instruments I have noticed that when a string is in it's last couple of days, often it will start going out of tune a lot as well.  Even when it is "in tune" it may sound somehow wrong when played with the other strings.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Fiddlestix
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November 2, 2012 - 7:45 am
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I just estimate mine on about how many hour's I played on them, or by the dead, dull sound. When they begin to sound like they're stretched on a 2x4 hunk of lumber, I buy new.

I've bought 3 set's since March or April 2012.

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hackeman
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November 2, 2012 - 9:40 am
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Fiddlestix said
I just estimate mine on about how many hour's I played on them, or by the dead, dull sound. When they begin to sound like they're stretched on a 2x4 hunk of lumber, I buy new.

I've bought 3 set's since March or April 2012.

Just curious: how many hours approx. do you play between you exchange them?

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Fiddlestix
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November 2, 2012 - 11:24 am
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hackeman said

Fiddlestix said
I just estimate mine on about how many hour's I played on them, or by the dead, dull sound. When they begin to sound like they're stretched on a 2x4 hunk of lumber, I buy new.

I've bought 3 set's since March or April 2012.

Just curious: how many hours approx. do you play between you exchange them?

Well, I play it sometime's anywhere from two hour's and have played as many as 10 hour's a day.

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RosinedUp
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November 2, 2012 - 11:29 am
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pky said 

read

http://violininformation.webs......#834966789

It looks like you make some good points.  And good link except that there I read what it says about rosin: "Others even add metalic dust such as gold, silver, lead or copper flecks".  It sounds like a very bad idea to add lead to rosin.  I don't think I believe it.  It is bad enough that we might breath rosin dust, but lead is going over the line.

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Fiddlerman
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November 2, 2012 - 2:13 pm
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Bunch of great answers above.

Some people say 300-400 hours on your strings.

Strings wear even when you are not playing them. Weather, dryness, moisture change of temperature cause strings to degrade. Remember that strings are kept under pressure and that pressure wears the strings as well.

Steel core probably wear slowest where-as synthetic core is still much better than gut.

Some cheap strings are made of materials that don't hold as long. Cheaper metals.

When strings are old they don't produce as much sound and sometimes produce strange wavering sounds as well. You'll notice a big difference as soon as you change your strings when they are old but usually you need up to a week to break the strings in (time for them to stretch completely).

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

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Crazymotive
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RosinedUp said

pky said 

read

http://violininformation.webs......#834966789

It looks like you make some good points.  And good link except that there I read what it says about rosin: "Others even add metalic dust such as gold, silver, lead or copper flecks".  It sounds like a very bad idea to add lead to rosin.  I don't think I believe it.  It is bad enough that we might breath rosin dust, but lead is going over the line.

There is a particular german brand of rosin that adds gold, copper or silver dust to the rosin. Whether it really enhances the sound or whether its just a clever marketing hoax I don't know. I have read that some violinists feel it is the best and finest rosin that they have ever used. Of course no rosin or string is going to substitute for good bowing and playing technique.  Nonethless, I wouldn;t mind trying a cake of that rosin and comparing it with others I've used.    Also, a lot of it is a matter of personal opinion. Of late I have been using Hidersine English rosin. Some violinists say it sucks. Others love it.  I happen to be among the ones who like it.  I am also experimenting with some of the dark rosins.

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