- Max Kuehn
If you’re looking to learn how to tune a violin, this guide will show you everything you need to know! Tuning a violin can seem like a daunting task, but it is actually quite simple. With a few basic tools and a little bit of practice, you can be tuning your violin like a pro in no time. Click through to get started.
How To Tune Violin
Using an App for Tuning
A tuning app is usually used in the same way as an electronic or internet tuner. The majority of apps use a pointing needle or LEDs to operate.
Step 1: Tune the Violin’s A string
It’s time to start tuning your violin now that you’ve got your tuner!
The first step in tuning your violin is to locate the A string. The second string from the right is the A string.
Pluck or play the A string on your violin while on your knee. In the display, the name of the nearest note will appear.
- If the display indicates G or A, turn the fine tuner to the right until the note A appears.
- If the note A or B appears on display, turn the fine tuner to the left until the note A appears.
- If the display reads A, turn the tuner left and right until the needle points to the center.
- If the tuner displays any notes mentioned above, tune the violin using the pegs until the A or one of the surrounding notes appears.
Step 2: Adjust the tuning of the D string
The D string must then be tuned. The third-string from the right is the D string.
The tuning of the D string is similar to that of the A string.
Play the D string until the display shows the correct note name (specifically D).
- If the note C or D appears in the display, turn the fine tuner to the right until the note D appears in the display.
- If the note D or E appears on the LCD, turn the fine tuner to the left until the note D appears.
- If the display reads D, turn the tuner left and right until the needle points to the center.
- If none of the aforementioned notes appear in the display, tune the violin using the pegs until the D or one of the surrounding notes appears.
Step 3: Adjust the tuning of the G string
You’re getting the hang of it now that you’ve tuned the A and D strings.
We’ll repeat the procedure of tuning the string for the G string until the correct note appears in the display.
Play the G string until the display shows the correct note name (specifically G).
Turn the fine tuner to the right if the display shows F or G.
Turn the fine tuner to the left if the display shows G or A.
Turn the tuner left and right if the display indicates G until the needle points to the middle.
Use the pegs until the G shows in the display if none of the above notes appear.
Step 4: Adjust the E String’s Tuning
The E string is the violin’s finest string and the one that is most readily out of tune. That’s why, when tuning, we save this string for last!
Continue tuning the E string in the same manner as you did the others.
Here are some pointers:
- Turn the fine tuner to the right if the display shows D or E.
- If E or F appears on the display, turn the fine tuner to the left.
- If the display reads E, turn the tuner left and right until the needle points to the center.
Step 6: Using the Pegs to Tune the Strings
When the string is out of tune, the display will not show any notes close to it. You’ll have to use the pegs in that instance.
- To begin, determine which peg corresponds to the string you want to tune.
- Place the violin on your knee to begin.
- If the string is already quite tight, make sure you loosen it by a quarter-turn first.
- To tighten the string, slowly turn the peg away from you.
- Pluck the string regularly (every quarter-turn) to see if it’s near the target pitch.
Tip: Only turn the peg a quarter-turn at a time, as this makes a tremendous impact on the pitch of a string. And if a string is stretched too far, it snaps!
Pluck the string after turning it a quarter turn. Continue turning higher if it is too low.
You can use the fine tuners to tune to a note near the target pitch.
Step 7: Check Your Tuning Again
You’ve now tuned every one of your strings. Now is the time for a final examination.
Play each one with your bow to ensure that the strings are in tune.
Congratulations if every string is in tune! Now is the time to start practicing your violin!
Tuning the Violin Using the Fine Tuners
Step 1: Switch on the tuner. The tuner should have an on/off switch because they don’t always stay on. When you turn on the digital screen, it should display text and a tuning dial.
Step 2: Using the “A” string, pluck a note. Strike a note by picking at the string with your fingertips. The tuner dial will move up and down to indicate the note’s location. When plucking the string, make sure the note says “A” in the corner. You’ll have to make a lot of changes if it doesn’t.
Keep in mind that the “A” string is the second smallest.
If it doesn’t say “A,” determine if the note it does say is above or below “A” and adjust the pegs accordingly.
If the notes require minor modifications, use the fine tuner. To raise the pitch, twist the fine tuner corresponding to the appropriate string to the right (clockwise). Lower the pitch by turning it counterclockwise.
Continue plucking while keeping an eye on the screen to check if you’ve reached the dial’s center point. Match the string’s note to the note on the tuner.
Only the “E” string, or the “E” and “A” string, may have a fine tuner. If that happens, adjust the other strings at the pegs.
The fine tuners are the small “screws” on the violin’s tailpiece, near the chin, where the strings end.
If the screw won’t go any farther and the violin is still out of tune, back it out until it’s loose and use the pegs instead.
Step 3: To make bigger adjustments, turn the pegs. Find the string’s associated peg. If you’re holding the violin in front of you with the pegs at the top, the “A” string is on the top right. Move the note clockwise to raise it or counterclockwise to drop it. To alter the pitch, make modest adjustments of less than 0.25 inches (0.64 cm) at a time.
Continue to move the peg slightly until the tuner’s dial reaches the middle.
Follow the rope up to the peg attached to identify the correct peg.
Step 4: Double-check that the note corresponds to the tuner. When the note is matched, the name of the note will be displayed in the corner. The dial will land in the middle of the note, indicating that it is neither sharp nor flat but exactly on key. You’ve tuned the note when it does.
Step 5: Carry on with the process for the remaining strings. The strings are “G,” “D,” “A,” and “E,” with “G” being the lowest and “D” being the highest. The biggest string will always be the one with the lowest sting.
Ear-tuning the String
Step 1: Tune your violin in a quiet place. When there is a lot of noise around you, it cannot be easy to hear the sound. If feasible, move to a room without a television or radio.
You may need to go inside for a while if you’re outside.
Step 2: Listen to the note’s sound. Play the note using a computer, phone, a piano, a tuning fork, or a metronome with a built-in tuner. Pay close attention to the note’s pitch. If necessary, replay the game.
Start with the “A” string. The second smallest string is this one.
Step 3: Locate the fine tuners. Fine tuners are found on some violins only on the E string, some on the E and A strings, and others on all strings. Find the fine tuner for that string by following the string down. The fine tuners are tiny screws on the tailpiece near the chin piece where the strings end.
Step 4: If the string is slightly out of tune, use the fine tuner to adjust it in small increments. To make the string higher, turn the tiny fine tuner clockwise, and to make it lower, turn it counterclockwise.
Play it with the bow to see if the string matches the sound you just heard. To get the right note, keep tweaking and playing the string. This tuner can only make minor modifications, so you’ll need to use the pegs instead if your string is out of tune.
If the screw has been turned down, reverse the direction of rotation to loosen it completely. Then it’s time to tune with the peg. You’ll be less likely to break the string this way.
Step 5: Locate the string’s proper peg. The pegs are the knobs on the violin’s far end. The right top is the “A” string, the right bottom is the “E” string, the left top is the “D” string, and the left bottom is the “G” string if you hold the violin facing you with the pegs at the top.
Step 6: Make large modifications by turning the peg with your finger and thumb. Grasp the peg with your thumb and pointer finger. Turn it clockwise to raise the string and counterclockwise to drop it. By running the bow across the corresponding string, try to match the tone you just heard. If necessary, repeat the note on the tuner or computer.
Step 7: Repeat steps 1–7 for each string. Move on to the other strings after tuning the “A” string. Start with the “E” string, then move on to the “D” and “G” strings. You may need to double-check the “A” at the end to ensure you haven’t thrown it out of tune during the procedure.
If the peg is sticky,’ meaning it’s difficult to turn (or squeaky… or won’t turn at all! ), remove it and brush some peg paste into the pin where it meets the hole in the side of the pegbox.
If you don’t have any peg paste on hand, dried soap or the lead of a pencil will suffice!
Fine Tuners that are too tight or too blocked:
If you use the fine tuners frequently, they will occasionally go to the end of the screw. You won’t be able to turn them any farther after this happens because they’ve gone as far as possible.
We tend to turn the fine tuners to the right rather than the left because the violin strings will usually grow flattered in pitch as the tension in the strings decreases.
When this happens, you’ll need to unwind all of the fine tuners to a position where you can use them again, then tweak the pegs to bring the strings back to about the appropriate pitch.
Fine Tuners on the Loose:
If a fine tuner becomes loose, it must be rotated a little farther clockwise to return to its screw.
However, because this will most likely make the string overly sharp, be prepared to make some peg modifications to compensate.
If that doesn’t work, the screw is most likely broken, and the fine tuner will have to be replaced.
Changes in Temperature:
Temperature extremes can alter the physical state of the violin’s strings, resulting in changes in string tension.
As a result, your violin may go out of tune when you transport it between locations with different temperature extremes (for example, from a warm home to a friendly teaching studio via a chilly subway train!).
Expect to have to use the pegs if this happens!
Tuning Hints for Quick Reference
Following these simple guidelines will make tuning a violin a breeze:
To avoid breaking strings, remember to tune from below the note.
To avoid string breaking, use the fine tuners as often as feasible. When they’ve coiled down to the nub, loosen them up, tighten the string to just below the note with the peg, and tune it up the rest with the fine tuners. You won’t be able to tune down with the loose fine tuners if you overtighten the string at the peg.
Tune the A string first, then the D, G, and E strings. Violinists in orchestras tune their instruments in this manner. It is beneficial to establish a proper tuning habit.
If you’re using a tuner, humming the correct note from the tuner first will help you figure out what note you’re looking for. If you can’t achieve the tone with your voice, imagine humming it instead; it has a similar impact.
Fidlar really hope that you are able to tune your violin with the help of this information. In the event that you have any further inquiries, we would be delighted to hear from you.