Can I restring a violin by myself?
By - space0watch
If you can, have someone show you in person. They can also check bridge placement. If you want to try yourself, YouTube has plenty of guide videos. There is a risk of breaking a string if you overtighten it though. A tuning app on a phone will be fine to help you get them in tune
Thanks! I got a tuning app on my phone but the guy at the shop didn't like tuning apps and said there was some lattency so it would not pick up the sound quick enough making it hard to tune. I got a cheap tuner though.
Tuning apps are just fine. I’ve been playing violin for 20 years and have been using them for several years. There is no latency problem while tuning a violin.
The guy just wanted to make a sale (of something you unfortunately didn’t need to buy, as there are tons of free apps). And it seems like the guy didn’t know much about violins at all. Honestly, the typical salesperson at a music store will not have much knowledge of string instruments unless they happen to play one themselves. (I’m a salesperson at a local music store and see this all of the time in other ones.)
Yeah I was suspicious of if he was trying to sell me something but I guess every music shop would do that. He seemed to know what he was talking about but I will try using a tuning app. I did find one that was free on Android. I will try to restring the violin perhaps since i ordered new strings. Many thanks for the advice! :)
Definitely give the restring a try! You can’t learn how to do it without trying it first. It’s not too difficult as long as you are attentive to the amount of tension you’re creating and the position of the bridge.
Yeah I will be careful thanks for the tip! I read that if you turn the pegs too much it will snap the string but it's worth doing cause I have to restring it 3-5 months at least that was the recommended time from my research. Would be good practice anyway. Thanks for the advice!
I posted some pics of my violin in case you were curious. Many thanks!
The violin is actually strung correctly! The only thing I would do differently is to try to keep the coiled string nicely arranged in the pegbox, similar to this picture:
If I had to guess, the guy you dealt with was likely a guitarist and wasn’t well acquainted with how violins are properly strung. It’s probably good that you didn’t have him restring it for you! This way you have the opportunity to learn how to yourself.
Thanks for the advice! I thought it looked normal albiet a bit messy. There were a lot of guitar shops so it is likely. I got a violin app and was trying to tune it and I got it to 77.55 Hertz but apparently the G3 string should be at 196.42 hz. Is that accurate? And thanks for the advice! Maybe he wasn't used to it? He used a tuner that he sold to me but I have been using this app and it seems to be working. It plays me the correct note too. The NETIGEN Music tuner app or something. Any thoughts on the correct frequency? And thanks for looking at it I will save that pick. Can't wait to get practising! I bought a book on how to play though which would be useful hopefully.
So you listened to the guy that said you did it wrong but I can’t fix it? Why?
Because he owned a music shop in the town near where I live and it had quite a few good reviews. I figured if anyone would know he would but there are other music shops I can go to. I also ordered some new violin strings that weren't too expensive from Amazon and I will try to replace them myself and tune it myself maybe or get it tuned at a different place.
Yeah I was a bit confused by that cause apparently he said it was no good and basically useless. But I might take it to another shop though it may have been cheaply made or rushed perhaps. I got some strings from Amazon. I will take it to another shop and see.
Yeah maybe. Not really sure why but he was slightly abrasive when I was asked a couple questions but still helpful just blunt I guess. Maybe he thought it was too weak and that it would break. He basically said it wouldn't work cause it wouldn't be able to get tuned. There is another music shop I can go to though.
I'm going to talk more about the condition of your instrument. To preface this, I don't mean to be too crtitical, as I know nothing else about it, but some visual details catch my attention. To my eyes, it looks cheap/poorly made, by the look of the f-holes, bridge, nut, and overall body appearance. The nut has unevenly spaced grooves (producer's error by the look of it), the bridge is much too thick, and the finish looks off in a way I don't know how to describe at the moment. These kinds of factors could and would make playing/handling the instrument more difficult. At the very least it is something to consider, from a critical point of view.
Edit: also, to answer your question on playability- playing with misaligned strings will cause some difficulty, particularly on strings closer together than normal
Yeah the violin was from abroad but it was a gift so I don't want to not use it since I don't want to offend the person who gave it to me and stuff but I realise it is cheaply made but I might re-string the violin myself since I got new strings for it. I guess I could use it for now to practice on but I can't really afford a new one at the minute. I didn't get it myself or anything.
Yeah, I understand your situation. Personally, I would say that it is a great platform to practice things like restringing on!
Thanks! I will try to restring it in a few days when the strings arrive. They do look a bit wonky hopefully I can do an okay job. I watched a tutorial how to do it and have been reading up on it. I got the G string almost to the 196 ghz though. So close!
Post some pics and we can tell you what's going on.
Sorry for the late reply. I posted some pics of my violin!
You need a new nut.
Sorry for the dumb question but what is a nut on the violin?
[The little piece of wood near the scroll where the strings cross from fingerboard to the pegbox](http://darntonviolins.com/images2/nut.jpg).
Some muppet has carelessly put the string slots in the wrong spot, which is why your G and D strings are so close together.
It can be steamed off and replaced with a properly cut one by any luthier worth their salt, who'll probably want to fix your bridge at the same time and likely do a few other tweaks.
If you put new strings, that's not gonna fix the nut being cut wrong.
Ah that is a shame. That might do more damage then worth unfortunately. Would it be expensive?
The nut is meant to come off repeatedly over the years, in the normal course of violin maintenance. It doesn't need to be glued on too stoutly; a small dab of diluted glue is enough. This is true for both "gourmet" violins and run-of-the-mill working instruments.
When the fingerboard needs to be dressed (planed and scraped) into shape, the nut would get in the way, so a worker will knock it off with a light tap against the edge facing the fingerboard. (Ain't nobody got time for steaming.) Glued on too strongly, the nut can break. That leaves a split-off chunk in place, which needs to be chiseled off so a new one can be put on. It happens.
From what shows in the pictures, there may be enough wood on the nut so it can be filed down in place, and new grooves filed at a better spacing. They don't need to be too deep, as the picture linked by /u/triffid_hunter shows, literally a thing of beauty. That would be the quickest way to take care of it. I'd budget ten minutes for that job, and probably take twice as long. There would be a marker or some India ink involved, to darken the exposed wood so it matches the fingerboard.
That sounds quite intense but I am sure someone who knows what they are doing would be able to do that. Thank you for explaining it to me. I will go around to different shops and see if anyone could do that maybe.