Plain gut going false
I recently switched to plain gut strings but have noticed that the D string goes false very quickly, like after a week... I use the unvarnished medium gauge atm, should I try light or heavy? I was using the heavy plain A thinking that heavy = more tension = more power, but the sound just choked and medium was actually much freer and louder. Also, the varnished strings don't sound as clear as unvarnished for me. Anyone have any experience with plain gut D?
By false, I mean that if I were to play an open D, the resonance does not match the playing pitch. Also makes tuning a bit annoying. Apart from that, I agree that the string sound quality lasts a long time.
who made your strings??
They are from Gamut. I have ordered a gimped string to see if that works better. I'm assuming the added wire will make it sound more 'modern' and approachable rather than gut-like and slow?
Pirastro Chorda are well spoken of by those who know (I use them too, on the basis of that expert recommendation, and do have a fiddle with a Chorda D, thicker than normally sold but available to special order).
I use gamut gimp D too, and they start going a little false 2-3 weeks or a month in, and usually by 3-4 months they are so intolerably false I can't play fifths on it and the ring is so high compared to the played pitch, I have to change it.
Dorian, why do you use the gimped D, is it because you don't like the sound of regular plain D or pistoy D? Just curious... I also ordered a gimped G, pray that doesn't go false in 2 weeks!
Thick strings do not behave like the imaginary ones in a book on physics!
You can also use olive oil to oil your strings. I used olive oil exclusively from about 1969 to 1982, and I used olive oil simply because everyone else I knew used olive oil. (After 1982 I went synthetic). Now that I am back to using unwound gut I alternate almond oil, olive oil and cocoa butter. I hear a slight difference in tone/response between the three oils. There is also a difference in the feel of the string under the finger between the three oils as well. Cocoa butter has the slickest feel under the finger - olive oil is the least slick. You can adjust the slickness of the string with cocoa butter. With a bit of experience you know just how much cocoa butter (if any) you want to use. It is kind of like rosining your bow - you can have too much or too little and only experience will tell what that sounds and feels like. You can use cocoa over (on top of) olive or almond.
Almond oil is sold at your local apothecary, chemist shop, drugs store, or health food store. You can also buy it on-line. One small bottle will last your entire life (if you don't spill it).
Thanks for the advice Eric, will get some cocoa butter today! Which gauge E string do you use? I've heard that I should avoid light gauge since it will break more easily.
- Hello Dorian,
Gut can last and last; the claim by many-including storefronts and string manufacturers-that they don't last long has never been personally observed (wound or pure gut-not including the E). I wonder if the false D was harmed by taking overzealous care of it. I use *nothing* on my Gamut A, other than a soft cloth to clean excess rosin (granted, it is varnished, which is probably not the case for all of you above.) Although there was a slight bit of fraying on my first one, the second is still clean after 6 months! And NOT false at all (I am changing it in a few days because I should, but I am sure it would have lasted longer.)