So I’ve been frequently asked “What strings do you use?” so I thought I should let you know about my setup!
There was a time when I was testing out millions and kabillions of different types of strings (ok maybe not, but that’s what it felt like at the time) and the thing is – it’s expensive to do that! So I’ve saved you the time, money, and effort – and I am very proud to present you a universal set up which in my opinion works on all violins!
By the way in case you didn’t know – a string has 3 different gauges: Strong (or “Stark” in German), Medium (they still use the word “Medium”), and Light (or “Weich” in German)
So I will list first the string, then the brand, then the gauge.
G – Peter Infeld “pi” – MEDIUM
D – Dominant – Silver – LIGHT (there are two different types – one is aluminum I believe and that’s not as warm as the silver)
A – Dominant – Aluminum – MEDIUM
E – Vision – HEAVY
I’ve included a picture here so you can see the packaging in case there’s any confusion.
Now – to explain why I chose these particular strings and their gauges: Well, everyone knows that a bridge is curved but not many know which string has the highest point. If you look closely at an instrument you’ll notice that the highest point is the D string. That’s the reason why I chose to use the “light” option there. The “light” string does not designate a smaller sound, but instead it is the tension of the string. A “light” string is thinner and therefore puts less stress on the bridge. It also takes less attention than other strings around it – and this is exactly why I’ve chosen the D string to be the “Light” in my set. Some people choose the “A string” to use a “light” option or simply a gut string. I think that this is not the wisest choice because one needs a powerful A string more than a powerful D string.
I think we can all agree that the E string is the most important in terms of projection on the violin. That’s why I use a “Heavy” gauge. Also this particular type of string is less likely to squeak, and be too tinny. The normal Dominant E displays a rather tin-can like sound so that’s why I like the Vision better.
The G string would be the second most important string on the violin (all those juicy passages in your favorite pieces!) so with the combination of the “Light D string” and an outstanding string like the “Peter Infeld pi” it gives it a solid and juicy sound.
The A string also comes in silver but the reason why I choose aluminum for the A, is because as I mentioned before, one needs a reasonably powerful A string which can substitute as a warmer E string in the upper positions.
So there you have it! Hope you enjoy your new strings! Let me know if you have any questions! I’m also on twitter (http://twitter.com/raychenviolin) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/raychenviolinist)
Posted in: Blog