Ask the experts: choosing, changing and caring for your strings


String makers receive all kinds of questions from players about their products. Chloe Cutts explores their responses to the most common queries

The websites of leading string brands often include a long list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). These requests from players for guidance and information address fundamental string-related issues: How do I find my ideal strings? What sets different strings apart? How often should I change my strings? How does string tension affect sound and response? What are the characteristics of the different core materials? What’s the best way to clean my strings? How can I extend the life of my strings? Why do strings matter?

The last of these questions comes from US string maker D’Addario’s orchestral strings FAQ menu, under ‘String Basics’, and has the following reply: ‘Changing or upgrading your strings can be one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve the sound and response of your instrument. Correspondingly, it can be very difficult …


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