There can be some confusion surrounding string gauge (or gage) and tension for bowed stringed instruments. To help you to determine the best strings for your particular violin, viola, cello, or double bass, we will attempt to present facts and brief definitions of gauge and tension, as well as explanations for how their different properties can result in different tonal qualities and playing responses on a bowed stringed instrument.
Medium Gauge: Medium, also known as mittel, gauge strings are the most popular because the tension has been engineered by the manufacturer to result in an even, balanced tone and response on most instruments. (Manufacturers vary greatly in their categorization of string tension; one brand's middle tension formula may be significantly different than another brand's middle tension formula..) We recommend trying middle tension strings first when experimenting with new strings on your instrument.
Heavy or Thick Gauge: A thicker string, also called stark or forte, or heavy, requires more tension to stretch it up to the pitch it's been engineered for. A thick-gauge string will bring more volume and a fuller, more powerful sound to most instruments, and also will result in a slower response time when you apply the bow to activate the string. A choked or dull sound, or an unresponsive effect means that the gauge and tension of that string is too high for that particular instrument. Try a smaller or lighter tension string!
Light or Thin Gauge: Thin strings, also known as weich, soft, light, or dolce, require less tension to bring the string to the pitch it has been engineered for. They are used to brighten up the tone of an instrument, and/or quicken the response. If the sound of one of your strings is dull or unfocused, you might try a lighter tension string. A shrill or overly bright sound, or an overly-sensitively responding string may mean that the gauge and tension of the string is too thin or light. Try a middle tension or a thicker gauge string!
|For more information please chat live, call, or email us. We offer fast, friendly service and are here to help you with all of your string instrument needs!||
Strings are always up to 55% off list prices!
Free shipping on all string orders over $40!
New lower shipping rates for string orders under $40!
*For string orders shipped within the continental USA
Click here to see our selection of strings...