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See, this is a toughie for me as a guitar player. I can go out, have my choice of 20 kinds of quality strings, get some light top, heavy bottom (or any combo therein), and choose between many brands, including my preferred Ernie Ball Super Slinkys.
As a guitar player, I also know how much difference the proper weight of strings makes to a guitar. I have a hollow body lawsuit guitar which shoulds horrible with light strings, yet great with heavier strings. I have a Strat which sounds "perfect" with lighter weight strings, and has the right fingerboard to allow quick fretting.
But when it comes to violins, I have no idea. I mean zilch.
I watched Fiddlerman's video regarding the problem with steel core strings (not a problem on the guitar BTW), and want to ensure I'm learning with something that "works". I understand much of this is likely preference, but there is a real difference when I can try 5 sets on my guitar for the price of 1 set on a violin.
So, what say you all. Synthetic core? Steel core? Preferred brands and tensions?
Welcome opinions here, expecially as there is a real difference between hitting a string with a pick, and getting it to vibrate with a bow. Guessing I'll need to unlearn many of the guitar things I've learned.
Hi, Scooter and welcome to the Fiddlerman family.
To start, when you first began playing guitar i'm sure you had no idea what you were doing when it came to buying new string's, but as time went on and you became more aware of what you were doing (through experience) it became a simple task.
Now that you've moved to a different animal you'll have to start at the beginning of learning all over again. You've watched the Fiddlerman vid on steel core string's, a string that change's tune when you bend it is fine on the guitar, that's what you want, but on a violin it's not a good thing, as you've seen from the video.
You'll want a good quality string, my preference is the Zyex multifiber core string, although I did recently purchase the "helicore" multi-steel stranded core string so I could achieve a little brighter sound on one particular violin.The Zyex that were on it were just a bit to soft / mello tone for my liking. I have Zyex on two of my fiddle's and helicore's on my cheap Chinese violin.
Medium tension is the norm for most violin player's, there is a better response time so that's what most player's use. D'Addario brand string's are a A+ quality string. There are brand's of string's which are very cheap, as low as 6 and 7 dollar's for a full set, not recommended, you get what you pay for.
I hope this help's a bit.
Just like guitar it depends on the type of sound you are trying to capture. Synthetic core strings are a nice compromise between gut and steel. However I know players who swear by steel core strings and others who prefer gut. Depends what type of music they are playing and what type sound they are trying to capture.
I presently use Pirastro Tonica's (synthetic core) but my preference may change with time. For now they seem to provide me with a nice balance and a very nice sound.
Thanks for the replies.
I've read good things about the strings you've all mentioned, and will visit the fiddler shop later today.
For my daughter to learn, I've already ordered her a set of Octavas just to get her going. If they work well, we can upgrade to Dominants when they wear out.
For myself, I'm being more thrifty. Maybe I should state that I love the rosiny, raspy tones that a violin produces, highlighted in pieces like "Air".
Thanks again for the opinion guys.
Once I get my cheap violin next week, and my daugter's more expensive cheap violin, I'll post some comparison pics, and let you know the brand of mine, and what I actually paid for it.
Based (yet again) on one of Fiddlerman's videos, I'll start with the more affordable Pro-Arte strings by d'Addario. I've used their guitar strings (which are a quality product), and I did like the tone Fiddlerman got with them. Mind you, that was probably on a very old and expensive violin.
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