The violin is a beautiful instrument used in numerous forms of music, like classical, folk, country, jazz, and even pop. There is no fun in playing a violin that is out of tune, however. Keeping the instrument in tune is important in regards to sound quality. Over tightening leads to damage and breakage, so it is important for musicians to know how to properly tune a violin.
Ways to Tune a Violin
Tuning violins is possible using numerous methods. Before the modern era, musicians used to tune violins using a piano, tuning fork, or their own inner ear. Now there are various ways to tune a violin.
- Inner ear: Some people have perfect pitch, which is the ability to recognise a pitch just by hearing it. Experienced musicians can naturally build an inner ear, as well, where they memorise the sound of a base tone and then tune their instrument accordingly.
- Piano: The piano features all of the pitches necessary to tune a violin.
- Other instruments: Other instruments besides the piano, especially concert-tuned instruments like the guitar, can also find use to tune a violin.
- Tuning fork: When struck, tuning forks can produce a steady pitch to use for tuning.
- Electronic tuner: Modern electric tuners can recognise virtually any pitch.
- Clip-on tuner: Related to electric tuners, these devices clip to the headstock of an instrument, normally near the tuning knobs, and pick up vibrations from the neck, which it uses to recognise pitches.
- Metronome: While these typically to produce a steady tempo, they sometimes come equipped with the function to play a basic tone, such as an A440, to use for tuning purposes.
As seen above, there are many methods to tuning a violin, but it is important to understand how to tune the strings of a violin conventionally. While alternate tunings exist, see below to find further information about how a violin is tuned.
Tuning a Violin
Violins usually have four strings. From lowest string to the highest, tune them in perfect fifths: G, D, A, and E. The lowest string, the G string, is a fourth below middle C. The next string, the D string, is a fifth above the previous G string and a whole step above middle C. The A and E strings are similar fifths apart.
To tune a violin, it is helpful to use an electronic device that allows one to see whether one is too flat or sharp from the proper pitch. If wanting to rely on one's ear, try starting below the proper pitch and gently turning the tuning knob so the pitch sharpens into the correct pitch.
Taking Care of a Violin
Below are more helpful tips for keeping a violin in tune and in good condition. Most of these rules apply to any stringed instrument, especially if they are primarily from wood.
- When violin strings get old from time and lots of use, they tend to go out of tune easily. This is a good time to replace them.
- After playing the violin, be sure to tune it before leaving it. When strings go out of tune, they can warp the neck if left for long periods of time.
- Always leave the violin in a dry place that has a decent amount of humidity and no extreme temperatures. This protects the wood of the violin from becoming warped and cracked.
- When taking a violin onto a plane, loosen all the strings until they have no tension, or just take them off altogether. This protects the body of the instrument from receiving damage by the change in atmospheric pressure.
Understanding how to tune a violin and take care of it, one is all-set to enjoy the instrument. Violinists always need to stock up on new strings and other accessories for taking care of their instrument. Read on to learn about the offers eBay sellers have for violin accessories.
How to Buy Violin Accessories on eBay
Check eBay for a vast selection of violin strings and other accessories, including cleaning equipment, cases, and even violins altogether. To begin looking for violins and accessories, use the search bar. Strings commonly come in packs so there is no need to buy each individual string. There are also sometimes offers for violin instructional books, DVDs, and CDs. If shopping for sheet music or music stands interests you, eBay sellers have the right offers.