How to Restring Your Violin

A short article on how to restring an acoustic violin

After playing for a while it will be time to restring the instrument.  This may become apparent when either a string breaks or when it can only hold its tone for a short time.  When this happens buy a new string or use one your already have.  First, place your violin so that it is standing up on your lap.  The end button shoudl be touching your lap and the fingerboard shoudl be facing you.  Place your hand on the peg of the string which needs to be changed.  Loosen the peg by turning it toward you, although you don't need to completely remove it from the scroll.  Remove the string from the hole in the peg and in the tailpiece where the fine tuners are often located.  (Note that some violins do not have fine tuners.)  Use a pencil point to mark in the grove of the bridge were the string once lay. This is to lubricate the groove so that the string lays on the bridge without being damaged.

Take the new string from its envelope and be careful to not touch the string too much.  Place the small ball at the end of the string in the tail piece.  Insert the top of the string, which is often covered in colored thread, into the hole in the peg.  Slowly wind the string around the peg by turing the peg away from you after the string has been inserted.  Wound the string several times around the peg so that the string is slowly tightened.  Take a piece of clean dry cloth-the same one used to clean the instrument-and hold the string as you tighten it.  Periodically tug gently on the string as you increase the tension on  it.  Do this in order to slowly stretch the string and minimize the potential of it breaking or taking a long time to get adjusted to the instrument.  Just as old strings may not hold their tone very long new strings often do not, since they have to be stretched on the instrument for awhile in order to get used to being held at a certain tension for a long period of time.  After changing one string sound an "A" using a tuning fork or a metronome to get the other strings in tune.  Whenever there is a change in the tension of one of the strings this takes the other strings out of tune.

If there is more than one string which needs to be changed, then only change one at a time.  If you try to change all the strings at the same time, you risk the chance of the bridge on top and sound post inside the instrument falling.  Take the above steps for each string, being extra careful with the E string since it is so thin.  Remember to tune the strings after you are through changing them.


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