How To Choose Violin Strings

If you want to know how to choose violin strings for your violin, let us guide you here. 

Violin strings, as violinists know, will determine how your violin would sound. Hence, it is utmost important to choose violin strings that are suitable for you and your violin. First of all, we have to know the 3 types of violin strings available in the market.


Types Of Violin Strings

There are basically 3 types of violin strings : Steel core, Gut core and Synthetic core. Let’s explore each type further


Steel Core:

Steel core strings are mainly used by beginner violinists or fiddle players, and it’s the simplest violin strings you can find in the market. The strings are made forms strands of wire wrapped in thin metallic winding. They costs cheaper than the gut and synthetic core strings.

Advantage: The good thing about steel core strings is that they stay in tune quite easily, and hence they don’t require frequent tuning like other strings. They do not stretch as much as the gut and synthetic core. The steel core strings can usually be tuned with just the fine tuner, and thus why it’s most suitable for beginner violinists.

Disadvantage: While they can be easy to tune, and cost inexpensively, steel core strings produce the worst sound compared to other types of strings. Hence, you’d hardly see steel core strings being used by professional violinists, or on expensive violins. If used, most violinists would only prefer their ‘E string’ to be steel core, while the rest are gut or synthetic core strings.

Steel Core Violin String Brands:

Pirastro Chromcor
D’Addario Helicore
Thomastik Spirocore
“China brand “violin strings


Synthetic Core:

Synthetic core violin strings are introduced to the market in the 1960s, by Dr. Thomastik, who is also the creator of the popular Dominant Strings. Synthetic core strings are made of nylon material called Perlon, which gives the strings a full-tone quality which many like to have.

Advantages Synthetic core strings have the same flexibility but is far easier to tune than the gut core strings. The synthetic core strings are also less sensitive to the surrounding temperature and humidity. What violinists love most about synthetic strings is their ability to stabilize fast after being replaced, and their warm sound qualities.

Disadvantages: If there’s one thing which might not favor violinists, it would be the relatively high cost of synthetic core strings. A typical synthetic core string may cost about S$30+, and a set of strings may cost to slightly over S$100+. While they cost higher, most violinists could agree that they over deliver with their high quality of sound produced.

Synthetic Core Violin String Brands:

Thomastik Dominant
Pirastro Wondertone Solo
Pirastro Aricore
Pirastro Evah Pirazzi
Pirastro Synoxa
Pirastro Violino


Gut Core:

Gut core violin strings are the first type of violin strings that came in to the market, and were being used since the 19th century. They are made of thin strands from sheep gut or intestines. Today, gut core strings are used by advanced violinists, as they are the most difficult strings to play.

Advantage: Gut core strings are known for its deep dark tone, and hence, some violinists use gut strings for their lower two strings, and opt for other types of strings for higher end. Their richness and complex overtones are the top qualities that make them still popular among violinist today.

Disadvantages: The main reason why beginner and intermediate violinist stay away from gut core strings is because of its difficulty in handling the strings. They require a long time to stabilize on a violin, and highly sensitive to surround temperature. They do not come cheap. A set of gut core strings may cost a few hundred dollars, and are probably the most expensive type of violin strings in the market.

Gut Core Violin String Brands:

Pirastro Passione
Pirastro Chorda
Kaplan Golden Spiral
Pirastro Eudoxa
Pirastro Oliv
Pirastro Gold Label



After learning about the different types of violin strings available, now it’s time to understand which violin strings suits your playing level and style.

For example, if you have just started playing the violin, it would be advisable to start with steel strings. But as you progress, you might want to consider switching to synthetic strings. And if you like, you could go on to use gut strings as you advance. You can always seek advice from violin teachers, or professional violinists for the strings they use. 


Changing Violin Strings

Violin strings, just like any other string, do result in wear and tear. But unlike other strings, you do not have to wait for it to break before you replace them. You should replace your violin strings on a constant basis, depending on the frequency you play your violin.

Changing your violin strings constantly will ensure you will reduce the chance of your strings breaking during your performance.

Learn how to change your strings safely here!


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