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Thinking about replacing your strings but are not sure what to get just yet? Here are 4 Considerations of Choosing Strings: Instrument Quality, Desired Sound, Budget and Replacement Frequency.
4 Considerations of Choosing Strings
Pearls before Swine applies here too. There is no reason to put the finest set of strings on a cheap, poorly made instrument, you simply will not recognize any performance difference…at least not enough to justify the cost.
If you have a good student level instrument or better you will instantly hear a difference in sound from a better set of strings. Your better instrument, with a better set of strings, will project further, sound more rich, and have a more colorful pallet for you to choose from. You will sound older, more mature and most importantly will enjoy listening to yourself more.
How do you know if you have a good instrument or set up? Click here to receive the instrument self-evaluation guide and take control of your sound.
Brighter or Darker?
There is a “bar of blend-able” ensemble sound that we’re all trying to achieve. The instrument we play on effects the direction we must go with string choice toward this sound. If our instrument has a naturally dark sound - we need our strings to be brighter to bring us up to this blend-able sound. If our instrument is naturally bright we need a warmer, darker string to bring us back down to the bar.
String selection is not a scary science. It takes some experimentation and listening to other people's instruments to understand the possibilities but it’s not scary. To make it a little more simple we’ve created a sound chart by string brand to help you make a selection. Click here to get your copy of it now.
The rich, vibrant and projecting sounds from a fine set of strings is worth the cost. Sure, strings can seem expensive but when you have the right combination of instrument to string you’ll really enjoy playing.
In recent years a few manufacturers have come out with new “low priced” strings (Alphayou by Thomastic Infeld, XXX by D’Addario) and they are a good option for some instruments. They do not sound as nice as their better counterparts but for a student level instrument in need of something cheap, they are nice. When you spend more money you will get a better sound.
An extension of budget is how often you are willing to replace your strings. Some strings are designed to last up to 12 months while others will be dead in 4 months. If you’re willing to replace your strings every 4 months (and spend money that frequently) then these strings are a great choice; if your not willing to change them this often, choose a different string.
For instance, Eva Pirazi strings are wonderful. They help instruments project out in solo play and with a rich, vibrant sound but they will be dead in 4 months. If you install Eva’s you will sound great (given they are the right string for your instrument) but if you leave them on for a year you will sound rather poor for 8 of those 12 months.