Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

I know strings can be a very personal decision and really depend on the fiddle. I have gone back and forth between Dominant (a bit too loud and bright for fiddling I think), Infeld Red (not good at all for me) and Helicore Medium Gauge (provide good bite but sounds a little hollow). What kind of strings do you use and what would you suggest to others?

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Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

For reasons you’ll halfway understand if you search "strings" (or "Evah Pirazzi") under discussions, I won’t touch this with a ten foot bow…. *grin*

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Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

Still have to try those Evahs, Will. I really will, one of these days. Hey, maybe if we end up in Montana this summer, I can buy them from your store that has them up there for you. πŸ™‚

Zina

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

After asking the same question here some time ago and looking at the replies, I’m now using D’adario Helicore Medium. I am quite pleased with them, they are quieter than the Dominants but I think I prefer them, at present anyway. They seem to last well and stay in tune and have a "traditional" sound, but been a trypical fiddler, I’m never quite satisfied and always on the look out for sometyhing better!

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Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

im way out here but i have corelli alliance (not a metal sound) and able to be tuned by the pegs (thats pretty "trad" isnt it? πŸ™‚ I played with metal strings for years and the hellicore were good but when i got the present fiddle i decided to stay with a more mellow sound and its still plenty loud.

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

should add that the corellis are expensive (

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

I’m the worst at taking care of my fiddle, I never clean it - people comment all the time about how unclean it is, I never change the strings - last time was 3 years!!! And I use Pirastro!!! I’m a shocker so dont go by me πŸ˜‰)

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Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

Its helpful little comments like that which endear you to us all bb….!!! I’ve a few friends that don’t clean their fiddle too, i wipe mine every opportunity so the rosin dosn’t eat away at the varnish too much. (i like the look of my fiddle!)

I use dominant strings which cost about

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

jamiedj - are you being smart???πŸ˜‰) see I dont even know which pirastro I use - the green ones - not the really cheap ones, god I really am a dud fiddlerπŸ˜‰)

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Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

Its helpful little comments like that which endear you to us all bb….!!! I’ve a few friends that don’t clean their fiddle too, i wipe mine every opportunity so the rosin dosn’t eat away at the varnish too much. (i like the look of my fiddle!)

I use dominant strings which cost about

HOw on earth did that comment get posted twice???!?!!
Being smart, of course not!! not to you, sweety, honey….. i think your great *gush gush* hee hee….. (just like to point out that we have never met!!!)

Would really like to meet up and play chunes with some of you other sessionerists some time. Maybe some of you will be here in Glasgow during Celtic Connections, January?????

Jamie

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

I know we have never met jamie - its hasnt escaped my attentionπŸ˜‰)

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Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

That was for other peoples attention, didn’t want to start rumours you know!!

I have been thinking about changing string brands myself - i think all fiddle players must do…. guess i’ll just stick with what works for me.
Has anyone tried some strings (cant remember what they are called) that are in a light blue packet with an A on the front (possible held shut with candle wax? Was told they were really good, but quite expensive! I know its a shot in the dark!
Jamie

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

do they still make cat gut strings - has anyone tried them - heard a rumour they were really, really expensive -but cats are sooo cute - its a bit barbaric really πŸ™‚)

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Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

you should see my varnish - even with fiddle cleaning stuff the rosin doesnt come off! Maybe we should start a thread on how *not* to treat a fiddle πŸ˜‰)

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Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

I have been using the D’Addario Helicore heavy guage with a Pirastro Gold E string….they sound full and rich, good volume, especially in the summer (don’t fiddles love the warmth and humidity!) although, I just got back from Northern Ireland on the weekend, where it was cool and overcast for 2 weeks (but absolutely beautiful) Thanks to everyone for your session suggestions—-I’ve never been to so many brilliant sessions…I’m still high—-feel like I had a very pleasant dream that I don’t want to wake up from!

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Jamie

I was at Celtic Connections this year and had a great time! Met up with some excellent musicians, including a few from Galicia, in the Glasgow Central Hotel and got Tony McManus to play a tune for me. I asked him did he know anything by a Breton guitarist, Soig Siberil; turned out he’d been touring with him for the previous six months!

Definitely see you there in January

Conan

Conan

Fantastic!! Maybe even saw you at the last couple of Celtic Connections festivals but didn’t know you!! How weird…
Look forward to seeing you there, i’ll let you know the nights im playing, be good to see you there!

Jamie

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

I have been using Dominants for years. I use the wound E string to prevent that dreadful shrill sound. If I don’t wind those dominants just right onto the pegs, I’ll be retuning in between every number.

The A string is very annoying to me. So many Irish tunes hover right around and all over that A string. I wear it out in two weeks. Heaven forbid I should forget to trim my nails. If I didn’t have that A string to complain about I’m sure it would be the E string next.

I keep promising myself that I’m going to try the Helicore strings. It sounds like the mediums are the best bet.

What is wrong with the Heicore E string? Does it Make the shrill sound or Buzz?

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

I have been using Dominants for years. I use the wound E string to prevent that dreadful shrill sound. If I don’t wind those dominants just right onto the pegs, I’ll be retuning in between every number.

The A string is very annoying to me. So many Irish tunes hover right around and all over that A string. I wear it out in two weeks. Heaven forbid I should forget to trim my nails. If I didn’t have that A string to complain about I’m sure it would be the E string next.

I keep promising myself that I’m going to try the Helicore strings. It sounds like the mediums are the best bet.

What is wrong with the Heicore E string? Does it Make the shrill sound or Buzz?

Mark

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

I cant beleive some peops only change their strings every year or so, you are missing out on the pure undistilled joy of having a new D string, is it just me or are new D strings particularly pleasurable?
I use dominants and i also get that annoying fraying on the A and E strings, is it just dominants that people find that problem with?
On the subject of how NOT to treat a fiddle, i would recomend:
a) keep dogs away from bows, they tend to sit on them and bend them.
b) keep cats away, they enjoy playing with restringed fiddles.
c) and dont drop blunt metal objects such as bottle openers on your fiddle as it leaves charicteristic dents.
Yes, i know all of this from experience!!!

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

The G string is also a favourite of many.

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

Especially in Ipanema….

I just knew that this thread would end up on whistling e strings. I won’t go there.

But wrappings that unravel are a problem, particularly on the Dominants. I’ve found other strings that wear longer—the Helicores, and lately, Evah Pirazzi’s by Pirastro. I also use an emery board to smooth the callouses on the tips of my fingers EVERY TIME before I play. And I wipe off the strings over the fingerboard with a clean cloth after playing to remove sweat and oils. This seems to help the strings last. I change the Pirazzi’s every 4-6 months, and I’ve never actually worn out the wrapping on one (whereas I used to go through Dominant A’s every week or two).

bb, Pirastro does still make a moderately priced gut string, and other companies also make some high-end gut strings. They’re a bit sluggish for ITM, and humidity changes will wreak havoc on your playing time—you’ll spend it all re-tuning. Pirastro Evah Pirazzi’s and Obligato’s are synthetic core strings with a nice soft feel under the fingers, rich warm tone, and great durability. Well worth the extra $$ compared to Dominants or most metal core strings.

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Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

The flute is such a boring instrument.

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

heeheehee, Will….whistling e strings come back to *haunt* you….c’mon, give it a go….*snicker snort guffaw* BOO!!!!

Aren’t the gut strings made out of sheep now? Not cats?

Glauber, you don’t fool me. I’ve heard you fluters go on about flutes and keys and such. πŸ™‚

Zina

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

One thing I always do now is to keep my fiddle case closed when playing, a cat peed in it and it took ages to get rid of the smell. cats still sniff around it years later !

I always clean the rosin from my strings after playing, I think it keeps the sound more consistent and as an extra bonus it makes a nice squeak that frightens the cats away.

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Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

HI WILL, cheers for that tip on the Evah Pirazzi’s, am going to do some hunting and see where i can get them the cheapest. The unravelling of the dominants is really annoying me!! I’ll let you know how i get on.
Cheers
Jamie

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

Do let us know, Jamie, Will’s been hyping those strings for ages, and I keep meaning to try them, so if you like them, it’ll just mean I have more impetus to get my butt into gear and order the things. πŸ™‚

Hey, Scotty, did you ever hear back more about the mystery of the unraveling Dominants?

Zina

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

I use Piastro Obligato strings. I formerly used Dominants, but someone suggested Obligatos would improve the sound of my violin — and they do. They’re pricey, though. I order them through Southwest Strings’ website, so they’re about 25% off their list price and half (!) as expensive as at my local shop.

As long as I’m plugging sites, check out the one Zina is associated with, www.slowplayers.org. Good job and keep those sound files coming! Of course, thesession.org is also a great resource for trad music.

Hmmm. Sounds like a discussion thread, if it isn’t already one.

— Mike

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

I used to get Dominants but couldn’t afford them when they kept on wearing out so quickly - ‘A’ string in about a week and a half. And you know, I thought it was something wrong with the way I was playing. Its amazing to hear that that is what happens with them. Too soft for my liking.

Now I use Pirastro Chromcor (chromesteel on steel), but I’m not sure why. Nor do I know any better. Nobody seems to have mentioned them in the thread so far. I tend to be a bit like bb, a tad too casual about the whole thing. I was just thinking it must be twelve months since I changed the strings last - and its about time they were changed again. They have lost their brightness. Its crazy, I have never even given any thought to things like strings and rosin etc., but maybe it is time to get more serious.

What I do love about the Pirastro Chromcor strings is that they come in packets with "I’m so happy I can’t stop playing!" written on them, and I just love that. It says it all, about how I feel about my fiddle, I’m so happy I can’t stop playing it.
Cheers

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Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

Most of the Pirastro strings now come packaged with that "I’m so happy…" bit.

I wish I could get a commission from Pirastro, but I don’t. Still, I highly recommend their Evah Pirazzi strings. They are easy—almost silky—on the fingers and respond well to a whole range of bowing, from light to bearing down and gritty. I have yet to wear the wrapping off one in over a year of playing them(though a friend admits her Pirazzi A’s still unravel). And they produce a tone that’s clear, warm, rich, with just the right amount of brightness. A new set takes about 5 playing days to settle in, and then they hold their tone and intonation extremely well.

BTW, if you feel stuck on a plateau and it’s been 6 months or more since you changed strings, slap a new set on. Give it a week and see if you don’t climb away from that plateau….

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Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

I like the "i’m so happy" bit. If i played fiddle i’d probably go with them too, on account of that. It reminds me of the Hitch-hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, which had the words "Don’t Panic" written on the cover, in nice friendly letters.

On the other hand, you gotta stop playing some time, to catch up with sleep and stuff. So i’m not really sure now if i’d use these strings.

Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

Thanks Will. The sun is shining today and I might mozzy down to the not so local music shop and take a look at what they’ve got to offer and ask a few stupid questions instead of just going in with my head down and buying the usual "I’m so happy … " Pirastros. (Nice, that comment’s on the other types of Pirastro strings, as well) Didn’t even know there were gauges of strings till this thread, that’s how dumb about strings (and rosin etc) I’ve been in the past! (Need them - go in and buy, no questions, take what they give you, turn around and walk out, don’t blink or think.)

I’ve always had this complex about music shops (being a late starter). I walk into the string section and feel so humbled by it. They are dealing with people playing first violin in orchestras! for crying out loud! Celebreties, people who have oodles of classical training, know what they want and what they’re talking about (when obviously, I don’t). So, am I ready to turn pro about this today? Stand up and learn a bit? Challenge the knowledge of the shop attendants? … … … I’ll see when I get there.

Glauber, flute players, are prone to running themselves out of breath, but fiddleplayers can keep fiddling however apallingly even when they’re sound asleep and snoring. so there, *ha* *ha*. I agree with Mike about the Slowsession though - I only wish I could be where I could attend it - some day *sigh*.
Cheers

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Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

Well I went, and asked, but still came away with the Chromcor. They had a range of Pirastro strings but not the Evah Pirazzi (although they did say they could order). They also had blue and red and yellow fiddles hanging on the wall. Breathtaking. Everything is going psychodelic. I nearly came away with an electronic fiddle as well! Arrrh, to be rich and famous, but it was a nice thought.
Cheers

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Re: Okay, now what kind of STRINGS do you prefer?

Jill

Try on-line ordering (unless you feel uneasy about it) there must be sites in oz which will dispatch strings quickly.

I got a set overnight from an online site the other day when my local music shop said he couldnt get them for 3 weeks!