Violin Strings – Instantly Make Your Beginner Violin Sound 10x Better
Generally speaking, beginner violins come with very low-end strings. In almost every case we have seen, replacing the strings that come on a beginner violin improves its sound tremendously.
Getting New Violin Strings
How to Choose New Strings For Your Beginner Violin
For advanced players, deciding which strings you buy is a very personal choice, and over time, we encourage you to try additional types of strings beyond what we recommend here. Selecting strings can be a daunting process, because everyone has their own opinion about which strings are best.
However, as a beginner, we have found the right strings with a good tradeoff between playability and sound quality, accelerating your learning curve, keeping you encouraged, and helping you to experience what a difference a new set of strings can make.
A special note: the violin strings we review here are for full size (4/4) violins. For a discussion of finding a kids violin, please see our related post.
If You Have Never Re-Strung A Violin
Re-stringing a violin can be a bit of a challenge, especially if it is your first time. It is not uncommon for beginner violinists (even professionals!) to break a string (it usually happens while tuning). For this reason, if this is your first time, we recommend upgrading your strings to the relatively inexpensive D’Addario Prelude Violin String Set. These are relatively high quality strings that will be a great improvement over the default strings that come on your new instrument. And if you break one, the affordable price makes it not the end of the world.
If You Or Someone You Know Has Experience Re-Stringing A Violin
If, on the other hand, you feel confident in re-stringing your violin or know someone who can help you, then you probably want to go for a higher-end set of strings. The JSI Special Violin String Set – Medium Gauge is a quality set of strings used by many beginners and professional violinists alike.
The set includes a Pirastro brand E-String, while the rest of the strings (A, D, and G) are all Dominant brand. Mixing and matching brands of strings is common practice, as many violinists prefer higher strings from one brand and lower strings from another. Here’s why we like this particular combination for beginners:
Dominant brand strings are known for having a full, mellow sound, and are the most popular brand of strings in the world. They are very high quality, reasonably priced strings that are meant to reproduce the great sound and feel of gut strings (which, unlike these, are made of sheep gut) but have a more stable pitch (a good thing).
Many players find that sound of the Dominant brand E string (highest string) is too metallic, so this particular set swaps it out for an E string from Pirastro brand. Because the E string is the thinnest of the four strings on a violin it can break more easily than the others, but Pirastro E strings are more durable, a little thicker so they don’t bite as much into your fingers while playing, and offer a tone that is neither too bright nor too warm.
Always Have A Backup Set of Violin Strings
A general rule for violinists is to always have a set of backup strings that you keep in your case. This is important because a violin string can break at any time, and if you don’t have an extra set on hand, you simply cannot play until you get another. Try to always have another set with you whenever you have your violin.
Our Recommendation Summary
Both of our recommendations include all 4 strings needed for a full size violin. Both sets will most likely improve the sound of your beginner violin immensely over the strings that came on it. The D’Addario Set is for true beginners who have never strung a violin before, and the JSI Set is for players who want better quality strings and are more confident putting them on the instrument without breaking them. Remember that it’s also important to have a backup set of violin strings so you don’t get stuck if you break one.