If you're a beginning violinist, violist, cellist, or bassist, congratulations! You are embarking on an exciting journey of learning to make music and playing music with others. If you are the parent of a beginning player, you have surely thought about all the great things you have to look forward to – the joy of your child making music, the concerts, and the camaraderie. Of course, in the back of your mind you may be thinking about the complexities of the instrument, questions that will arise that you may not be able to answer, and what to do if something breaks.
Fortunately, there is plenty of help available at SHAR! There is no need to be intimidated by your instrument. As with most things, a little bit of knowledge goes a long way. The information that we have assembled in this section will shepherd you through everything you need to know about the string needs of beginners.
Once a student learns to find the notes on the instrument, is able to produce a clean and pure sound, plays reasonably in tune, and learns basic tuning using the fine tuners, they're ready to start exploring their own musical ideas. The beginnings of personal expressiveness originate at this stage. The student is taught more advanced techniques of tone production, which lead to a much wider variety of tones. This is necessary for two reasons: The work being performed requires a specific tone, and the player desires one.
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For more advanced and professional players, selecting strings is a combination of science and art. This article focuses on the scientific side. Since there are so many options available in terms of string tension, gauge (thickness), core materials, and winding materials, it can be helpful to know something about how strings make sound. There are countless resources that explain the physics of strings, including formulas and graphs. We won't get into anything that technical here! However, spending 10-15 minutes reading and absorbing the following section would be a valuable investment.
Pitch, Length, Tension, Mass and more! Read More
Today's strings are marvels of engineering and sophisticated manufacturing. They are made to extremely close tolerances from materials of the highest quality. The result is outstanding sound, performance and reliability. Despite all this, every player has experienced problems from time to time with their strings. This section covers the major reasons behind these problems, starting with string maintenance . . . because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The fact is that most string problems are easily preventable.
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