Tuning a Violin — Basic Information

When we first started out with violin lessons, violin tuning was something we knew nothing about! We had no idea how to tune or what was involved in combination with drum samples. Thankfully, our teacher took it upon herself to make sure she taught our daughter how to tune a violin. We want to provide you with some basic information so that you know of some things you can watch out for. Now tuning a violin is no problem.

1. The small, usually silver coloured knobs near the bridge are called the fine tuners and will be used most of the time for tuning a violin.

2. The large, usually black, tuning pegs up near the scroll are for major violin tuning issues. You should RARELY have to touch these for violin tuning.

3. The bridge is what all four strings rest on between the F holes and, as we found out the hard way, can affect violin tuning. If the bridge has been knocked off center or has moved in any way, you just will not be able to accomplish anything when tuning a violin.

4. Just a little note here about how weather may affect how to tune a violin. Changes in weather, especially humidity will affect the large tuning pegs which will in turn affect violin tuning.


Tuning a Violin — Violin Tuners

We must admit that we did finally purchase a violin tuner. We did this for the times we would be out of town and not near a keyboard, free drum kits download or piano to help with tuning a violin. Now, we wish we would have purchased this when we were first learning how to tune a violin. There are a few different tuners to consider if you want some help with tuning. Also it helps greatly when deciding the structure of a song.

The Matrix (brand name) violin tuner is specially designed for orchestral instruments. To tune, there is a piece that you clip onto the bridge of your violin, the pluck the string and the needle with move to show you if the the string is high, low or perfect pitch. This violin tuner also works for violas, cellos and double bass.

The second type of violin tuner we would like to tell you about is a violin tuner that emits a sound and you match the string to the drum sounds. This is a lot like the pitch pipe mentioned below, but you don’t have to blow into it.

The third type is a pitch pipe is something that you blow into and then match the sound of the string to the sound. If you are just learning how to tune a violin, we don’t recommend this method, unless you have a great ear for hearing differences in pitch and drum samples.




If you are on this page chances are you are in the same spot we were, looking for a student violin and wondering about everything from violin sizes, to violin tunning, to violin accessories.

There are three ways to get an instrument for your violin student: 1. Buying; 2. Renting, or 3. Borrowing. On this site we will not discuss borrowing because if you are fortunate enough to have one to borrow, alot of this information will not be relevant to you. However, you may want to check out violin sizes in the sizing chart section of this site, violin accessories, and/or the violin fingering chart.

Before you get any violin, you need to know what violin sizes is approproate for your student. You can ask the teacher or the violin store should know by looking at the size of your student. You can also refer to violin sizes in the violin sizing chart section of this site.

If you are renting or are considering renting there is a definite benefit in renting locally if at all possible, although there are violin rentals available online. Honestly, the cost of renting long term will drive you insane. And the worst part of it is that even the larger violin stores have only a limited number of instruments they make available for renting. Most of them are well used violins and may be slightly damaged. When you get an instrument with even a hairline crack, there is definitely a loss of tone. But if there is nothing else to choose from in the store, you get what you get. Having said all this and although the cost of renting will drive you nuts, we highly recommend renting for the beginning student because you can’t be sure they will want to continue studying the violin.

To buy a new violin you can turn to a local music shop or choose an online buying experience. We recommend buying only after your student has completed at least one year of violin study and actually likes it! When you are looking to buy, make sure the store you purchase from has a trade-in program will allow you to move up to a larger size in the future at a minimal cost. Your student will be growing so consider the fact the their violin sizes will be changing if they stick with it. The store we deal with only charges $50 to move up to the next size if you have purchased the violin from them in the first place. It is also nice to build relationships with the people in the store so they will be able to help you with other violin accessories such as violin tuners, in the future.

Other violin accessories you may want to look into is a music stand (if you don’t have one), a violin shoulder rest) although to start you can use a wash cloth folded up and attached with a rubber band, a violin fingering chart to help the student remember the notes (it also helps the parents!)

To Sum it Up:

1. You can rent or buy

2. Make sure you are getting the proper size

3. Size of instrument has a lot to do with the tone, the larger the violin, the better the tone.

4. Look into any violin accessories you may need such as a violin shoulder rest or music stand.