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I have been tuning my fiddle successfully for the past year (had about 4 months of lessons). Now my fiddle has gone kapluie on me. First my bridge went flying and that had to be re-installed. Then the pegs kept loosening so I put on some peg drops on them. Then they were so tight one of the pegs snapped in half! Now, when I am getting close to the correct string tension and pitch the cord wrapped around the button at the base of the tail piece had totally let go. This has happened twice, each brass fitting pops off and everything goes flying! One would think that I have the strings too tight but the pitch is still too low and the strings need to be tighter. Do these parts wear out? Do I order a new cord and what is the official name of this part?. Sorry this is so long, I just want to practice my fiddle but I can't tune it. Thanks so much!!!!

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It happens to the best of 'em. –  NReilingh Sep 2 '13 at 19:38

2 Answers 2

I understand your frustration.

The pegs behavior is related with different factors. Most usual factors are:
- weather changes (humid/dry weather);
- bad adjustment between peg and peg hole;
- when the pegs are long periods without being adjusted (because of use of fine-tuners or because the instrument is not played often).

Some advices:

  • If the peg sits too hard: rub some solid soap or buy a special bar to rub on it.
  • If the peg sits too loose rub chalk on it.

  • if the bridge falls out, go to a repair shop. The sound post might change place since its not pressed anymore, and if you put back the strings and sound post sits wrong, it will damage the violin. (Yes, sound post is not glued, it just sits there with pressure from the bridge)

  • Use strings that match your tailpiece. The strings must sit stable. If they have a iron ball, check that the hole in the tailpiece is not too large, or buy a fine-tuner. If its a gut string, wrap it around the tailpiece like this, or with a fine-tuner.

  • If the tailpiece jumped out, go to a repair store, same reason as if the bridge falls. If you want to buy it yourself check here. It does not wear off if its good material. (Was it the cord that broke/jumped out or the base peg that got loose?) If it's the peg, you need to go to a repair shop, fix the hole and get a new peg perfectly adjusted to the hole, no shortcuts here.

  • Never change all strings at same time. Bridge might fall or move position. Change them one by one.

  • If you have not played for a month for example, or after big weather changes, check the pegs one by one. They might sit really hard, or "jump all off" at the first note. Can be good to check them, one by one, and screw them back/forth with the string loose, then tune it up again.

Hope this was helpful to you.

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Because multiple things are going wrong, it sounds to me like you need to pay a qualified violin repair technician to properly set up all the parts, and then give you some advice about how to keep these problems from recurring.

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