How to Change a String

Is it hard to change violin strings? How long does it take to change violin strings? Why do violin strings break? If you have lost or worn out a string on your violin or other orchestral string instrument, this guide will help you to change the string. If you need an entirely new set of strings on your instrument, it is advisable to visit an instrument repair shop to have your instrument restrung. Changing all strings often requires adjustment to the bridge and other parts of the instrument. 

How long does it take to change violin strings?

Changing strings can be difficult at first and must be done carefully to protect the instrument and the strings. Once you get the hang of it, it can take just a few minutes to replace a string 

violin student

How do I know when to replace my violin strings?

If a string breaks or pops off your instrument, you will likely need a new one. However, if you are having difficulty tuning and playing a string or it is looking worn and thin, it could be time to change the string. Changing strings is inevitable and every string player needs new strings at regular intervals. The frequency with which you need to change the strings can depend on how often you play, the condition of the instrument, and even the strings you choose

Why do violin strings break?

Strings can break for a variety of reasons. Older strings which are worn out can be more susceptible to breakage. When tuning your instrument, make sure to turn the pegs slowly and gradually. Turning the pegs too far too quickly can cause a string to snap. 

How do you remove violin strings?

The first step to changing a string is to remove the old string. Even if the string broke off the instrument, there may still be a piece of the string in the peg hole, so you’ll need to remove that. To remove the string, turn the peg downwards until the string is loose enough to pull free from the instrument


How do you change a string? 

  • After removing the old string, remove the new string from its package. There will be two ends to the string, the top and the ball end. The ball end is a tiny round metal ball at the end of the string which will be inserted into the tailpiece of the violin. 

  • Pull the peg almost all the way out of the peg hole and thread the top of the string through the peg hole, leaving a little bit of the string sticking out of the peg hole. 

  • Slowly turn the peg upwards while pressing it back into the peg box

  • As the string gets tighter, make sure it is lined up properly on the bridge. Also, insert the ball end into the tailpiece

  • Once the string is in place, tune the violin.

string player

What are some common mistakes made when changing a violin string?

  • Overlapping strings   When changing a string, make sure that the new string has its own pathway from the pegbox to the tailpiece without overlapping any of the other strings

  • Winding too loosely   Hold the string taut with one hand while turning the peg with the other so that you wind the string tightly onto the peg. 

  • Not leaving room for the ball end   As you get closer to finishing winding the string, don't forget to insert the string’s ball end into the tailpiece. 

  • Not winding securely   Make sure to leave a small piece of string sticking out from the peg hole when you first insert the string. Otherwise, the string can easily unravel

Follow this guide to change a string on your instrument. Take time to learn how to change a string properly and remember that it will probably take a few tries to get it right. Take your instrument to a repair shop to change the string if you don't feel confident enough to do it yourself or if there are other issues with the instrument.