Commit it to memory
Welcome back friends! The next step on our journey is learning and memorizing the 4 strings on the violin. It’s simple, its fun, and it’s absolutely necessary to our ability to tune, our ability to play, and our ability to improve our skills on the violin. Whether you’re playing on Dominant, Pirastro, or D’addario violin strings, it won’t matter much if we don’t know which one we are playing. First, use this guide to memorize the names of the strings. After that, we can begin to learn the individual notes on each string. But we’ve got to start somewhere, and that somewhere is here. Be sure to also memorize the helpful tips down below. Let’s jump in!
The names of the strings on the violin
The G string is the thickest string on the violin and is therefore the lowest in pitch. It is located on the left side of the violin (for right handed players, on the right side of the violin for left handed players). Directly next to the G string is the D string.
The D string is one of the inside two strings on the violin. It is the second thickest string. It is located directly next to the G string on the left hand side of the violin (for right handed players, on the right hand side of the violin for left handed players), which is the easiest way to remember it. On the other side of the D string is the A string.
The A string is one of the inside two strings on the violin. It is the second thinnest string. The A is located directly next to the E string, on the right side of the violin (for right handed players, on the left side of the violin for left handed players.) This is the easiest way to remember it’s location.
The E string is the thinnest and therefore highest pitched string on the violin. It is located on the right side of the violin (for right handed players, on the left side of the violin for left handed players.) Another way to locate the E string is that when you hold the violin up to your shoulder, the E string is furthest way from your head.
Tip: How thick is the violin string?
For my beginner students, I tell them to observe the thickness of the strings. They are all different in diameter. In other words, each one is bigger or smaller than the others. This is an easy way to remember that thicker strings make lower pitches and thinner strings make higher pitches.
Tip: Where is the string located on the violin?
This is another tip I use to help students remember where the strings are on the violin. When holding your violin so that the front of the violin, and the strings, are facing you, the thicker strings start on the left side of the violin (for right handed players. For left handed players, the thicker strings are on the right hand side of the violin).
Tip: What are the strings of a violin made of?
When violins were created, their strings were made of sheep’s intestines. These intestines were stretched, dried and twisted and were called “catgut”. It has been the popular belief that violin strings were once made of actual cat intestines, but that has never been the case.
Tip: How many strings are on a violin?
For almost 500 years, violins have generally had four strings tuned G, D, A, and E (low to high, as you see above). These intervals are perfect fifths. However, there are some violins that have as many as 7 strings. The strings other than the traditional 4 listed above usually tune to pitches lower than the G string.
Use this article to help you remember the strings of the violin. The quicker you memorize them, the easier it will be for you to progress on your violin. Additionally, it will increase the speed at which you gain prowess on your violin as well. That’s all for this one. Head over to the next installment in the beginner’s course and keep making progress in your journey to learn the violin!