I am planning to change all four strings on my violin from one synthetic string brand to another; my last string change was done by my luthier, which was well over a year ago. I was planning on replacing just one string at a time, one string a day for the next four days to minimize any resulting movements in the bridge and soundpost. Are there any best practices I should follow? Does the order matter? I was thinking of changing them in the order of G, A, D, and E strings.
I don't think the order matters. Shar has videos on how to do this. I like to wind once or twice on the inside of the hole where the end of the string is emerging (opposite the wall of the pegbox for that peg)before crossing over and winding back toward the pegbox. That seems to give a little more grip so the string doesn't slip out of the hole quite so easily. Whether you wind once or twice on the "wrong" side kind of depends on how much room you have in your pegbox. With some antique violins it can get really crowded in there. You can use a blunt steel tool like a very small screwdriver to keep things aligned as you go, I find that useful, so that your windings aren't every which-way. But careful that the tool doesn't scratch the peg or damage the windings on the string. Also remember to lube the nut and bridge grooves with graphite from a soft but sharp pencil. If using a mechanical pencil you can sharpen the graphite with an emery board. I usually plan on spending at least half an hour changing a set of strings because I really take my time to get it right -- it's kind of a Zen thing for me. I have to go slowly anyway because I've got gear pegs so it's a LOT of turning. That's one of the disadvantages of the gear pegs.
Turn peg, pull out strings, stick new string in hole, turn peg in opposite direction. Voilà.
I agree with what Paul has written.
Nice set of instructions here:
Andy Victor makes a great point. There's no preferred order in terms of the safety of the violin -- but there is in terms of convenience.
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