Unlike the string instrument itself, be it sheep gut, steel or synthetic, strings are not made to last long.
Indeed, strings are always stretched and under great pressure after instalment. It is obvious that the materials will deteriorate and loose tension over time which will greatly affect your performance and sound quality.
So how do we know when?
Criteria to consider:
- The materials of the strings
Different strings have different lifespan. For high performance strings such as those for solo performance, they are powerful but relatively short-lived. In fact, many soloist will install new strings for each performance in order to ensure the best sound quality.
- How frequently they are used
Strings typically used by students are generally more resistant to decay due to usage. These strings are in their best condition within 6 months after installment.
Signs of decayed strings:
- Sensitivity lost
Strings are less sensitive and reactive to your bow, i.e. not much difference in sound when changing bow touching
- Sound quality deterioration
Sound quality deteriorates gradually becomes dull or undesirable sounds start to appear especially when additional pressure is applied during playing
- Tuning difficulty
Strings are difficult to tune or always out of tune
Is it time to change your strings?