I will be playing traditional/gypsy music on my classical violin, and would like to have a sound that is stylistically appropriate (deep/rich/warm/old/woody as opposed to brilliant/sweet/ringy).

Can I achieve this with different strings? What string characteristics will give me this kind of rich and warm sound, and what are some options I could try?


2 Answers 2


You should try using Pirastro Oliv strings which have a natural gut core which will give you the warm deep sound that you wish to achieve.

You can also ask your local professional luthier to make the tip of your bow heavier by adding a heavy metal implant into the tip of the bow. This will increase the stickiness of the sound.

Alternatively you can try using a viola bow which is naturally heavier and the balance is slightly different which will contribute towards the sound that you are trying to achieve.


Rather than different strings, maybe try a different bow. You can find a really "heavy" dark and rough horse-hair bow that scrapes the strings a lot more. I've seen it used on a Double Bass but there may be a Violin version.

There's also a great technique is in this video by Taraf de Haidouks

They tie a single horse hair to the string, put heaps of rosin on the fingers and draw it across slowly. You can finger the notes as required.

  • Good idea. I recently heard that heavy gauge string can potentially brighten the violin tone, is that so? can they harm the violin? is there even a chance for that? please read this Commented Jul 6, 2011 at 23:23

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