AARGH PEGS

February 11, 2008 at 06:19 AM · Does anyone know a good way to stop pegs from slipping?! My G peg especially but the D and A as well simply WILL NOT stay put. It takes me ten times longer than it should to tune, and sometimes they slip or spin out at really inopportune times. It's driving me absolutely ballistic and any advice on how to fix it would be most welcome!!

Replies (24)

February 11, 2008 at 06:36 AM · You can wind it this way if you aren't already. After you've put the string end through the hole and let it wrap over the free end once or twice, pull the string way over to beside the pegbox and finish the winding there, with the final turn up against the pegbox wall. Then the forces are such that when you tighten the string, the peg gets forced into the hole. Lubricate it will a Hill crayon or something so it won't jam.

February 11, 2008 at 07:37 AM · Hmm, thanks, I'll try that tomorrow. Seems like it would work.

February 11, 2008 at 07:57 AM · Could be that they're too small. That violin spent time in Utah, which is different than the impossibly oppressive and bi-polar climate of Ohio. Also, have the strings strung up against the wall of the pegbox. Lastly, make sure that you string them at the right angle. You'll see most violins all have the strings strung up at the same angles so that it's easy for the hands to tune. If you have to contort your hand to tune while playing an open string, it's unlikely that it will go the way you want it to.

That pegdope stuff is also really good. It seems to creat the perfect balance of friction.

February 11, 2008 at 08:02 AM · To be on the safe side, get a luthier to say your particular pegbox walls are strong enough to take the peg being pulled inward like that without splitting.

February 11, 2008 at 11:22 AM · Chalk will do the trick if they slip.

February 11, 2008 at 12:04 PM · i have noticed that even with properly grooved pegs, in the winter time, when the humidity is lower (not sure if it is the case with mara in college rooms, but i remember mine years ago was major dry heat), the pegs simply slip more easily due to less friction. on the contrary in the humid months of the summer, they tend to be more sticky.

even though people put stuff in the case to maintain humidity, if mara practices often in the practice room, and then play in the orchestra, all those areas' humidity cannot be controlled.

sorry, obviously not offering a solution, just an observation. i caution doing too much too drastically in the winter months and then in the summer months another set of problems may surface..

February 11, 2008 at 01:48 PM · Do you keep something in your case to humidify your violin? People do this to prevent cracks, but it also keeps the pegholes from getting larger as the wood there dries out. I agree with the thought of going to the shop with this. If the holes are already enlarged and/or worn or your pegs didn't fit really well to start, trying to re-wrap tightly enough could crack the pegbox. The repair for this is costly, so you might have a pile of firewood on your hands unless your vln. is valuable enough to warrant the process of having the pegholes plugged, re-drilled, and new pegs fitted. If you are not sure how, the shop can also teach you how to re-wrap the strings onto the pegs seasonally. Come about March/April (in the NE) you will want to reverse the process. Sue

February 11, 2008 at 02:21 PM · BE CAREFULL:

I've heard that having the strings wound up against the peg-box is strictly forbidden.

February 11, 2008 at 02:37 PM · Chalk, as someone mentioned above. I put some chalk on my daughter's pegs about two months ago when all four pegs were loose as happens every winter. They are still holding up. Easy to apply easy to remove.

February 11, 2008 at 02:54 PM · I used to have pegs didn't fit perfectly well so I used rosin by moving my well-rosined bow back and forth on the pegs. That seemed to do the trick, but I won't be surprised if someone is horrified by this method.

February 11, 2008 at 03:26 PM · Pegs can stick and pegs can slip -- same pegs -- different conditions.

Liquid or paste Peg Compounds are better solutions than chalk. Lava soap has been used by some, but it can quickly erode peg holes in the peg box, so if it is used as an emergency stopgap, it should be removed very soon and replaced with peg compund.

I've finally solved all my peg problems by installing Pegheds and Knilling Perfection Planetary Pegs on all my instruments. Love 'em!

February 11, 2008 at 03:28 PM · I used to put peg compound to increase friction but I found it usually would get the pegs stuck solid instead. Hence now I have one of my violin retrofitted with the mechanical pegs (perfection pegs) and another one equipped with a tail piece with four fine tuners.

February 12, 2008 at 06:19 AM · well, for another 2 bits,,,

I have found that winding the strings against the pegbox makes the slip condition worse. Also, it breaks the strings easily and quickly. I imagine such is not good for the pegbox, too.

In my case, the slippage occurred because of too much peg lube for the humidity encountered. So, removed the pegs, wiped each clean with alcohol, and restrung. problem solved.

Of course, in summer, the pegs became stuck tight. I had to re-apply a lube. I didn't have the special lube handy, so I rubbed a bar of soap on the pegs, and restrung. problem solved.

so, now I alternate between applying and removing soap. (once in summer and once in winter) I have found this to be 100% safe for the violin, and rather effective. I prefer this soap method now over the pegdrops and rosin and whatever.

February 12, 2008 at 06:57 AM · "I have found that winding the strings against the pegbox makes the slip condition worse."

You would.

February 12, 2008 at 07:53 PM · Properly fit pegs work like a dream. The way yours are acting means they don't fit anymore.

I was taught that winding strings up against the edge of the pegbox is a no-no because it will cause the strings to wear and break.

I think you'd have to wind them against the far wall to get the effect of backing the pegs out.

February 12, 2008 at 10:56 PM · Greetings,

I have been winding strings against the peg box for 37 years and not one has broken. Nor has my peg box even bene damaged.

On the other hand I don`t attach the otehr end of the strings to anything....

Cheer`s

Buri

February 12, 2008 at 11:04 PM · I don't like chalk or rosin. I tried turning the pegs on a violin that had this sort of treatment and it squeeked horribly and the pegs would get stuck at random intervals =( (It behaved just like a bird call I used to own that you would prepare with rosin. The sound..and the sticking). I would recommend getting Hiderpaste. When my pegs were slipping it worked like a charm for me and now I keep it in my case at all times.

May 10, 2008 at 09:34 AM · BUMP!

Had to resurrect this thread, because it's exactly how I feel at the moment. Weather change, humidity change. ARRGH!

May 10, 2008 at 11:08 AM · :-) I had the same problem today, E and A came loose all the time, had to tune 4 or 5 times during a two hour practising session today. It was raining all day long but humidity is only just above 60.

May 10, 2008 at 01:11 PM · I keep me casa at an average 50% humidity-and at school it is about 45%.

Add in a Musafia case-and I run gut-core strings in the dead of winter, without too much fluxuation in pitch.....and due to the lower tension-is easy to tune.

PS-I too have used the friction of the strings against pegbox to keep pegs planted. Not one string break is there I can attribute in my time-nor have I damaged a pegbox. I have to say that a set of well-fitting pegs and nicely cut peg-box is a thing of beauty.

PPS-Keep your practicing/living spaces humidified in the winter-not a dampit, a true humidifier, and your instrument will sing praises for you.

May 10, 2008 at 07:43 PM · I second (or third) the use of Peg Drops Peg Compound. One drop on each peg when changing strings does the trick.

May 10, 2008 at 08:43 PM · I do have an actual question, now that I've revived this thread! Has anybody figured out a sure-fire way to make the pegs end up at the right angles when the string's tuned up to the right pitch? (I mean, approximately perpendicular to the strings, not parallel). That seems to be the current cause of my peg frustration, and I figure if anybody's got a system, they're probably on v.com...

May 10, 2008 at 10:12 PM · Ditto Megan's question. Especially if using gut strings (Passiones) which stretch quite a bit before settling in. It would seem an impossible task to guesstimate how much stretching will occur so that all the stars (pegs) are properly aligned for easy tuning at the proper tension.

May 10, 2008 at 10:44 PM · Peg glue usually works for me. I think you can order it on Shar. You just put some of it on the peg, and it shouldn't slip any more.

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