Opening up the g-string

August 31, 2019, 5:59 PM · Hi there,
Do you have any string recommendations to open up the sound in the higher positions on the g string? I prefer a slightly brighter type of string since my violin is quite dark sounding. But any type of strings that will help it open up would be great! I was previously using the "violino" strings by pirastro I think, and they weren't bad at all, I had basically no problem playing right up to the top of the fingerboard. But then I tried daddario ascente strings and they are terrible, the g string chokes in 5th position. I'm still looking for strings that suit my violin.

Replies (6)

August 31, 2019, 6:37 PM · I heard evah pirrazis don't do well up on the g string. Is that so?
August 31, 2019, 6:49 PM · My violin is quite bright, and it chokes if the G string is too heavy. Try something lighter.

Could also try any number of other tricks which may or may not open up your violin's sound:

Moving the soundpost towards the centre or closer to the bridge

Shortening your tailgut

Using a lighter tailpiece

Making your bridge thinner on the G side

Edited: September 1, 2019, 9:06 AM · What I have found is that G string troubles are basically fiddle troubles.

Cotton's recommendations are good. What I found helped some G string problems I had were:

1. Try to balance the strings differently. I had good luck on G strings when I used the $30 Thomastik Peter Infeld E string.

2. On a couple of fiddles that had G string problems above the lowest octave using a set of Larsen Tzigane.

With those 2 solutions I was satisfied things could be controlled.

August 31, 2019, 7:22 PM · In general, a lighter gauge or lower mass string will give a clearer sound in high positions on the G string. There are many exceptions.
Edited: September 1, 2019, 8:42 AM · With a dark-sounding violin, a light bridge will increase the strength of the higher frequencies and brighten it up. Cotton Mather mentioned lightening up the G side, but I'd look at lightening up elsewhere as well, since the entire bridge moves, not just one side. The upper area nearest the strings is the critical zone; I wouldn't try to lighten the waist or legs, as that can reduce bridge stiffness and work against what you want.
September 1, 2019, 1:53 PM · I don't think there are any magic fixes and I would not start by taking wood off the bridge or violin. You simply have to play high on the G string, close to the bridge and with a big sound, for a period of time (like a year or more). The violin will usually open up, and your technique will be better. Many violins, especially those used by amateurs and students, have never been extensively played up there, which is why they sound closed and hard to play.

That being said, I have always preferred the light-gauge Dominant G. Some strings, like Evas, have always seemed to respond worse high on the G. There is a tradeoff on the G between playability and sheer volume.
Personally, I will take better response over biggest possible sound. However, I would not use light gauge on any other strings. That to me would indicate a violin that needs replacing.

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