How often do you replace your strings?

May 15, 2008 at 03:34 AM · I change my Dominant G,D,A strings once a month. and I replace my Pirastro Gold E every 2 weeks. What about you?

Replies (26)

May 16, 2008 at 02:43 AM · I play D'Addarrio Helicore's and I replace the A & E evey two concerts (2 weeks-ish) and the D & G about once a month. Gotta keep em' fresh when you rock out...

-Ross Christopher

May 16, 2008 at 12:35 PM · I used to be a two week switch, or one month new set person. Now that I've got my own place to pay all the bills for... not so much.

May 16, 2008 at 12:36 PM · Oh, I fluctuate between all the synthetics by Pirastro and Thomastik-Dominant

May 16, 2008 at 12:53 PM · I'm a beginner I keep mine on for months, anywhere between 3-6 months.

May 16, 2008 at 02:20 PM · Passione wound gut...I get maybe 5-6 weeks per set depending.

May 17, 2008 at 03:31 AM · What does it mean to "Go false"?

May 17, 2008 at 03:35 AM · Go false = out of tune,not appropriate,

sound that is not "true"

out of whack



off the line


exceedingly dull to the ear

out of sorts

shockingly demoralizing to the spirit

demonstratively unpalliative












contrary to the norm




no good

of no hope




ohhhh, maybe thats just me.

if there is doubt----switch strings !!!

May 17, 2008 at 05:39 PM · That was inspiring, Joe:

'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This D-string is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the fingerboard, 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is tonal responses are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' violin invisible!!


May 17, 2008 at 06:25 PM · Once a month is a bit too high-maintenance for a lot of people. Even my teacher only changes his strings about once every three months.

May 18, 2008 at 06:11 PM · i do not replace them often enough...the strings I'm using now are six months old. :(

I'm really need to get new strings!

May 18, 2008 at 06:50 PM · Me -- I go forever on my old-fashioned dominants/gold label e combo.

My 13-year-old daughter uses Vision Titanium Solos, which she changes about every 3 months, or sometimes sooner for an important concert (roughly 10 days to two weeks before).

May 18, 2008 at 08:06 PM · I used to be one of those people that would go 5-6 months without changing until one of my strings would start falling apart. Then I realized that strings sound terrible after 3 months.

I've since come to the conclusion that if you really care about your sound it makes a big difference to put a new set on every month. It helps if you can get your strings cheap too though. ;)


May 18, 2008 at 09:43 PM · Is it time or hours playing though?

If I play 8 hours a day (dream on!) would I need to change my strings 8 times more often than if I play 1 hour a day?

May 18, 2008 at 10:20 PM · Jane--

in a word yes. The strings fatigue and with added use they fatigue more. After a while they begin to sound like it. Generally speaking most people will say that a set of strings is shot after 120 hours of playing.

May 18, 2008 at 11:06 PM · I don't dispute that 120 hours of playing can deaden a set of strings, but I dimly recall reading somewhere that many perlon core strings have a useful life of up to 300 hours. I can't remember where I saw that, though.

Gut strings obviously wear fastest. At the other end of the spectrum, I think you can play Red Label Super Sensitive Strings for several years before the sound changes appreciably--they sound just as nasty when they're new as when they've been played hard. I once saw a fiddler playing on strings that even had a few spots of surface rust on them--I'd be scared of metal fatigue and snapping strings, not just a poor sound, at that point.

May 18, 2008 at 11:47 PM · ^

rust is a part of life.

May 19, 2008 at 12:49 PM · You're right Conrad. I use gut strings and have little experience with the perlon or other syntethic cores except for one set of Dominants which is why I went back to gut--de gustibus.

May 19, 2008 at 08:24 PM · I'm trying Helicores, oddly enough. How long does everyone feel these last? They're much cheaper than synthetics, but very nice under the fingers--buttery almost. I'm surprised by the warmth and richness of these steel strings on my violin...

May 19, 2008 at 09:33 PM · I'm using helicores on my travel violin, on a viola, and on a near-VSO that needs all the brightness it can get. I'm not playing any of these instruments full-time, but the strings have held up extremely well and show no signs of fatigue or wear. For my travel fiddle, though, which is out in the air more than the others, I've noticed that Helicores tarnish a bit more than other strings I've used in the past.

May 19, 2008 at 09:53 PM · Yes,the Helicore e-string and the Zyex e-string will rust away in front of your vision !

May 20, 2008 at 06:21 PM · I'm using a Passione e instead of the one that comes with the Helicore set. I like them a lot!

May 21, 2008 at 04:25 AM · I read somewhere that in his salad days, Paganini played about 12 hours a day, sometimes more. Would that mean he'd have to replace his strings every 10 days?

I guess that's a little unrealistic since I would assume that he used gut strings, and those take about a week to settle...

Anyways I replace my strings every 5 months or so, but only because I'm a poor student. As soon as I start making the $$$ I plan to change them every 6 weeks.

May 21, 2008 at 05:05 AM · I use Dominants and replace them around every 3 months or so. Sometimes longer than that. If I used the 300 hour rule, I'd be replacing them every 20 days. The 120 hour rule would put me at once a week. I don't have that kind of cash!!!

May 21, 2008 at 05:16 AM · Greetings,

Gene, Paginin had the habit of cutting his string almost through prior to a cocnert. That plays havoc with the statistics.



May 21, 2008 at 05:49 AM · Mendy,

Are you sure about your math? If you're logging 120 hours / week with your violin, that means that you're playing over 17 hours per day.

Using a more realistic 4 hours / day (remember, this is playing time, not holding violin in rehearsal time, and it's averaged over days when you might not be playing quite as much), 120 hours gets you a solid month of playing. 300 hours takes you out almost to the 3 month mark.

May 22, 2008 at 06:43 AM · Conrad,

You are totally right. I got my days and weeks totally confused. I had really meant to say that I should be replacing strings every 6-20 WEEKS (not days).

Alas, I realized my UOM conversion error too late. But I still stand by changing strings every 6 weeks is NOT affordable.

This is what happens to you from doing Oracle ERP implementations for too many years. UOM conversions start taking on a mind of their own.

(embarassed blush)

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