String gauge is the first thing to consider when selecting violin strings. Most violin players use the medium gauges. Light gauge strings have less tension and are more suitable for beginners who desire less resistance when pushing the strings down. The heavier the strings, the harder to push them down but heavy strings are loudest. Light gauge strings are thinner and quieter, but will give a faster response. Choose a string gauge that suits the instrument you are playing as well as the style of music.
Steel Core Strings
These strings are favored by jazz and fiddle players. They have less overtones and tend to bring a more direct sound. It's important to try many different strings and find the ones that suit your playing best.
Gut Core Strings
Traditional violinists prefer gut strings for their complex overtones. Playing a gut string also brings less tension, making it easier on the fingers. While gut strings are the most popular violin strings, they tend to fall out of tune more frequently and must be tuned regularly. When first installing these strings, it's important to really play them heavily and even bend the notes. Be careful of the room temperature and spikes in humidity. Carry you violin in a quality case to protect it from the elements.
Synthetic Core Strings
Synthetic nylon strings have gained popularity over the last few decades. They are similar in sound to gut strings but with more stability in pitch and require less tuning be tuned far less often. Synthetic core violin strings become 'broken in' faster than gut strings but tend to have less overtones. There are many versions of these strings available today so get on the forums and talk to others to find your own preferred string.
Another important factor in string choice is brand. While several companies offer violin strings, there are a few that tend to be favored in the violin community.
The most popular strings in the world goes to Dominant They have become the defacto string for violinists due to their flexible core. They tend to have warm overtones with great projection. Choose from light, medium and heavy gauge string sets and remember to break them in for a week.
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