There are many different types of violin players today. There are country music players, Jazz players, Fiddlers, electric violin players (Rock etc), and classical players. Each of them plays a different style, uses different techniques and even the instrument or set up may differ (i.e. electric – acoustic). Players search for strings that are most suitable, of course .  These days, there are so many types of violin strings and brands to choose from! This is the reason why musicians and students are having a hard time looking for the right string… because there is always the thought that some other string may be even better than their current string!

Sometimes this worry for the best string seems to be overly important, and the main issue, namely enjoying the music, moves undiely into the background of ones focus.

If you wonder what strings the classic music violinists, electric violinists, fiddlers, country music violinists, and jazz music violinists use, stick around and we will explore the interesting string choices of these violinists.

Strings Containing Gut for Classical Violinists  – 20 Years Ago

The warm, complex sound and rich overtones of gut string used to attract more or less all classical violinists, let’s say until 20 years ago. These days the vast majority of classical players use other strings. Strings, containing gut are still available for those who love them too much to consider a divorce. Pure gut strings are still commonly used for Baroque ensembles whose intention is to play Baroque music as authentically as possible.

Gut strings or the gut core strings respond slower compared to other types of strings. The gut string’s pitch takes longer to stabilize after fitting a new string. Even after that phase is over, you need to tune them frequently as they are quite sensitive to humidity and temperature changes. When it comes to the price, gut strings are expensive compared to some other types of strings.

Gut strings are not recommended for beginners because daily tuning would be absolutely necessary, often by using the pegs and not the fine tuners or string adjusters, and that is a little difficult for beginners.

Following are examples of gut strings that you can use:

  • The Pirastro Oliv – Pirastro have established their superiority of violin strings for 45 years. The Pirastro strings are the number one choice of many of the greatest classical violinists. The Oliv strings are especially made to respond faster. They have rich and intricate overtones and as well as a huge tonal volume that most classical violinist love. The Oliv E is plated with gold, which creates an extraordinary stunning and radiantly clean sound.
  • The Pirastro Eudoxa – The Eudoxa is a standard type of violin strings that has an affectionate, mysterious and smooth sound. However, the Eudoxa has slower response compared to synthetic core strings and Pirastro Oliv. They go well with high arching Italian and old German violins.
  • Pirastro Wondertone Gold Label – the Pirastro Gold Label is one of the most recommended and popular strings for expert violin players. Aside from its great volume, it has a warm and full beautiful sound; it is also cheaper compared to other strings that most professional orchestra players recommend. The E string of this particular brand is commonly used to combine with other strings because of its radiant and beautiful sound.
  • Pirastro Chorda – if you are familiar with authentic baroque instruments, the pirastro chorda is designed to perfectly fit for this particular type of instrument. The pure gut strings are E,A and D. its G string is also gut string but it is wound with silver-plated copper wire.

Synthetic Core Strings for Jazz, Classical and Country Fiddlers

As the years pass by, more musicians have discovered the potential of synthetic strings. They have realized that the synthetic string has the same tonal quality with the gut strings but they are more stable in pitch and more responsive compared to pure gut strings or gut core strings. They are also less sensitive to the changes in temperature and the presence of humidity. However, there are slight adjustments when using the synthetic strings. You need to tune the strings consistently for two days after the installation and the pitch will be stable. This string is recommended for both intermediate and advanced violin players.

Following are the examples of synthetic core strings:

  • Pirastro Obligato – Pirastro obligato is one of the most favorite strings of classical musicians. The string is close to gut strings when it comes to sound quality, but without all the disadvantages that gut strings have. It has a similar sound as Eudoxa strings, but it is very responsive and it has complexity and stability of tone.
  • Pirastro Evah Pirazzi – the Evah Pirazzi string is similar to Obligato strings because of it is manufactured and created using the most advance technology and methodology. The materials of the string are derived from modernized synthetic fiber material.
  • Pirastro Alicore – using this string means one needs to carefully choose the kind of violin that will perfectly fit. The wrong pairing of string  instrument and violin string will result in a dull sound. The string has the darkest timbre or sound and has the unique warm sound. That is why they best fit on shrill and harsh sounding violin.
  • Pirastro Synoxa – This string has the same complexity and richness of tone as the Dominant strings. They produce a bright and clear sound. The richness of its overtone is very significant and the responsiveness of the string is in just the right balance.
  •  Pirastro Tonica – this string produces a better and warmer sound than the dominant string. It is easily tuned and it responds faster. The strings are also durable and not sensitive to humidity or changes in temperature.
  • Thomastik Infeld Red and Blue – these strings are designed to produce just the right balance on the instrument as it is played. They can be mixed and matched to perfectly suit the kind of tone a particular violinist wants to have. the red infeld produces a dark warm sound while the blue infeld produces a warm tone just like the dominants. It has the best complexity of tone and quality.
  • Thomastik Dominant Strings – This is one of the most famous strings today. This type of string is used by both advance and beginner students. The string is characterized by its high flexibility and multi stranded synthetic core properties, producing a soft warm and clear sound with a rich overtone. The metallic edge of the string soon fades as they are played in.
  • Corelli Alliance Vivace – this is one of the most recommended strings for professional and advance players. Some expert violinists would consider the entire set of Corelli alliance Vivace as the perfect alternative for gut strings. It has the best richness of tone along with a  a distinct character and complexity. It ‘s dark warm tone is very distinct from other synthetic strings. This string lasts longer compared to other synthetic strings because they are made from the Kevlar core.

Steel Core String for Country Fiddlers, Jazz Players, and Electric Violin Players

The tonal characteristic of steel core strings is different from gut core and synthetic strings. In fact, their tone is brighter compared to synthetic and gut core strings. You can describe the sound as pure, direct and clear. It has less subtlety and complexity of tone and it has fewer overtones.

On the other side, the steel core strings are much more stable in pitch compared to gut and synthetic core strings. They are much less sensitive to the changes in humidity and temperature and they are also less expensive. There are variety of metals used to wrap around the steel core string. Such metals are, chrome steel, aluminum, tungsten, silver and the latest of all is titanium.

The following are the different types of steel strings that a jazz, country fiddle player and electric violinist can use:

  • Pirastro Chromcor – this type of string is popular for country, Irish and bluegrass fiddlers. This is because the strings produce the bright, clear and clean sound that these particular fiddlers love to hear. They  have plenty of dazzling quick to respond tonal degree. They can also be tuned easily and immediately.
  • Pirastro Flexocor Permanent – many musicians love the dark and warm sound of this string. It is popular because of its encircling and huge warm volume as well as its  larger scope of modulation.
  • Pirastro Piranito – its brilliant sound and easy tuning capability is one of the reasons why violin teachers recommend this string for their students. This is perfect for young players to intermediate violin players.
  • D’Addario Helicore – the set of D’Addario Helicore is famous for both acoustic violin and electronic violin players. A multi-strand twisted steel core string is why it is perfect for experts in playing classical, rock, country, jazz and folk music. It has a clear and warm tone, stable pitch and great longevity.

If you know what type of violin player you are, and the type of violin you use, it is important to find the perfect set of strings that are compatible with your playing style and demands!