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How To Tune a Violin
Help for Violin Tuning Pegs

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Setting Up Violin Pegs for Optimal Tuning

(The Complete Guide to Violin Tuning - Continued from page 2 - Important!)

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

The Violin 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 possible causes.

  1. 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 windings.

    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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 Pegs

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 strings.


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 degrees.


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.


What Next?

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 violin tuner.

This is page 3

<====== Page 2: Tuning a Violin - Avoiding the Bridge Snap

Page 1: Introduction to Violin Tuning
Introducing the violin tuning process, common tuning problems and solutions...Read more

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 your instrument...Read more

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 more


Other Ways to Generate Reference Tones
Conventional and new ways that reference tones can be generated... Read more

Fine 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 pitch differences...Read more

How to Tune a Violin Using Only Pegs
Photos illustrating how advanced violinists may use only their left hand and fingers to tune violins...Read more

Installing and Using Fine Tuning Pegs Coming Soon
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 Coming Soon
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 Soon
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 fine tuners

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