Chances are, when you take your violin, viola or cello out of its case, the instrument will be out of tune.
It's just the nature of stringed instruments; temperature and humidity cause the strings to expand or contract, and the same elements also cause the entire instrument to do the same. Even after you tune your violin, you might find that, 15 minutes later, it's once again out of tune as the instrument has warmed to your body or adjusted to the temperature in a different room.
So if you have difficulty tuning your instrument, then you are going to have a lot of difficulty! Many factors can contribute to problems with tuning: ill-fitting pegs that slip or stick; fine tuners that don't work; old strings that have gone false.
One of my adult students this week had decided to get fine tuners on all his strings to make it easier to tune. Then he noticed that I only had a fine tuner on my E string.
"Wait, am I not supposed to have fine tuners on the other strings?" I had to explain that, back in the day, we sadistic violinists made this almost a moral imperative: one fine tuner on the E string, and for the other strings, you can just figure out how to use the pegs, little missy.
I'd like to give everyone permission to put fine tuners on every string, if it helps. Of course, you'll still have to use the pegs when things get quite out of tune, but it could help with the day-to-day smaller tunings. And another thing: you can install planetary pegs on your violin, and make it way, way easier to tune. If Elizabeth Pitcairn can get Wittner pegs installed on her Red Stradivarius, then I think it's safe to install them on any violin out there.
I spent many years playing a violin that had absolutely horrible-working pegs. Over time, the pegs on that old violin had been replaced, and none was the same size or design as any of the others. Certainly none of them fit into their designated peg-box holes. I grew adept at amateur measures to get them to stick or to move again: winding the strings right up against the peg box, using dry soap as peg lubricant and baby powder as stopper; taking the violin off my shoulder every time I had to tune. Thankfully I now have a violin with well-installed pegs.
What is your tuning situation? Is it easy for you, or quite difficult? If it is difficult, what is making it difficult? Is it the pegs? Fine tuners? Some other situation? If it is easy, did you ever take measures, such as re-bushing the peg box or getting geared pegs, to get your pegs to work better? Or did your violin simply come with well-fitting pegs and a good fine tuner or tuners? Please participate in the vote and then share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section.
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