Fine Tuning a Violin without Fine Tuners
Lemuel Huang, July 15, 2011
I learned the following couple of tips on fine tuning a
violin, from a Czeckoslovakian concert master. It involves
the use of finger pressure to alter the string tension.
However it takes care not to over apply the pressure.
The photo on the left shows how to increase the string
tension (higher pitch). It is done by using the index finger
to apply pressure on the strings in the pegbox just on the
opposite side of the violin nut. The photo on the right
shows how to decrease the string tension (lower pitch).
This is done using the thumb to pull the string upwards
a little and towards the right, and then sliding the thumb
down and up the string once. Among all the open strings,
the open G string responds least using this technique.
I have used both methods for fine tuning for many years
without any problem. Sometimes, you may have to alternate
between the two before you get it just right.
Increasing the Pitch
Apply pressure using the index finger
on any of the strings in the peg box on the other
side of the violin nut.
Lowering the Pitch
Using the thumb, lift any string just
a little. Then pull towards the right. Slide the thumb
down and up the string just once.
How to Fine Tune a Violin using
Harmonics (Advanced tuning)
This technique is a great way to fine tune your violin
provided you are able to get just one string accurately
tuned (usually the A-string). For example, assume that the
A-string is fully tuned, and you want to fine tune the rest
of the strings. Here you have a choice to fine tune the
D string or the E-string. Please continue to follow the
Fine Tuning the D String
To fine tune the D string, you need
to lightly touch the A5 note (one octave higher than
open A) using your pinky. This will be your reference
harmonic. Then using your index finger, lightly touch
the fifth note A4 on the D string which will also
sound the harmonic A5 note. Now you can compare both
harmonics, the A5 reference harmonic on the A string
and the A5 harmonic on the D string.
Fine Tuning the E String
To fine tune the E string, lightly touch
with your index finger the fifth note E5 on the A
string to sound the harmonic E6 note. This will be
your reference harmonic for fine tuning the E string.
Then use your pinky to lightly touch the E6 harmonic
note on the E string (one octave higher than open
E). Now you can compare both harmonics, the E6 reference
harmonic on the A string and E6 harmonic on the E
Fine Tuning the G String
Finally, since the D string is now tuned,
you will be able to fine tune the G string. Using
your pinky, lightly touch the D5 harmonic (one octave
higher than open D). This will be your reference harmonic.
Then use your index finger to lightly touch the fifth
note D4 on the G string to sound the harmonic D5 note.
Now compare both harmonics, the D5 reference harmonic
on the D string and the D5 harmonic on the G string.
A Complete Violin
Page 1: Introduction
to Violin Tuning
A snapshot view on tuning violins, the process, it's problems
2: Tuning a Violin - Avoiding the Bridge Snap -
The most important thing to check before you tune a violin.
Prevent damage to your violin and optimize the sound...Read
Page 3: Tune
a VIolin - Problems with Violin Pegs -
Important notes on peg problems and setting them up for
Page 4: Online Violin
Tuner - Understanding Reference Tones
A neat online violin tuner and experiments you can try with
an online piano tuner...Read
Page 5: Installing
and Using Violin Fine Tuners
Once you have brought the pitch of your violin strings most
of the way towards the reference tones by using pegs, there
are a number of low-cost fine tuner parts you can add to
Page 6: Fine
Tuning Violins with Digital Tuners
Although there are many digital tuners on the market, there
is one quite amazing digital tuner in particular, that will
help you with your intonation while playing...Read
OTHER HELPFUL VIOLIN TUNING INFORMATION
Other Ways to Generate
Conventional and new ways that reference tones can be generated...
to Tune a Violin Using Only Pegs
Photos illustrating how advanced violinists may use only
their left hand and fingers to tune violins...Read
Installing and Using Fine Tuning Pegs Coming
No more wrestling back and forth with your pegs! These neat
set of pegs will help you fine tune your violin EASILY!.
A Review of Pusch Tailpieces with built-in Fine Tuners
Have a good look at the built-in fine tuners that come with
these tailpieces. The two advantages of these tailpieces
Installing and Using the Light-Weight Carbon Fiber
Tuners by Bogaro and Clemente Coming
Don't want to add weight to the tailpiece or change the
string length, and don't want to spend so much for fine
tuning pegs, then these specially made carbon fiber tailpiece