If you’re new to music and have chosen the violin and your instrument of choice, it’s very possible that you’re focused more on finger placement and what seems like an impossible set of instructions from your music teacher, than on what your violin strings are made of.
However, as you progress in your musical career, you may want to explore the different string options available to you and the beautiful variety of sound that they deliver.
What are Violin Strings Made From?
Historically, violin strings were made out of gut; animal intestines which were dried and twisted and stretched into a cord. (Incidentally, “catgut” is not actual feline intestines as some people insist, but is the cord which is “prepared from the natural fibre found in the walls of animal intestines” most often sheep, goat, cattle, pigs or donkey.)
Today, we have more of a choice when it comes to violin strings. Which will you choose?
Gut Violin Strings
Yes, some musicians still use the traditional gut strings, preferring the warm and complex tones that they offer. They remain high maintenance strings which require regular tuning and are vulnerable to changes in humidity levels. They are not as hardy as other string types, they are most costly, but they sing beautifully.
Metal Violin Strings
Metal strings are a common and durable option. They produce a bright, clean sound and are the preferred choice of electric violinists and jazz musicians. Steel core strings, as they are also known, will last and are a low maintenance option.
Synthetic Violin Strings
Nylon and nylon composites are another option for musicians who prefer the warmer tones of gut with the longevity of nylon. As with the guitar, synthetic strings are softer on the fingers and more responsive than steel strings which make them ideal for beginners.
Whatever your style or musical level, you will be able to find the violin strings that suit your technique to create the magical sounds that you are looking for. For more information on music lessons and training in the arts, talk to one of the friendly Keyboard Magic team.