Tuning the violin
One of the main areas of learning
to play violin is learning to properly tune it...and, this in itself,
can take many years of study...you'll want to attune the ear over time
to differentiate pitches for one...and, this can be facilitated by using
an electronic tuner...
Turning the pegs requires a skill in itself...for, once you get the string
up to relative pitch, you'll want to push the peg into the peghead so
that the peg will not slip from the tension of the string...and, after
getting it close to pitch, then you'll want to tune the other three strings
up to relative pitch...the reason you would do this is to evenly distribute
the tension on the neck and body...otherwise, bringing only one string
up to relative pitch, and then fine tuning it would be a waste of time...since
after bringing the other three strings up to pitch, you would have to
still fine tune this very same string further...due to the tension change
after bringing all of the other strings up to pitch.
The pegs are turned counterclockwise on the G and D strings to bring up
to pitch...and clockwise to lower in pitch...and the A and E strings are
tuned the opposite...on the other side of the peghead...counterclockwise
to lower pitch and clockwise to tune up the pitch...
Now, let's discuss the importance of ensuring that the pegs are not slipping...this
can be one of the biggest frustrations of all...and you'll want to make
sure that once you do bring your pegs up to pitch, and have pushed them
into the peghead for tightness, they will not slip and cause the string
to go flat...to prevent this, I highly recommend that you invest in a
product called Peg Drops...this product only needs to be applied once
every few months and will lessen the frustration of peg slippage.
Another consideration are the fine tuners...as a beginner, learning to
tune is quite a bit easier with fine tuners. Most all violins come equipped
with at least a fine tuner on the E string...even the most proficient
classical soloist will many times have a fine tuner on the E string...now,
for most of us utility players, having all 4 fine tuners is essential...You
can use an integrated tailpiece called the Dr. Thomastik...this means
that all 4 fine tuners are built in to the tailpiece itself. Most fine
tuners are separate mechanisms from the bridge...and if not fitted properly,
can cause damage to the top...and find that you have far more control
in bringing each string up to perfect pitch...you first tune each wooden
peg up to relative pitch on each string...then you tune each individual
string up to the final pitch...You then use the open strings played in
unison fifths to double-check tuning.