How Do I Replace Violin Bow Strings?

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  • Written By: Erik J.J. Goserud
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2019
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The process of replacing violin bow strings may be painstakingly tedious, but if you successfully follow the proper methods, you will surely be rewarded with the beautiful echoing of a skillfully stroked violin. Although this brief outline will review all necessary steps, more visual learners will find it beneficial to view an online tutorial of the process, enabling you to follow along during the process. While learning any new skill, patience is necessary, and this procedure too will indeed become second nature with time and practice.

Violin bow strings are to be changed one at a time. If all strings are removed at once, the change in tension may result in the collapsing of the soundpost, fingerboard, or both. This can easily be avoided by simply changing one at a time. The order in which strings should be removed and replaced is not essential, but typically, as with a guitar, you may begin with the top string and sequentially move down.


To begin, you must loosen each peg. Turn the peg gently toward you to accomplish this. Then, you can remove the opposite end of the string, located at the tailpiece. You should hold it in your hand to prevent damage to the base of the violin. Then, turn the loose peg toward you continually while applying gentle pressure to the tailpiece end in your hand until the violin bow strings have been removed. Once the old strings are removed, you can install the new violin bow strings one at a time.

The open end of the string, that is the one with no metal ball, should be slightly bent in order to aid in the catching process. Place the bent end of the new string through the small hole on the peg, and once successfully done, turn the peg slowly away from you. Avoid any overlap on the peg. Do not fret over fine-tuning as you tighten the string, just attempt to generally tune each string, and once all violin bow strings are changed, you can fine-tune.

Once the string is sufficiently tightened and the peg has been pushed in, attach the metal ball to the tailpiece. The string should be in the notch on the fingerboard and bridge as well as fastened securely on the tailpiece and peg if done properly. Let the strings sit for a number of hours before attempting to tune as they will quickly go out of tune otherwise due to the sudden change in tension.


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