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I'm new here, although I've been lurking/reading for a while. Hi! My background is piano, but my 8yo is in love with the violin and has been wanting to add that to her musical studies.
After much searching and debating, we've found a wonderful little 1/2 size German violin that's about 40 years old, from a family we used to live near whose children (13-25) are beautiful violinists. We actually don't have the instrument yet but they are shipping it to us in the days ahead. This particular violin currently has Thomastik Dominants, but the E string is probably ready (more than ready) to be replaced. The violin hasn't been played in the last 5 years or so (children outgrew it), except for a recent video demo for our benefit.
So here are my questions:
Should we just replace all the strings?
Is it customary to stick with one brand for all the strings?
I realize that people have some strong opinions on strings, lol, but if I dare ask, what would you recommend for a beginner -- nice sound, good playability for a positive experience?
And I guess as a tangent, should I just ask the experienced family to put on the new strings before shipping it, rather than deal with a questionable local music store and not yet having a solid teacher here?
Some people I've spoke to IRL seem to just want cheap strings for beginners as the rule, but while that may save money (which is always nice), it seems pointless if they don't have the sound quality and playability to produce a pleasant experience (as pleasant as a beginner's can be, lol).
I am out of my element with this instrument, but learning lots from all of you and other sites. Thank you for your help!
Well, I would say stick with dominant strings, and if that violin has not been played for five years, definitely change all the strings.
My daughter is using 1/2 size as well. When she was using 1/4 size violin, I had inquire an expert, and she said fractional violin strings tend to break easily and dominant has better quality fractional size strings than other brand. From our experience, a set of dominant strings could last for a year and I had tried other strings, like zyex, cecilio steel strings, mivoce, none of them last more than three months.
New plan! How about Evah Pirazzi strings? I know they are loved by many -- any concerns with them for a newbie? The wonderful family we're buying the violin from found a new set of 1/2 size EP strings for a great price. Any reason not to go with that?
Thanks for your earlier feedback, pky and RU. ...And yes, RU, a little good luck would be a good thing, right? 😉
Thank you so much for your reply, Fiddlerman! That makes me feel better.
I'm hoping we might have the violin by the end of next week. I sent them the YouTube video you made showing how to support the bridge when shipping, which I found very interesting.
I think I'm almost as excited as my dd to get the violin...which is really saying something!