Strings for practice v. performance
I play violin strictly for fun at the present time and have read many posts about the variety of strings available. I am wondering if most of you use the same strings for practice and performing or if you practice with a different set, then change closer to the performance.
I use the same strings for both because certain strings have different responses to bow pressure and different projection, so if I were to switch to a different brand before a performance, I would probably not play exactly how I would have planned in the practice room.
Regardless of what strings you use, if you're going to use fresh strings for a performance, be sure to install them at least 72 hours prior to the performance to give them time to break-in.
Some people have a violin or bow that they use for routine practicing, and that violin may have its own most appropriate set of strings. But as far as changing strings on your main instrument, it makes no real sense to change brands just because you've got a concert coming up.
"72 hours prior"
Dominants will work with less time, although some get bothered by the metallic sound.
I usually change my strings either before a recital or jury, or when the current set is deceased. Although lately, I've been able to keep my strings on for longer periods of time since I switched to Thomastik Rondo. My current set has been on my violin for 4.5 months now and I still don't think they need to be changed yet. If anything the G string may be SLIGHTLY less responsive up in the high positions, but I'm still able to work around it by finessing how I touch the string with the bow so I probably still won't change them for at least another 2 weeks when the strings will be 5 months old.
In this link, https://www.warchal.com/timbre-strings.html#timbre3 Warchal explains a method of breaking in new strings in only 12 minutes. Admittedly, the method is with reference to Timbre strings (which I've never used), but I have used it successfully on their Amber G and D in the past, and more recently on a new Eudoxa G.
If you are actually concerned about wearing out the expensive strings on your best violin, then do more of your practicing, rehearsing, on violin #2, with similar, but cheaper synthetic strings. The same idea for your bow. Extend the life of the hair by using a spare bow more often. I try to change strings After a performance.
Here is my $0.02. I am not good enough so that it matters, but I would not want to change strings just before a performance for various reasons. The biggest problem is that you need time to get used to the way the new strings react/respond, even if it is just a new set of the usual strings. With totally different strings, the problem would be even greater, since you would not really be used to them at all. So, I think this is a bad idea. The other problem if you use different strings for concert/audition is that even if you quickly get used to them, they may not be exactly what you expected, and that may cause problems.
I think the 72-hour rule is a reasonable guideline for most synthetic-core strings. I once tried Larsen Tzigane strings and they sounded
I would never use different strings for practice than for performance.
The Sauret Cadenza is the only perpetual cadenza that I know...
Changing strings just before a performance is simply not a thing people do.
It helps to know how long the break-in is. Most synthetics, I find, are OK after a day. Maybe not perfect, but not causing problems.
[:-)] Very cute, MIKE!
Mike Liu: "72 hours prior" Even more if you are using Dominants...
Thanks everyone for your input. I’m reluctant to splurge on high priced strings since I only play for self enjoyment.
Getting the right strings for your instrument goes a long way in increasing your enjoyment IMO and if you change strings lets say twice a year, the cost difference between most sets doesn't really matter all that much I think unless you are on a very tight budget. I understand your resistance though. Some shops offer the opportunity to try various sets to find the best match, which can be a big cost saving. Spending $135 on a set of strings just to try, you must be willing to live with them for a long while if you don't like them. Sometimes it takes years to find the right match. Took me 5 years!
Jerry- If you're on a budget there are many wonderful strings that are moderately priced. Tonica, Warchal, Corelli and John Pearse Artiste brands come to mind. If they suit your instrument and playing style, no one hearing you is going to know that they cost a fraction of the most expensive strings.
Jerry, buy Tonicas and stick with them.
I started the viola at 14yo and refused to touch a violin for the first ten years. I have since earned more money on the violin! However, my violin is a little oversized in length and depth, and could do well as a child's viola.
Did you post in the wrong thread, Adrian?
Did you post in the wrong thread, Adrian?
Thanks everyone for your comments. I am currently using Dominant Pro medium which are working well for me. I may try Tonica next.
Does Pirastro make Perpetual Cadenza strings for Viola? Or any other low-tension synthetic besides Tonica? Not dissing Tonica - they're great. I'm just wondering.
Not yet, Ms. Kaur. It was originally a Cello only product that became a violin option (usually it happens the other way around with Pirastro, though there have been other cases, I believe.) It is a niche product of sorts, but as I stated above, I would not consider using the original and would gladly use the Cadenza variant instead.