I'm going to go get some strings soon because one of my strings gave up the ghost, and I figured I might as well replace the others too.
With the exception of the E string, which has a habit of snapping ever so often, I actually haven't changed strings for a long time. And I've never changed more than one at a time.
I'm pretty sure it's not a good idea to change them all in one go, but I'm not entirely sure how long the waiting period should be.
Should it be a day, two days, or... a week? Or should it be however long it takes for the previous string to get 'nice and comfortable'?
By 'nice and comfortable', what I mean is that the string will no longer go out of tune so easily.
If you could cure the ignorance of this amateur violinist, he would be very grateful (and less ignorant).
Change them all in one go every 6 months is probably, albeit simplistic and crude, a rule of thumb that won't lead an amateur far astray.
We usually do two one one day, wait a few days, and then do the other two. The only reason for this is so you don't have to be constantly retuning ALL of them at once. But it is a matter of convenience, so if you need to you can change all four the same day. As Gordon said above, only take off one at a time.
I change all my strings in one session (unless one breaks unexpectedly) ; one after the other as explained above. The new strings do seem to take a few days to get 'nice and comfortable' but that is not too much of a problem because I have Wittner geared pegs on all my violins.
Get a 4B pencil or softer, or some artists' graphite, and coat the nut grooves and bridge grooves - the graphite is a dry lubricant.
Thanks for curing my ignorance. I don't know why, but I sort of imagined there would be...unspeakable consequences if the strings were changed in one sitting.
The last time I changed strings (Dominants), it took a couple of weeks and a change of rosin from dark to light to get them settled. I'd like that settling process to start asap, not after a few days of staggered swapping.
I change all the strings on a violin at the same time, when I install a new set. If a string breaks I replace it and leave the others alone. However I had gone almost 10 years without having a string break until 2 A strings broke earlier this year (on different violins).
I tend to prefer G then E then D then A, to reduce torsional stress on the top. That's because I'm used to a resonator ukulele, where unbalanced string replacement can fritz the aluminium cone. Not that uke players replace their strings more than once a decade if they can help it, lol!
Kennedy I think it’s alright to change the strings all at once. Many people do it. You just should make sure to keep the bridge straight. Also be sure to put pencil graphite on the grooves of the bridge and nut. This helps the strings stretch and prevents them from breaking in those areas.
I think when these folks say they change the strings "all at once," they mean ONE AT A TIME, on the same day. Taking strings off ALL at the same time risks movement of the bridge and of the soundpost, which you want to avoid...
One at a time all within about half an hour or less.
I change strings one at a time, but not on the same day. They don't wear out at the same rate. My Goldbrokat E rusts rather quickly. The gut- core silver wrapped G lasts a long time. The aluminum wrapping on the A or D can wear or separate early. Any string can break or wear wherever there is a sharp edge; the peg-hole, the nut, the bridge, tailpiece hole or the metal fine- tuner. The E can also break if you attack a high position note with the bow-hair too far from the bridge. I had a stand partner that did that a lot. I also have a set of half- used strings in the case for emergency use. They don't need to stretch out or break-in.
Yes to clarify, Erin is right. Take the strings off one at a time - unless you’re Mr. Paganini or Mr. Fodor and want to play the Moses Variations. :) I can change a set of strings in about 10-20 minutes, by putting on and taking off strings one at a time.
Kennedy, high-level professionals almost never have a string break during a performance, unless this is purposefully done to add drama.
For me the changing of the strings is a zen-like experience because I like to get the windings just so on my pegs. It's a bit silly but it's just something I enjoy. So I turn on the TV (not very zen-like, I know) and I take my time, working with my pencil and my Kelly clamp (seconding Andy Victor), one by one, until they are done. And of course one of the downsides of having gear pegs (as Andy also has) is that changing strings does take a little longer.
My teacher (geared pegs on her viola) had never seen a guitar string winder until I bought her one.
I remember at one stage I'd had the same strings on my violin for about two years, and was given a telling off by my teacher as they were no longer true and had gone dull. All strings go "dull" (I think that's the best description) after a period. I change the whole set - one at a time as others have said - at the same time. Currently using Warchal Amber with a Russian 'A' because they seem to suit my violin.
You might like some of the tips in this video by Olaf the violin maker about how to put tension properly on strings.
When changing all strings in one sitting there is one thing to keep attention on: New strings need to be tuned up, never down for the first few days. This will make the bridge lean towards the fingerboard. Make sure you upright it as needed.
If you have a two violins in a double case, one can get stolen during a rehearsal or concert.
I honestly change A D G E in quick succession-not as a sort of hard and fast rule; just what *I* am used to-with proper measures taken (graphite, watching bridge angle, etc.) My bridge moves a bit over time, but not really much. Even with gut (or especially considering gut) they will likely not adjust in a day, so may as well have them all lose their tune simultaneously than having to wait for each to fully stabilize. If you practice normally, it won't take long for most strings to stabilize regardless, and with properly working pegs, it is fine (just retune!) I isially eager ro get a quick taste of the fresh set/string combination being used-waiting would ruin the mood.
Gordon, the Wittner Finetune pegs have an available winder. I have one but I don't really need it at home. It's probably good to have in your case if you snap a string during a performance.
I have a Wittner grinder too.