First of all, is the G string the shortest among the 4 strings? Also, does applying graphite on the groove always works? I'm traumatised by E string as it's very easy to snap. Do you guys have any useful tips when tuning the E string? Especially when a new E string is installed, and it tends to go flat, and the other strings go a bit lower too. FYI, I have fine tuner for the E string. When I am 3 semitones away from reaching up to E5, should I use the peg or fine tuners? May I get suggestions from experienced violin players, or even luthiers? Thanks

  • You should start by taking lessons if at all possible. Next, find one of the many very detailed instruction pages on the internet. – Carl Witthoft Jun 15 '18 at 11:43

Yes the G string is the shortest because of the arrangement of the tuning pegs. It's a good idea to apply graphite so that the strings can slide over the nut more easily.

It does feel like the E string might snap when tuning it up but if it is a good quality string then it won't. They are made to cope with being that tight when up to pitch. Just be careful not to over tighten it past the E. You should be able to get it up to pitch with the tuning peg, but if you feel nervous then do the last bit with the fine tuner. Just be sure that you unscrew the fine tuner first so you have plenty of room to tighten the string up to pitch. Hope that makes sense.

New strings will go flat for a while, but will settle if you keep tuning them up again.


This may seem obvious, but may be helpful to beginners.

Make sure you're tuning to the correct pitch. When I was a beginning guitar player I would often just tune the strings to each other and not use a tuner and every few weeks the E string would snap. And I'd discover that I had all the strings tuned 2 or 3 semitones too sharp.

So use a tuner that you can trust. And use it correctly. It's good to be able to make adjustments by ear but don't build your house on sand. Get at least one good note from an external reference or digital tuner before doing the rest by ear.

You strings will also be happier with a consistent home pitch.

If you find that your strings are snapping always at the nut or bridge, then applying some graphite there will probably help prevent the breakage. It fills in rough spots and smoothes over any little snags that are damaging the metal string.

As Jomiddnz says new strings will go flat for a while as the string works out any slack from the windings on the peg. You can give a few gentle tugs when you first install the string to get some of this "stretching" over with sooner.

On strings there is a subtle difference between using an electronic tuner for all 4 strings vs. getting one note and tuning the other strings relative to the first.

If you use a tuner for all 4 strings, then you will have the interval of a slightly-flattened fifth, or tempered fifth between adjacent strings. This is probably fine when playing with a piano or other 12-TET instruments.

If you tune the strings to sound a perfect fifth, then obviously you get the interval of a perfect fifth between adjacent strings. This is probably going to sound nicer when playing solo or with other orchestral instruments.

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