• Strings age and wear out whether they’re metal or gut.

• Preventive medicine is the prescription.

• Do a “transplant” before they give out during a performance.

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1. Loosen all four strings gradually. Remove each string from the hole in the doweling that penetrates the scroll.

2. Retrieve the bridge that supported the strings. Place it in the violin case for later use.

3. Cut the violin strings from the “tail-piece” keyholes. Mark these holes to remember which string is mounted where.

4. Tie a small knot at the base end of each string to fit below the string slot, forming an anchor point when tension is applied.

5. Thread the clean end of each new string through the underside of the hole slots in the tailpiece. Be sure the string is securely set and will not slip when tension is increased.

6. Thread the opposite end of each violin string through the holes in the proper doweling rod so that additional turns will lie on top of the end of that string and prevent it from slipping. Tension is not to be applied yet.

7. Set the strings on top of the bridge indentations with the bridge foot over the tone post.

8. Gradually tighten the strings; tighten them all in rotation, a little at a time.

9. Use a four-note pitch pipe or a piano to begin the pitch matching and the tuning process.

10. Be aware that the tuning will gradually “flatten” due to the normal stretching of new strings. Stretching should be complete in one week.


Check the condition of the bridge. If damaged or cracked, replace it with a new one.


Avoid the total mounting or removal of one string at a time. Tension problems can cause a potential “warp” in the instrument.

Mark the exact point where the bridge was mounted so replacement is exact. There is a supporting “tone post” underneath the base of this mount point that transmits the string vibrations to the entire instrument. This tone post location can be seen by peeking through the “f” holes in the top of the instrument.

String Replacement

Before re-tightening strings, a soft lead pencil should be applied to all four grooves at both the nut and the bridge. This acts as a lubricant to prevent early string breakage and future bridge warping.

One at a time:

You should never remove all four strings from a violin. Always change one string at a time, checking the bridge placement and angle carefully between each string change. Also, there is no reason to cut the strings. Violin strings are made to be easily inserted and removed from the tailpiece.

How to Put on a Violin String