Restringing your Guitar or Violin - Why or When?

April 14, 2018

 

Restring your Instrument

Why? When?

      

New strings restore the life, tone, brightness, projection, richness, trueness, harmonic accuracy, and musical colors that your instrument was made to produce. New strings will tune better, stay in tune longer, and be more harmonically consistent than strings that have been worn out from age, environmental factors, playing and tuning.

It is always best to use high quality strings, correctly tie/attach them to minimize tuning slippage,  stretch and tune, and clean and polish the instrument. It is smart to consider various possible string qualities and choices that fit your instrument, tone preferences, skill level, budget, musical tastes and goals. Strings can have a major influence on the sound, projection, harmony, and harmonics of a guitar, violin, or any string instrument.

 

When strings get old, worn, oxidized or weakened, they will not tune correctly nor project the proper tone waves needed to induce harmonic and acoustic sound waves from your instrument sound chamber. Deteriorated strings can produce false harmonic overtones that essentially leave your instrument sounding flat, or out of tune, even when tuned correctly.

 

Old and worn strings can break suddenly due to inherent weakness, and this can leave you stranded if it occurs during an important date; such as a performance, recording or test, or rehersal. New strings can also break unexpectedly, but the likelihood is far greater once the strings are worn.

 

It should be noted that the right strings for the instrument is very critical. Electric guitar strings cannot be used on an acoustic guitar or vice versa. Same is true for Classical guitar strings (Nylon Core) which are not OK on anything other than a classical guitar, that is, should never be used on electric or acoustic guitars.


Violin strings also come in differing cores, and the right one should be used according to how the instrument is set up. Rope, perlon, nylon, or gut strings can sometimes be inter-changed or used in place of one another; but never with steel or twisted strand core strings.

 

If not sure which strings to use for a specific instrument, or for a specific guitar or violin, then it is wise to check with a good experienced luthier before restringing your instrument.


Using the wrong strings or the wrong gauge of string can result in damage to an instrument, or in loss of correct musical performance.

 

 

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