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How often do you change your violin strings? (Poll)
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Doc-Ivory
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April 14, 2022 - 8:02 am
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It seems to be every 6 months or so I need to change strings.
I can hear my fiddle getting kinda "nasally" and I know its about time.

-Jim

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Gordon Shumway
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April 15, 2022 - 6:02 am
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Ugh, this latest string change has coincided with my hitting another brick wall.

I can't play a note of the Mazas I spent 2 months on, but I've been going through a compendium of studies and finding it easy to sight-read some of the grade 5 ones, so I should probably play them all from the beginning and work out now exactly what my specific weaknesses are.

Andrew

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ELCBK
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April 15, 2022 - 1:37 pm
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@Gordon Shumway -

Really sorry to hear that - sounds like you aren't having any fun at all, playing the violin. 

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Tim317
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April 15, 2022 - 6:34 pm
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Like a lot of people on the forum I also play guitar and learned after 19 years of the 40+ I've been playing that when I would get in a rut with guitar it usually was not a rut but my strings were dead so after figuring that out I no longer go for months without playing my guitars.

And the same goes for my violins if they go dull on me then I know its time to change them luckily my violin strings don't take the beating that my guitar strings take so I really don't find the need to change my strings only after three weeks, though I did have an incident where I found corrosion on a set of my dominates.

Latter I figured out that it was not the strings or how I cared for them it was the fact that I was using a dampit and tap water my water is well water and highly mineralized so I quickly rectified that problem by using distilled water I've not had that problem since even when I was close to a year without being able to play because of shoulder surgery.

Its a good thing someone revived this thread because it is about time for me to change the strings on Ebenezer which is my main violin I find myself playing on of the 2 acoustics I own.

BillyG said
Yes, that's interesting....   

Just earlier today I was browsing some details on the nature of various styles of top-plates, and the differences in "thickness-ing" required on the underside (oh, and other internal structures like bass-bars and the use of cleats on the back-plate (not for strengthening in this case - just for altering the modal responses), resulting in different overall frequency responses.   Not that I am EVER, EVER gonna do any luthiery at that level, but it gives a hint as to why even very similarly "looking" violins, even from the same stable, can sound quite different with different strings (which can / will have differing levels of overtone production)

It's a bit "esoteric" even for a geek like me, but, it's here if you're interested....

http://www.platetuning.org/htm.....esses.html

  

BillyG this is interesting the violin I mentioned above had cleats used on it and it was brand new when I got it, though I think they were used for structural purposes but it certainly is the best looking and sounding violin I've owned to date as far as projection and clear balanced tone at any volume of bow attack.

violin-student
  

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Gordon Shumway
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June 15, 2022 - 6:58 am
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Had my first string snap this weekend. It was a Dominant A, snapped about half an inch from the fine tuner. Took me by surprise. The only difference on my part was that I'm using a shield mute and sliding it 1mm over the A-string-winding to stop it from riding up towards the bridge. If that's enough to snap a string, then meet my monkey nephew.

They weren't that old, but they had migrated between violins, and been taken off the first violin and then replaced so that its action could be lowered, so maybe the string had suffered trauma.

But with hindsight, I had noticed that it had never settled - it got a little flatter every day until it snapped.

I had a spare set of Dominants, so I've put a new one on, but I'll keep my eyes and ears open to see if this one behaves.

Andrew

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Mouse
June 15, 2022 - 8:25 am
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I am thinking a brand may hold up for a different lengths of playing time, even on the same violin, viola or cello, for different violinists, violists or cellists.

1. Wouldn't what you play and what is expected from the strings make a difference how long they last? If you play songs that require aggressive bowing, wouldn't that wear strings out sooner than if you are more typically playing slow waltzes, love songs, a lot of pop, etc? Wouldn't that same brand, on the same violin, by the same violinist have a different lifespan on that set, based in the type of bowing required for the music typically played?

2. Would the quality the playing affect the lifespan of the strings? If you are new and still learning bow control, would that affect how long the strings last? Bowing at an angle and too much pressure, etc. Wouldn't that affect how long a set will last? Isn't that why they usually suggest beginners use inexpensive strings?

3. How often and for how long you play during that same, maybe 6 month, time frame, vs another violinist who plays more frequently or leas frequently, would affect the lifespan of a specific brand of string, right?

So, maybe lifespan time for violin, viola and cello strings should be referred to with playing time frames, not calendar months? Like a tractor, it shows hours of use. Maybe when we talk about how long the strings last we should be talking the playing timeframe, including practicing, not just performing if you are a professional. So, if you generally play 21 hours a week, or 3 hours a day or approx 90 hours a month, and you had to change them in 5 months, that is a lifespan of approx 450 hours for those strings. The approximate time actually spent playing those strings.

When someone says they change their strings every 5 months, it is actually relative to their playing schedule and how they are bowing on them. 

My cello just received a checkup last week. I just got it back yesterday. It needed new strings, also, so I had the shop put new strings on, also. I had a new set of the green label Evahs, that sound so great this cello, but, I decided to let them select a set, and hold onto my Evahs as replacements, when needed, The Evahs are a bit expensive, especially their cello strings.

They sold me the cello a few years ago, and David, the cello guy, knows exactly what I like, warm and sweet. Luckily, that is what my Mikey G likes, also. David knows I am particularly fussy with the A string,

Wow, they put a great set on. I am hoping they last a while. The Evahs held up really well. If these do not hold up as well, it won't save me money because I will have to change them more often. It is a mixed set. The D and A strings are the same and the C and G are the same, if I remember correctly, I have it written down, but can't remember which brands off the top of my head.

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