Violin String Round-Up: Advanced vs. Intermediate vs. Beginner Strings
Violin strings, like their host instrument, should be selected to match the player's ability. Just as you shop for the right violin based on where you're at in your musical development, so should you seek strings that match your playing level.
In addition to helping you achieve the sounds you want to hear emanating from your violin, purchasing the right strings for your playing level also enhances musical expression, while remaining respectful of your budget.
Thomastik-Infeld Designs Violin Strings for All Levels
Thomastik-Infeld has designed and produced hand-made strings since 1919. Based in Vienna, the company's guiding principle has remained the same: to "...develop a high-quality musical string at the latest technological level." Thomastik-Infeld's commitment to innovation and quality, paired with their support of sustainability and social stewardship, makes them worthy of your investment.
From the string player's perspective, violin strings from any one of Thomastik-Infeld's string options offer a synthetic (easy maintenance) string, for a reasonable price. Their strings allow for better sound, easier playability, and a tuning ability you can count on – whether you're at the entry or professional level.
Let's round them all up so you can learn more about each one and determine which string is best suited for your violin.
Peter Infeld for Advanced and Professional-Level Violinists
It makes sense that strings bearing the name of one of the company's creators is a top-of-the-line product. Peter Infeld (PI) strings are the highest-end strings in the Thomastik-Infeld lineup, named after the late Peter Infeld - the son of Otto and Margaretha Infeld. PI strings are revered for producing the richest and most varied spectrum of sound color available.
In addition to the broadest range of sound color, PI Strings deliver instant bow response and superior tuning ability. Plus, the discerning professional violinist can select specific strings for an ultimate and individualized sound goal, including Tin, Gold and the unique Platinum plated and thus very powerful E-strings, as well as Aluminum or Silver wound D-strings.
Dominant for the Intermediate Player
Dominant strings take all of that same engineering genius – synthetic strings that are durable and sustainable while producing great sound, rich in overtones and worthy of professional level performances. They are considered the "reference standard" for strings and have a wide range of usage – whether you're a classical purist or find yourself competing at fiddling contests on the weekends.
These strings are made with a flexible synthetic core, which provides a great range of tonal expression, but remain impervious to changes in temperature and humidity. That's such an important quality for violin strings when the majority of student life is spend continuously toting string instruments in and out of cars, around campus and in both indoor and outdoor settings.
Dominant strings are so exceptional that intermediate players will continue to enjoy their feel and sound well into their advanced and professional-level playing careers. In fact, the stable intonation and rich overtones Dominant strings are known for make them one of the world's most popular violin strings.
Alphayue for Beginners
The company produces the Alphayue line for beginner violin, viola, and cello. In the past, beginner violin players were stuck having to contend with steel core strings because their durability, price and ability to hold tuning was imperative to mastering fundamentals. In that regard, Alphayue strings truly have been a game changer, allowing beginning violinist and violists to enjoy their durability and honed tuning, while enjoying a softer and more malleable playing experience for the fingers.
Once you've mastered the violin basics, you'll gain an increased appreciation for the strings' instant response, supple playability and beautiful tone. Alphayue strings have significantly mitigated the harsh, scratchy sound new violinists are teased about, improving the output of even the most entry-level beginners.
Do I Have to Use Strings Meant for My Level?
As with any talent or hobby, the desire to use the equipment designed for higher-level performers or players is a strong one. While there is no test required before purchasing a specific brand or type of string, you're best off playing violin strings meant for your playing level.
Firstly, while all of Thomastik-Infeld strings are considered reasonable in price, advanced strings are more precisely designed and innovated – and their pricing reflects that. Without the ability to elicit more nuanced sounds and overtones, you're wasting your money on higher-level strings. But, above and beyond that, we believe musicians should savor the journey from beginner to intermediate and to professional – letting equipment upgrades become part of celebrating those important milestones.
When that's the case for you, be sure to visit us here at Connolly Music, where we sell high-quality string instruments and accessories from the world's most respected brands.
Sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld