What violin strings have the lowest tension without effect on sound quality? I have a violin from China, it seems that strings have a too hard tension and deform the fingerboard slightly. I tune it a half step lower and want to choose a string set with a lower tension. And I see that strings I have are not flexible to play a good vibrato. Need to know what brand and string model have the lowest tension on a violin without bad effect on sound quality?

  • 1
    If the fingerboard is truly bending, you have bigger problems than string tension! Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 12:35
  • 1
    Firstly, it's a fingerboard rather than fretboards, since violins don't have frets. Also, you may not be aware, violin fingerboards have something called 'scoop', i.e. the fingerboard isn't straight along it's length. See scottasmithviolins.com/a-new-fingerboard-shape for an example. Commented May 1, 2018 at 19:09

1 Answer 1


Many violin string sets are available in different tensions. Usually Soft, Medium and Hard. For truly soft strings you can use unwound gut, which are often used for Baroque violin playing.

Ifshin Violins has a good guide on the Types of Strings

Violin String Review has a a good Tension Chart

A good starting place would be a synthetic gut or nylon set in a soft tension.

  • Yep. I'd just add that gut strings on a modern violin with a modern bow are not going to sound very good to most people. Commented Jul 20, 2019 at 23:21
  • 1
    @ScottWallace True, plain gut is generally too soft for a modern setup and would probably sound especially disappointing on a Chinese student instrument. I've had many "family heirloom" violins from around the 30's come through the shop for a re-setup that had the plain guts on them, and the main setup difference was the bridges were all very thinly cut, probably to add more brightness and volume. Commented Jul 20, 2019 at 23:46
  • Yes. I've made a number of bridges for viola da gamba, and if you use the same thicknesses you would for modern violin family instruments, they are unresponsive and dull. You have to make them what seems to be ridiculously thin to get a good sound with their gut strings. Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 0:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.