Viola string length effect
What happen when we use a longer or shorter scale strings than the viola string vibriting length?
Shorter scale may be too short to install. If installed, will result in higher tension and may choke the instrument.
Shorter scale means less tension with the same strings. You've got it backwards.
A string designed for a 14 inch vibrating-length viola will sound a lower pitch if used on a 16-inch vibrating-length viola. Therefore higher tension would be required to bring such a string to a higher pitch.
@Rocky: I play 16.5" viola, I wanted a more higher tension by changing the strings scale (I didn't found higher tension in my country). Can a medium scale (15-16") increase tension for 16.5" viola? or maybe a more shorter scale?
I misread the question. Anyways, that's what I meant. Longer length = more tension.
Amine, If I were to put a D string designed for a 14-inch viola on a 16-inch viola and tightened it to the intended tension it would sound a B or C instead of a D. To get it to play a D it would have to be tightened - possibly about 10% more than it is designed for.
Andrew, thank you for the great explanation!
When a string is described as "short-scale" it is designed for a short-scale instrument. To have "normal" tension, it will be thicker.
Amine, If you provide the VSL (measured from nut to bridge) that would help us help you. I am curious why are you looking for more tension on your instrument?
Tension is proportional to the square of the scale length.
"Tension is proportional to the square of the scale length" Plus something to do with mass per cm...
Rocky, based on Amine's other threads, it appears he is trying to tune his viola an octave below a violin without the strings getting floppy.
@Rocky: my VSL is 38cm, I would like to tune my viola an octave below violin, I actually tune down a standard 4/4 A4-D4-G3-C3 viola strings to E4-A3-D3-G2 (steel string Pyramid Gold), the sound is good but the tension is very low and affect the projection. I would like to experiment a short scale strings set, but I'm not sure about the result?
I see... A friend of mine has done it on his viola, which I played. Will ask him what was the string combo after Christmas and let you know.
Here you are:
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