Saturday, January 16, 2016

How to Tune a Violin

The video below will explain how to tune a violin from a professional violinist. There are two scenarios discussed. One scenario is when you have four fine tuners on the tail piece. Scenario two has one tuner on the E string, but no fine tuners on the G, D or A strings. If you are going to use one fine tuner and no fine tuners on the tail piece, you’ll need to use synthetic core strings; perlon, gut, synthetic versions of gut is what is mostly used today. If you’re going to use the four fine tuners, typically it’s because you’re going to use a metal core strings, which means with a peg, the metal core strings are going to be able to be tuned much quicker, life will be miserable without fine tuners.

How to Tune a Violin Video

With the synthetic core strings, the core will stretch as you turn the peg and you’ll get a lot slower movement to the pitch. You therefore, can get to the center of the pitch without the aggravation you would have if you had metal strings with no fine tuners. Using the fine tuners, you can learn how to tune a violin quickly. Strike the A note on the tuner, tune your string to that note, then tune the E string to the A string, then the D to the A, then finally the G to the D.

It can be frustrating when learning to play violin, especially when your violin is out of tune. What is recommended if you’re new to violin tuning, is to get a pitch pipe or even better yet, an electronic tuner. The pitch pipe is rather simple, as all you need to do is blow into the pipe to hear all four notes. So you can get pretty close with just going back and forth, hearing the note on the pitch pipe and then matching it to your string. So if you don’t have a tuning fork and can’t hear the fifths, take the pitch pipe, one string at a time and try your best to get close to the notes.

Now for the violin that has no fine tuners on the tailpiece, you’re going to just use the pegs. Most of the time you don’t even need the pegs on a violin with the four fine tuners. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. If you do, you get it close with the pegs and then use the fine tuners to get even closer. On a violin without fine tuners, you need to get as close as you can with the pegs because you have no choice. The E string has a fine tuner, but for the most part, you can get it close, just by plucking on the strings. The pegs need to fit well to keep in tune so that when your tuning a violin with pegs, you’re not having to try so hard to get to the pitch. You can start by striking or plucking the string with your finger as you adjust the corresponding peg. A friction peg will move in a way so that if you start below the pitch by loosening the peg, and then as you go up in pitch, you’re pushing in as well - hold the scroll so you have something to push against. So push in as you go up, and if you go past the pitch, then go down again, until you match it to the pitch and then it should stay.

Now most fine tuning is done by violinists with their bow instead of plucking the strings. Use the same method described above except use your bow instead of your fingers to strike the strings as you adjust the pegs. Needless to say, this method is really difficult to do on the metal strings without the fine tuners.

So if you are learning how to tune a violin with synthetic core strings, one tuner is fine along with well fitted, well working pegs. With any metal core strings, you’ll absolutely need to use fine tuners because it is too difficult to tune without them. Also, when you’re tuning with the fine tuners, you really do that fine tuning with the bow as well, except you are using the fine tuners on the tail instead of using the pegs.

Hope this violin lesson on how to tune a violin has been helpful to you. It will become easier as you repeat the process each time, because who wants to play a violin that is not in tune?!

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