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In February I will have been learning the fiddle for a year and I was thinking about celebrating by getting new strings. However, the current fiddle I have I got brand new back in May (Set up by the store I bought it at) so would it be better to wait 3 more months for that? I've read varying opinions on changing strings anywhere between 6-12 months depending on how much you play. My current pattern probably averages out to 45 min 5 days a week so they're not really taking a beating.
What do y'all think? Should I go ahead and do it in Feb or hold off until May?
Also, I don't remember what kind of strings they are, but the cheapest set that the store sells are D'addario Preludes so I'm going to assume that.
I'd say hold off until May, unless one of the strings happen to break. If your strings are doing an ok job, there's no reason to rush.
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If you are still getting a tone you like, they are still holding tune, and they show no sign of damage, then I suppose you could wait, if funding is short or something.
If you don't feel they are at their best anymore, or you just want to try a new brand/type of strings and you can afford it, though... Why not?
As strings get old, they stretch to the point where they lose some of their ability to flex and spring back. That makes them a little harder on the fingers, and the tone will usually lose some of it's strength and complexity.
I have known musicians who play on old strings until they break before replacing them. I'm not one of them. I usually change when I feel they are past their prime or if I want a bit different sound. I don't think of it in terms of a time span so much as when I can tell they don't sound as nice as they used to. I guess that works out to around 3 months or so, for me personally.
So far as what to they next, if you want to try a different type that doesn't cost much more, then maybe the Pro Artes. That way you can see if you like synthetic core, as opposed to the Preludes' steel core.
"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
What everybody already said is true. I change strings only when the ones that are on there start sounding dull and lifeless -- unless I want to check out a completely different set of strings to see what they sound like.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright
I haven't got the whole "hang" of when to change or not. But I sure love when I do change. I usually find that I have been working hard to get some sound out of strings that no longer seem to want to product.
My first two string changes were ProArtes,( I was love) Then the last two have been Zyex. I love them even more.
Someday I will try a few of the other strings just for a change.
Good luck on what you decide.
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato
If you are thinking about changing the strings and the reason is, it just doesn't sound right then change them. If you are only thinking about changing the strings because of time then leave them alone unless if there is sound you want but cannot achieve it might be the strings but it might be yourself. Try a different violin and see what it sounds like.