First time changing to new strings of the same kind. Wow!
Since I'm doing home trial for bows, I've decided to change to new strings of the same kind that originally came with my violin. It's supposed to be my back-up, but I told myself why not try them.
My original back-up set was the Dominants, which was recommended by my teacher. I tried them for two weeks out of curiosity, but could not get myself to like them. I ended up giving it to a student back in my home country as a gift before I left since he mentioned that he's been using the same strings that came with his violin for 10 years. Makes me remember how spoiled we are here in the US.
I recorded the old strings with each of the trial bows. Put on the new set of Vision strings. Waited several minutes for the tension to settle in a little bit. I could already tell the difference just plucking open strings, but wow! Once I started playing, my violin sounds livelier and cleaner! I didn't have to replay the recordings to confirm since the difference was obvious.
I have no idea how long the original strings have been there. Some strings already had some stickiness I couldnt rid of. My violin definitely didn't sound as good as this when I bought it. I just hope the magic of the new set would at least last me half a year. Does it help to loosen the tension after each session? I usually leave it as is unless I'm traveling. I have a feeling that they will die down once they fully settle =(
As a bonus, it helped me cross out one trial bow since it now sounds too bright for me. I actually initially preferred the sound of that bow, but definitely not with this new set.
Don't make any decisions until you have had your strings on for a week. Depending on how long you play each day, it may take that long for the strings to settle and the initial brightness to mellow.
I love putting on new strings
But usually people change strings around once half an year. I always change mine 1.5 years because of my usage periods however.
Change strings at least once every 6 months. Possibly every 3 months if you play a lot and can afford it.
Every 150-200 hours of playing time seems to be a good rule of thumb (that I learned from v.com) which if you play two hours a day is about every three months. One hour a day equates to six months. That's probably the minimum too even if you play less a day on average.
I only change mine if I believe they really go bad.
"Waited several minutes for the tension to settle in a little bit."
hence the "settle in a little bit" =P I'm sure it would take at least a week like my Dominants. The steel E probably in a few days. It was interesting watching the tuner bar/indicator go down after each pluck.
For most amateurs every 6 months seems to be about right. Old strings are also inclined to play out of tune, presumably on account of non-uniform stretching along their length. This was convincingly demonstrated for me (not on my violin!) by a noted string quartet leader who was reputed by his colleagues to change his strings more often than his socks.
I find that the regular "Vision" strings are good for adding brightness to a violin, but don't contain much warmth. Dominants are superior in that regard.
It completly depends on the string and playing style and its unlikly that the whole set goes false at the same time.
I change mine every 3-4 months, or roundabout that time-frame. Basically, once the strings feel unresponsive, I change them. I only play for about 10 hours a week, but it is frequently enough that even my violin teacher says that I should change them as often as I do. I find my strings take around a week to settle in (I'm using Larsens at the moment, with a Warchal Amber E - love that E string). I change out the whole set, simply because it makes it easier for me to remember the timeframe from when they were last replaced. It IS expensive, but I take lessons every other week (or thereabouts) and I do this because I love it so I want to fully enjoy my time playing. I think of playing (which includes taking care of my violin and bow, taking lessons, buying sheet music, etc.) as a luxury and a necessity, so I treat it as such. (I also don't go on big vacations or out to eat anymore, so .... hahaha Paul, so true. So true.)
If there's one thing that i learned empirically, and not only regarding violin, is that the "time rules" for changing strings is useless, as it changes from person to person, and from violin to violin and string types, and such.
Not sure I can break in the new strings on time before I have to return the bows. Quite busy at work this week. I'll probably change back to my old strings in the last two days of the trial.
Thanks for the advice, Douglas. I'll keep the strings on. I may try the Orchestra in the future.
You're so welcome, John. Relax and enjoy your bow testing!
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