New String Problem

August 26, 2019, 2:50 PM · Just put new strings on my violin. Steel strings. They sound great when plucking the strings to tune up. But when I try to play, the E string is giving me trouble. At first, it didn’t want to play at all. Pull the bow across it and nothing. Finally, by pressing down with the bow really hard, I got a little sound. It seems that rosin transferred from the bow to the string helped a bit. So I put more rosin on the bow and that helped a little more, but it still isn’t right. I thought about putting rosin on he string just in the playing area. Any suggestions?

Replies (7)

August 26, 2019, 2:57 PM · Get a different string? It shouldn't do that
August 26, 2019, 3:19 PM · Did you remove all the strings at once? If so, the soundpost may have fallen.
August 26, 2019, 3:54 PM · Shake your violin. If it sounds like a maracca, your soundpost fell down.

Putting it back upright is a very fun process which most people prefer to pay a luthier to do rather than attempt it themselves.

August 26, 2019, 4:09 PM · If your soundpost has fallen down, please loosen all your strings immediately.
Edited: August 26, 2019, 7:46 PM · You don't mention what steel strings you put on your violin. Some steel strings, like spirocore, will require much more pressure and more rosin or stickier rosin relative to gut or synthetic strings. Some cheap, off-brand steel strings are just cantankerous. Rosin on the string won't help.
Also, if the post is still standing, you might need to have it adjusted.
August 26, 2019, 11:28 PM · One string at a time. Soundpost has NOT fallen. D’Addario Helicore strings. Played some today. Am working on Gavotte from Mignon which requires some E string passages. It did better today, but I still have to work a bit harder to get sound on the E string.
August 26, 2019, 11:49 PM · Wow, I use Helicore, they are pretty good for steel. Is the E heavy gauge ? Heavy gauge strings are supposed to be louder, but on a lot of violins the extra pressure on the top plate makes it less responsive, slower, like a drum head that is too tight. It is very common to use an E that does not match the rest of the set, like the Dominant E that is usually not used. Try the 3 gauges of Goldbrokat, or the Warchal Amber E. Shameless name-dropping;-- I was concertmaster for a program that featured Mark O'Connor. Waiting in the wings back stage, I asked him; "I heard that you used heavy steel strings (Helicore). He said Yes. I said, "Well, it doesn't seem to slow you down" He just laughed.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

ArmSymphony AI Violin Competition
ArmSymphony AI Violin Competition

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program Business Directory Business Directory

AVIVA Young Artist Program

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine