Have you ever broken a violin string and asked yourself Why do Violin Bow Strings Break? It’s a frustrating experience, especially when there’s no replacement on hand. But it happens. And it happens more often than you might think.
In fact, on average, each violin player replaces their strings twice a year – and this is on top of bow rehairs. Why do violin bow strings break? Yes, they break for lots of reasons but the two most common are tension and age.
Strings that are new or fresh from a restringing will be under higher tension and susceptible to snapping more easily. Also, as violin strings get older – the natural oils in the gut core evaporate – causing them to become brittle and break more easily. An important thing to know about violin strings is how they affect your sound quality.
So let’s explore the best way to take care of them so they last longer.
Related Article: Can a Violin Break?
What makes a violin string break?
Violin strings break for a variety of reasons. The two most common are tension and age. Strings that are new or fresh from a restringing will be under higher tension and susceptible to snapping more easily. The other reason is that as violin strings get older, the natural oils in the gut core evaporate, causing them to become brittle and break more easily.
Violin strings affect your sound quality. It’s important to take care of them so they last longer! They can start breaking when you don’t keep them well-lubricated with rosin dust applied between each playing session. And it’s not just about rosin – you also need to make sure your bridge is properly fit and the hair on the bow is properly set up and cared for.
The other thing that makes a string break is high tension. When a string snaps, it often happens at either one of two places: where it’s anchored over the nut at the top of the fingerboard or where it crosses over the bridge towards its tuning peg at the bottom of the instrument. You can try lowering your strings’ tension, but this means sacrificing some volume because you’ll have less pressure on your strings which can lead to lower volume and less resonance in your sound.
Tension is one of the most common causes of string breakage. The greater the tension, the more likely the string will snap. Along with this, if you put too much tension on your strings, they’ll snap faster because they are under a lot of pressure. As a general rule, try to keep your bow hair relaxed and make sure it’s not applying too much pressure to your violin string.
You can also use a string winder to help adjust the tension of your strings. This helps to keep them at an optimal tension that won’t cause them to break as often. String winders are especially useful for violins that are hard to reach or for larger orchestras where there are many violins in one area who need their strings tuned quickly.
Age of Violin Strings
You don’t have to replace your strings every time they break. A new set of strings will always sound different than an old set of strings. Older strings are also more prone to breakage because the natural oils in the gut core evaporate – making them brittle and more likely to snap.
One way you can check the age of your violin is by looking at the label on the string. If it says “Made in Germany” it was made before 1974. If it says “Made in France,” it was made between 1974 and 1986. Finally, if it says “Made in USA,” it was made between 1987 and 2013 (most likely).
**A good way to make your strings last longer is by using a rosin cloth! The rosin acts as a protective sealant against dirt, moisture, other sources of damage like excessive heat or cold, and even other rosin dust that builds up over time. You can find rosin at any music store for under $5! **
Other Factors That Affect Violin String Length
Other factors that will affect the length of your strings are how often you play, and how hard you play. A violinist who plays four-hour concerts every night will need to restring their instrument more often than a player who practices for 30 minutes a day. The harder you play, the faster your strings will wear out – so be aware!
Keeping an eye on your strings is also a great way to prevent a break from happening. If you’re noticing that a string is wearing thin or fraying, it might be time for a new one! And don’t forget about the bow hair! Bows need replacement from time to time as well.
How to take care of your violin strings?
The most important thing to know about violin strings is how they affect your sound quality. When a string snaps, it’s often because the tension was too high – which can happen when you’re just starting out and haven’t yet learned how much tension you need from your strings. If a string breaks, it should be replaced immediately with a new one. When you restring a violin, do so with a soft hand and don’t pull too tightly at the tailpiece where the strings attach to the instrument. This will help ensure that your new strings last longer! One way to protect your violin strings from breaking too early is by wiping them down with a dry cloth after each time you play. This will remove any dirt or grime that might have accumulated on them while they were sitting in their case – which can also cause them to snap sooner than desired. The other thing for cleaning up your strings is to use rosin sparingly! Rosin helps make the bow glide across the string easier but if you use too much of it, it builds up on the string and makes it more prone to snapping.
These strings may last a year or more before they need to be replaced, but you can help them last longer by following these few simple steps:
◦ Keep Your Strings Clean
One of the most common reasons why strings break is from dirt and oils. Dirt and oils that accumulate on the strings will cause corrosion, which will eventually weaken your strings until they break. Wipe your strings with a dry cloth after each use to remove any dirt or oils. If time permits, wipe them again with a damp cloth.
◦ Avoid Vibrations at All Costs
Every time a string vibrates, it causes tiny micro-fractures. Over time, these micro-fractures will combine into larger fractures that will eventually cause an audible snap when played. It’s best to avoid any vibrations as much as possible by playing only on the D string at first! This helps prevent those micro-fractures from forming into larger fractures that could eventually break your string.
◦ Replace Old Strings
If you have old strings (older than two years), it’s time for new ones! Old strings may make less sound altogether or make poor quality sound due to brittle fibers and/or corrosion. Replacing old strings with newer ones will increase your sound quality and make practicing more enjoyable!
Why do violin bow strings break FAQS
Violin strings break for many reasons. The two most common are tension and age.
Strings that are new or fresh from a restringing will be under higher tension and susceptible to snapping more easily. Also, as violin strings get older – the natural oils in the gut core evaporate – causing them to become brittle and break more easily.
On average, each violin player replaces their strings twice a year – and this is on top of bow rehairs!
The two most common reasons are tension and age. Strings that are new or fresh from a restringing will be under higher tension and susceptible to snapping more easily. Also, as violin strings get older – the natural oils in the gut core evaporate – causing them to become brittle and break more easily.
If you neglect your bow’s guts for too long, they can shrink and warp which can cause your bow to go out of tune and sound terrible.
When it comes to violin strings, there are many factors that can make them break. Tension, age, and other things. But there are also things that can be done to prevent them from breaking. One of the most important things for violin players to do is take care of their violin strings, and follow the instructions on how to do this.
The best way to take care of your violin strings is to change them at the recommended times. For example, the strings should be changed every 3-4 months. It is also important to keep track of how much they are being played because strings may break prematurely if they are too taut or too taut for too long. Changing the strings at the right time, following the instructions on how to care for your violin strings, and keeping track of how often they are played will keep your strings in good shape.