Octave stringed violin?

January 13, 2019, 3:16 PM · Hi, I'm a Viola player but like a second instrument I've always been looking for lower pitches without change the way of playing (under the chin). Lately I've heard a lot about specialized strings that allows a normal size violin (and/or viola) plays an octave lower than its regular range. My problem comes deciding which instrument should I buy, there are a lot of reviews saying that kind of strings works perfectly in a 4/4 violin but I think a small viola (about 15") could work better due to the size. What do you think about it? Is it worth it or should I wait and buy a real tenor violin?

Replies (5)

January 13, 2019, 5:00 PM · NO. DO NOT BUY THEM.

Octave strings are a silly invention.

January 14, 2019, 6:19 AM · There are several recent discussions on this forum.
I would recommend to go for no lower than octave violin, but on as large a viola as you can handle.
Edited: January 14, 2019, 7:13 AM · I have tried OCTAVE viola strings on a 16-inch viola and the top 3 strings worked pretty nicely but the lower 5th of C string could not engage the instrument's resonance enough to be useful. The strings might work on a different instrument's body.

You do have to give to some thought about how you string up an instrument with these thick strings. I reversed the pegs normally used for G and C strings to avoid too large a bend angle on the thick C string.

I have decided not to even fool around with the OCTAVE violin strings even though I have a set and the OCTAVE violin strings might be too short for a normal size viola - might have to be strung too tight.

My intention was to be able to carry my violin/viola double case to a quartet or "serenades" session and be able to play any part that might be missing a player, but it is pretty hard, even for a "triple-hitter," to sight-read cello parts on a chin instrument.

January 14, 2019, 7:11 AM · My next instrument will be a viola, not an octave-strung violin.
January 14, 2019, 2:04 PM · Some of us have done GDAE tuning on a viola (octave below violin) with some success. If you play with a pickup it makes the low strings a more viable option.

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