Learning how to tune your violin is vital when you are just beginning to play the violin. It can take years of practice to learn how to tune your violin by ear, so we are providing an concise and in-depth guide on how to tune your violin!
What you'll need
With its four strings tuned in fifths, the violin is considered to be a precise music instrument, and not all violins are equipped with a fine-tuning for each string. Pegs are used for strings that are out of tune. But for beginners, it is advisable to avoid using pegs as a tuner, because they may just break the strings in the process.
Using a chromatic tuner to tune a violin is considered as one of the easiest methods out there. One chromatic tuner would cost around $30 to $40 at a music shop or online store. Or an alternative would be downloading a tuning app using your smartphone.
How to use tuners and pegs
In tuning a string, you should take note that you will be needing to tune from below the note, all the way up to avoid the string from breaking. Also, this helps with the systemizing process that will allow you to know how a well-tuned string should sound like.
It is also advisable to use a fine tuner if you have them. Luckily, most violins for beginners come with tuners for each string. If you feel like you cannot reach your desired note from your violin, then you can use the peg.
- In order to do that, you should first loosen up the tuner until the end of its screw, so that the strings wouldn't be too hard.
- Gently turn the peg, but remember to only turn it in small steps. Then, you will come in a tonality close to your desired one.
- Until you get to your desired tone, use the fine tuner to reach your precise note.
- As you do this, you can continuously use your bow to play the string that you're tuning.
When tuning your violin, you must begin from the A string, all the way up to the D, G and E strings. Once you do this, the more natural it comes to you. And through experience, you will finally be able to tune your violin strings by yourself, knowing how they should sound without the help of tuners and pegs.
You can reach your desired musical tune for the rest of your strings with the help of the sound of a well-tuned string. This may quite some time to get familiar with how each string should sound, but the key here is to integrate your listening skills and patience. Here are a few tips that might help you:
- Try to use your left ear to hear the pitch of the string.
- Do this as you get your ear close to the F-holes.
In orchestras, you may observe that the lead violinist tends to deliver the sound of the A string, while the others listen and make sure that their violin is in the same tune. To do this, you'll be needing to:
- Make sure that your A string is in tune.
- After that, listen to you to check the D string and listen to find its perfect fifth interval.
- If in case, you cannot hear it, change its pitch until you find it.
- You can repeat this process with the G and D strings played together.
- Lastly, you can play both the A and E together to find that perfect fifth.
Overall, it's very important you spend some time to tune your violin as this can completely change the sound of your violin! Make sure you read the guide and tune as you read, and best wishes!