Setting Up Violin Pegs for Optimal Tuning
There are a number of obstacles that can prevent smooth
violin tuning. Many beginners learning how to tune a violin
unnecessarily blame themselves for lack of skill or experience
when encountering problems. The source of the problem maybe
your pegs or how the string is wound up. Here are important
things to keep in mind.
Problems with Violin Pegs
Pegs Won't Stay
Despite all the extra effort to push the violin pegs further
into the peg box, they will not stay put. Here are three
The first thing to check is if your violin strings
is correctly wound around the pegs. The following two
photos show the correct and incorrect way of string
Incorrect String Winding
In the first photo on the right, a force in the
direction away from the peg box is introduced
on the peg under string tension, causing the pegs
to become lose. This increases the chances of
the peg or string becoming loose. This can be
disasterous, especially during a performance.
Incorrect String Winding
Correct String Winding
Here, the string winding (at the point leaving
the peg) rests near the inside wall of the peg
box, which helps to keep the peg in place.
Correct String Winding
Pegs are normally lubricated for smooth peg rotation.
However, sometimes there maybe too much lubricant or
you maybe using an inferior kind. There are a number
of peg lubricants (called peg paste or dope) on the
market. The best one I have found is Hill's
Peg Paste. It provides just the right balance, allowing
lubrication for smooth peg rotation, but also enough
friction to make the peg stay.
There maybe a mismatch between the taper of the peg
shaft and the taper of the peg holes in the peg box.
The only way to solve this is to take your violin to
get it properly matched by a trained luthier.
The Violin Pegs
are Stuck or Hard to Turn
This one is solved by using a proper peg paste. The best
peg paste I have used is Hill's
Peg Paste which provides just the right balance, allowing
lubrication for smooth peg rotation, but also friction to
make the peg stay.
Other Essential Tips for Violin Tuning
Peg Rotation Direction
Referring to the photo on the right. Looking at the
pegs on the right hand side of the peg box, the pegs
would be turned clockwise to tighten the string. Looking
at the pegs from the left of the peg box, the pegs
should be turned counter-clockwise to tighten the
Just How Much to Turn? (Important)
Many beginners rotate the pegs way too much to start with,
increasing the risk of strings breaking. Did you know that
from the strings being completely loose, tuning about half
a rotation (180 degrees) brings it close to being tuned?
For the E string, it is even less - 1/4 of a turn or 90
String tuning order and Violin Bridge Balance
If you haven't read already, please read this important
article , "Tune
a Violin - Avoiding the Bridge Snap" to set your bridge
in proper position before tuning.
The violin bridge needs to be in balance at all times.
Therefore, all four strings should have close to even tension
across the bridge at all times (i.e. it is not good
to tune one string all the way up at a time). Also, tuning
should start with the middle two strings, first A followed
by the D string. Then, string tension can be applied to
the G string followed by the E.
For example, start tuning the A string until it is about
half way. Then do the same for D, followed by G and then
E. Now go back and tune the A string until it is close to
the reference tone you are trying to match. Then do the
same for D, followed by G and then E. Finally, fine tune
in order, A, D, G and E.
You are now ready to tune your violin. The next page contains
a piano and violin tuner. You can simulate tuning with a
piano, which happens to be perhaps the most common instrument
use for reference tones, or you can use the provided online
COMPLETE VIOLIN TUNING GUIDE
This is page 3
Page 1: Introduction
to Violin Tuning
Introducing the violin tuning process, common tuning problems
Page 5: Installing
and Using Violin Fine Tuner
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...
Tuning a Violin Without Fine Tuners
These fine tuning techniques are used by advanced violinists
which you can use if you do not have any problems discerning
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