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Thread: Viola

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Upper right hand corner of USA
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    12

    Default Viola

    My youngest is a Viola player and the "new" C string came unwound so we replaced it. I have never had such a hard time replacing a string in my life. She is in 2 youth symphonies, the school symphony and a Chamber group.

    3 strings and all are false. It looks like I have to replace the entire set.

    And sets of strings for this thing can be as much a $80 for 4 strings.

    Anyone else ever have to deal with this?
    Walk softly and carry a loud stick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chicago
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    Orchestral string instruments are a whole other universe compared to guitars and ukes. Talk to your violist's teacher(s) or conductor(s) for recommendations about what kind of strings to get and where to buy them. Also for assistance installing them. 80 bucks is no surprise.

    My son played upright bass. Be thankful a viola fits into a midsize sedan :-)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Upper right hand corner of USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubulele View Post
    Yes, I play some fiddle. Same story. I hate friction pegs—won't buy a uke with them—, and violin strings are ridiculously expensive.

    One thing to make sure of is that you're putting the windings on the correct side of the peg hole. Basically, the windings should go toward the peg button, so that if they reach the side of the box, they help hold the peg in, instead of pushing it out.

    To both lubricate and add grip to the peg where it contacts the peg box, people often use some rosin or graphite (as from a soft lead pencil) or candle wax.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EumNXOKyfdE
    You may also have an easier time if you use a drop or two of Peg Drops. If you keep trying to force the pegs in so they'll hold, you'll actually widen the holes and reduce their gripping ability.
    Thanks, replacing the string I got...from a YouTube Video but it does not seem to matter who puts the string on the C keeps coming up false.
    Walk softly and carry a loud stick

  4. #4
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    Jul 2014
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    Upper right hand corner of USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by acmespaceship View Post
    Orchestral string instruments are a whole other universe compared to guitars and ukes. Talk to your violist's teacher(s) or conductor(s) for recommendations about what kind of strings to get and where to buy them. Also for assistance installing them. 80 bucks is no surprise.

    My son played upright bass. Be thankful a viola fits into a midsize sedan :-)
    Thanks, years ago, when I was still playing guitar I thought a bass player was going to beat me with his bass. He was walking out carrying it and I looked at him and said "That is why I play the guitar...its easier to carry"...Man did he give me a dirty look.

    I did check with her Viola teacher last night and it looks like I am going to have to get a whole new set of strings. Apparently breaking up a set is a bad thing and the C string is not the same brand as the other strings. At least she told me what brand they were, after she called the company that we bought it from.
    Walk softly and carry a loud stick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    FL, USA
    Posts
    315

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    I buy my strings individually, and almost never change all of them at once. There's nothing wrong with using different brands of viola strings together; many people do this all the time. I play viola for a living, and I can't think of anyone I know off hand who uses an entire set. Most seem to find the lower three (or two) matching strings they like, but have to use something else entirely for the top one (or two) strings. I prefer wound synthetic bass strings and wound steel trebles, myself.

    What do you mean when you say it "keeps coming up false"? How are you determining this? And it's unclear - did this happen with 3 different strings of the same type, or the same one when you tried installing it 3 times? I'd be curious also to know what brand these are. I don't use anything particularly fancy or expensive (relatively) for mine, yet I've not had this happen. I even save my old strings if they haven't unwound, to use in potential emergencies. And for the heck of it, I recently put a used viola C string that had been in my case for years on my tenor uke (since I prefer to tune it like a viola). I mainly wanted to see if it was workable, with good tension and feel, and it was - but it had no intonation issues at all, either, so I left it on. Only thing is that the ball end looks a little odd coming out of the tie bridge, and about 3/8" of the winding comes into the vibrating area, but it actually sounds fine. (This is a D'addario Pro Arte, medium tension long scale, BTW, which has a perlon core with a silver/tungsten alloy winding.)

    bratsche
    Last edited by bratsche; 04-12-2017 at 06:22 PM.
    A bunch of stringed instruments tuned in fifths. And a bunch of cats!


    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

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