In celebration of new strings for the fall, we are revisiting this subject: Do you change your own strings?
Changing strings is its own art, and it takes a while to get good at it. If you don't know how to change strings, or if you aren't yet very good at it, it makes sense to have someone else do it, particularly if you are short on time. Often, violin shops will offer to change them for you, either for free or for a small fee. This works well if you don't wish to take up lesson time, having your teacher change strings.
On the other hand, having your teacher change your strings can be an opportunity for you to learn how to do it. You can watch each step, as your teacher takes off the old string(s) and puts on the new, or if you are feeling confident, you can have your teacher supervise while you try changing them yourself. Of course, it does take up lesson time, but I'd say this is an important lesson in the maintenance of your violin. As a teacher, I do like to teach this skill to students, but the best time to do it is not the week before an audition or performance! Rather, plan that lesson for a break time or summer week.
If you have a relationship with a luthier, sometimes he or she can help show you how to change strings; I learned at least as much about changing strings from my local luthier as I did from my violin teacher. You can also learn from Youtube tutorials! (Maybe I'll make one!)
A while back, I had to learn how to change strings with geared pegs, or "planetary" pegs. Here's the secret: You change the strings in much the same way as you do with traditional pegs, you just have to wind, and wind, and wind, and wind!
Tell us who changes your strings, and if you do it yourself, how long did it take to learn this skill? Who taught you? And while we're sharing, what kind of strings do you use?
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