close deal

Our Price:


See this Deal

see this deal

*Additional discounts do not apply

Price valid on in stock items only.

(800) 348-5003
Call Our Product Specialists: (800) 348-5003
CartView Cart
  • Accessories
    • Woodwind Accessories
      Ligatures and Mouthpiece Caps
      Straps and Supports
      Instrument Stands
      Cases and Gig Bags
    • Brass Accessories
      Instrument Stands
      Replacement Parts
      Valve, Rotor and Slide Oil
      Cases and Gig Bags
    • Music Stands
    • Orchestral String Accessories
      Instrument Stands
      Bows & Rosin
      Instrument Pickups
    • Care and Cleaning
      General Care
      Woodwind Care
      Brass Care
      Orchestral String Care
      Drum Care
      Guitar Care
    • Marching Band
      Batons and Maces
      Color Guard
      Field Accessories
      Lyres and Flip Folders
      Podiums and Transport
    • Practice and Performance Aids
      Tuners and Metronomes
      Phrase Samplers
      Vocal Accessories
      Hand and Finger Exercisers
      Tone Enhancers and Practice Aids
      Carts and Stage Accessories
    • Lifestyle
      Caps and Headwear
      Home Furnishings
      Shoes and Footwear
      Jewelry and Watches
      Lifestyle Accessories
  • Woodwinds
    • Saxophones
      Alto Saxophones
      Tenor Saxophones
      Soprano Saxophones
      Baritone and Bass Saxophones
      Saxophone Necks
      Saxophone Reeds
      Saxophone Mouthpieces
    • Flutes and Piccolos
      Alto Flutes
      Bass Flutes
      Flute Head Joints
    • Clarinets
      Bb Clarinets
      A Clarinets
      Eb Clarinets
      Bass Clarinets
      Harmony Clarinets
      Clarinet Barrels
      Clarinet Reeds
      Clarinet Mouthpieces
    • Double Reed Instruments
      English Horns
      Bassoon Bocals
      Oboe and Bassoon Reeds
    • Woodwind Accessories
      Ligatures and Mouthpiece Caps
      Instrument Stands
      Cases and Gig Bags
      Care and Cleaning
    • Recorders
  • Brass
    • Trumpets
      Bb Trumpets
      C Trumpets
      Eb / D Trumpets
      F / G Trumpets
      Piccolo Trumpets
      Bass Trumpets
      Pocket Trumpets
      Herald Trumpets
    • Cornets
      Bb Cornets
      C Cornets
      Eb Cornets
    • Flugelhorns
      Professional Flugelhorns
      Intermediate Flugelhorns
      Student Flugelhorns
    • French Horns
      Double Horns
      Single French Horns
      Triple Horns
      Descant French Horns
    • Trombones
      Tenor Trombones
      Bass Trombones
      Alto Trombones
      Valve Trombones
      Soprano Trombones
    • Baritone Horns
      Alto and Tenor Horns
      Concert Baritones
    • Euphoniums
      Professional Euphonium
      Intermediate Euphonium
      Student Euphonium
    • Tubas
      Bb Tubas
      C Tubas
      Eb Tubas
      F Tubas
    • Marching Brass
      Marching Bb Trumpets
      Marching French Horns
      Marching Baritones
      Marching Euphoniums
      Marching Tubas
    • Bugles
    • Brass Accessories
      Mouthpiece Accessories
      Instrument Stands
      Replacement Parts
      Cases and Gig Bags
      Care and Cleaning
  • Orchestral
    • Violins
    • Violas
    • Cellos
    • Double Bass
    • Harps
    • Orchestral String Accessories
      Bows and Rosin
      Instrument Stands
      Bowed Instrument Pickups
      Shoulder Rests, Pads & Parts
  • Sheet Music,
    Books & More
    • Browse by Instrument
      Flute & Piccolo
      Oboe & Bassoon
      French Horn
      Euphonium & Tuba
    • String Instrument Books
      Double Bass
    • Concert Band Music
    • Jazz Band Music
    • Piano/Keyboard Books
    • Vocal Books
    • Real & Fake Books
    • Tablature
  • Classroom &
    • Recorders
    • Orff Instruments
      Instrument Bars
      Orff Mallets
    • Classroom Rhythm Instruments
      Kids Hand Drums
      Classroom Percussion Sets
      Shakers and Rattles
      Claves and Blocks
      Kids Tambourines and Cymbals
    • World Percussion
      Hand Percussion
      Steel Drums
    • Boomwhackers
    • Tuned Bells
    • Classroom Furniture
      Music Storage
      Rolling Carts and Instrument Storage
      Music Stands
    • Elementary Music Books
      Music and Movement
      World and Folk Music
      General Music
      Shows and Musicals
      Music Theory
      Teaching Aids
    • Kazoos
  • Percussion
    • Concert Drums
      Concert Snare Drums
      Concert Toms
      Concert Bass Drums
      Drop Covers & Cases
      Concert Sticks / Mallets
    • Mallet Percussion
      Bells & Glockenspiels
      Drop Covers & Cases
      Keyboard Mallets
    • Marching Percussion
      Marching Snare Drums
      Marching Tenors
      Marching Bass Drums
      Marching Sticks
      Cases & Covers
      Parts & Hardware
    • World Percussion
      Congas & Hand Drums
      Hand-Held Percussion
      Effect Percussion
      Brazillian & Samba
      Steel Drums
    • Auxiliary Percussion
      Concert Blocks
    • Concert Cymbals & Gongs
      Crash Cymbal Pairs
      Suspended Cymbals
      Marching Cymbals
      Gongs & Crotales
    • Sticks & Mallets
      Marching Snare Sticks
      Tenor Mallets
      Bass Drum Mallets
      Concert Sticks
      Concert Keyboard Mallets
      Timpani Mallets
      Sticks & Mallet Bags
    • Drum Heads
      Timpani Heads
      Snare Drum Heads
      Concert Bass Drum Heads
      Marching Drum Heads
      All Drum Heads
    • Practice Pads
    • Student Snare / Bell Kits
  • Drums
    • Acoustic Drums
      Complete Sets
      Shell Packs
      Snare Drums
      Drum Cases & Bags
    • Electronic Drums
      Complete Sets
      Electronic Drum Pads
      Acoustic Drum Triggers
      Sound Modules
      Drum Marchines
    • Cymbals
      Cymbal Packs
      China & Effect
      Cymbal Cases & Bags
    • Drum Heads
    • Hardware
      Cymbal Stands
      Snare Stands
      Hardware Cases & Bags
    • Accessories & Parts
      Drum Shields
      Drum Cases
      Racks & Clamps
      Impact Badges & Dampening
      Drum Keys & Tuning Tools
      Care & Cleaning
    • Sticks & Brushes
  • Pro Audio
    • Microphones & Wireless
      Wireless Systems
      Live Microphones
      Recording Microphones
      Microphone Stands
      Microphone Cables
      Microphone Accessories
    • Live Sound
      Live Sound Packages
      PA Cabinets
      Power Amplifiers
      Signal Processors
      Stage Supplies
      Mixer Cases and Bags
      Power Essentials
    • Recording
      Recording Packages
      Studio Monitors
      Audio Recorders
      Studio Furniture
      Acoustical Treatment
    • Software
      Notation Software
      DAW Software
      Sound Libraries and Loops
      Marching and Drill Design
    • Computers
    • iOS Devices
    • Headphones
    • DJ Gear
      DJ Cases
      DJ Controllers
      DJ Packages
    • Lighting and Stage Effects
    • Karaoke
  • Guitars
    • Guitars
      Electric Guitars
      Acoustic Guitars
      Classical & Nylon Guitars
      Guitar Value Packages
    • Bass
      Electric Bass Guitars
      Electric-Acoustic Bass Guitars
      Electric Upright Basses
      Double Basses
    • Amplifiers & Effects
      Guitar Amplifiers
      Bass Amplifiers
      Multi Effects
      Guitar Effects
      Bass Effects
      Loop Effects
    • Guitar Accessories
      Cases & Gig Bags
      Pickups & Parts
      Guitar Stands & Hangers
    • Folk Instruments
      Pedal & Lap Steels
      Latin Strings
  • Keyboards
    • Digital Pianos
    • Synthesizers
    • Workstations
    • Organs
    • Portables & Arrangers
    • MIDI Controllers
    • Keyboard Packages
    • Sound Modules
    • Production & Groove
    • Keyboard Accessories
    • Music Software
  • More
    • Amplifiers & Effects
    • Folk & Traditional Instruments
    • Bass
    • Marching Band
    • iOS Devices
    • Lifestyle
:: Guide Index » Accessories » Strings

Strings Buyer's Guide

Orchestral String Buyer's Guide

The single most influential factor (after skill and technique) of sound quality produced by a stringed instrument is your choice of strings. There is not a correct type of string for all players under all circumstances. Each string type has qualities that make it more appropriate for different situations (i.e. solo vs. orchestral performance; country vs. classical performance). Other factors such as cost, the player's individual preferences, and the way a particular string sounds on an individual instrument also come into play.


Ball End

section #2

Thomastik Dominant 4/4 Size Violin Strings

Strings for violins, violas and cellos can be identified by the silk windings at the peg and tailpiece ends. Most strings, other than the E-string on a violin, are produced with a "ball-end" at the tailpiece end. This ball-end slips down through the appropriate hole in the tailpiece so that when the body of the string is slid up into the slot, the ball prevents the end of the string from coming through.

On a violin, the E-string usually is offered with either the ball-end or a simple wire loop-end at the tailpiece end. Nearly all E-strings are steel and react with large changes in pitch to very little change in string tension. For this reason, most instruments have a mechanical fine tuner mechanism attached to the tailpiece to accomplish the small changes in tension needed.

On a viola, the A-string is occasionally offered with either the ball end or a simple wire loop end at the tailpiece end. Some viola A-strings are steel, and react with large changes in pitch to very little change in string tension. For this reason, some instruments have a mechanical fine tuner mechanism attached to the tailpiece to accomplish the small changes in tension needed.

Ball End vs Loop End

Violin E-strings, and some viola A-strings, are offered with either a ball end or a loop end. There is no real difference in terms of sound production. The major factor determining whether a ball end or loop end string is needed is the fine tuner. If all four strings have fine tuners, and they are all the same, you likely will need a ball end E-string. A ball end E-string is also needed if the fine tuner has two prongs or a post with a slit in the center. If only the highest string has a fine tuner and it is shaped like a hook, you will need a loop end E-string.


Fine Tuners

section #2

Fine tuners are mechanisms attached to the tailpiece and assist tuning an instrument's strings to the correct pitch. Fine tuners are used for instrument strings made of steel. These strings react with large changes in pitch to very small changes in tension, and fine tuners are used to make these small changes in tension.


Core Materials

Plain Steel Core String:
Made from a strand of various alloys of steel wire, these instrument strings are generally wrapped in a thin metal winding. Steel strings tend to be long-lasting and are relatively unaffected by changes in temperature or humidity. Most violin E-strings are steel then plated with other metals. Some feature metallic winding used to tone down the inherent tendency to hiss as well as produce a defined tone. Steel strings tend to be lower-priced due to the materials and manufacturing methods used, and are recommended for beginners due to their price and stability. Fine tuners at the tailpiece are a necessity because of the lack of stretch in plain steel strings.

Rope Core Steel String:
Made with multiple strands of steel wound together like rope, these instrument strings have a warmer sound than plain steel strings and quicker response than strings with a synthetic or gut core. They are favored by fiddle players for country, Celtic, bluegrass and jazz as the tone tends to be bright and complex with an immediate response. Cellists and bassists often prefer rope core strings for their clear attack and responsiveness.

Gut Core Strings
Made of thin strands from sheep or lamb intestines, gut core strings typically have a richer, warmer sound than strings made of other materials. They also respond slower and take longer to stretch and stabilize when replaced. Gut core strings are sensitive to temperature and humidity changes and require special care and attention. Most modern gut core strings are wrapped in a thin metallic winding to improve playability and increase their life expectancy. Because of the amount of stretch needed to change the intonation of the string, fine tuners at the tailpiece are not used.

Synthetic Core String:
Made of a strand or strands of synthetic materials, synthetic strings are engineered to have the flexibility of natural gut, without the sensitivity to temperature and humidity. These strings are the most popular category of string for experienced string musicians. The most common core material used is perlon. Because of the material properties of synthetic core strings, sound quality can vary widely. When tuning synthetic core strings, they tend to stabilize rather quickly and become reliable in a matter of days instead of weeks like strings with a gut core.

Buy Your Orchestra Instrument Strings with Confidence from The Woodwind & Brasswind

In choosing orchestral instrument strings, you need to consider your musician's age and skill level, and the kind of use (school band, orchestra, etc.) to which they will put their strings. If for school, consulting with the band teacher is a good idea.

Whatever strings you select, The Woodwind & Brasswind's 45-Day Lowest Price Guarantee means that if you find the same strings advertised for less elsewhere, we'll make up the difference. When you buy your strings from The Woodwind & Brasswind, you can buy with complete confidence.*

*Strings are a non-returnable item.

:: Guide Index » Accessories » Strings

Instant SSL Certificate Secured
BizRate Customer Certified (GOLD) Site