Looking for strings is a little more fun for me than looking for a cello! First of all, its not as expensive in comparison and its kind of interesting trying to figure out how different string combinations affect the cello, the strings nearby and my playing! Secondly, I don't feel like I'm making HUGE decisions - I'm totally wishy washy when it comes to making big decisions, I'm one of those types that make checklists and comparison charts! Seriously, I did it for the cellos I was looking at! hhmmm...I wonder if I should post my comparison chart... And third, I'm learning a bunch of new stuff on cellos! It's never ending!
Changing cello strings:
- I've got this down - piece of cake! :). My teacher kind of showed me how to do this during my previous lesson, but I had to look it up to make sure I didn't completely blow up my cello! Yes, I can blow anything up - I'm very accident prone...
- I wasn't really paying much attention because I wanted to try out his cello! So while he was changing strings, I was playing some songs on his professional cello. I definitely can appreciate his cello more now that I've done quite a bit of research and cello searching for myself! Of course, mine is no where close to his... *sigh.* The cellos I'm looking at are only intermediate/advanced student cellos. Then again, I'm only a beginner student. LOL ~ chicken before the egg! ;)
- The most important part of changing strings:
- ALWAYS change cello strings one at a time!
- NEVER take off all of the strings at once!
- If I were to take off all of the strings at once the soundpost would fall because the tension from the strings is what holds it up.
- Helpful article from CelloOnline.com: Changing Strings
- Helpful YouTube videos:
Quick string review:
- I currently have Evah Medium for A & Evah Soloist for D on the Eastman cello and Spirocore Tungsten on G&C. I think the A&D is a bit too bright for me and I’m hoping they’ll warm up a bit more, but I don’t think they will as the description for these are for added “brilliance.” I have found the strings are much more balanced on this cello with this combination. But it also has brought out a small wolf on E, which disappears if I switch the D string back to the Larsen Mediums that were on there previously. Adam mentioned that the more open the strings are, the probability of a wolf appearing increase – I think it has to do with the tension of the strings.
- However, the response and ease from the Evah strings is remarkable!! Getting more projection out of the A&D is extremely easy! It may be in part due to the fact that I’ve learned to drop my elbow more, but I don’t get the same response and ease of playing with the Larsen strings. Also, playing very quietly, is easy and sounds quite lovely! At quieter volumes it still retains a rich tonal quality! I don’t know, it may be too bright for me, but I may have to switch over because of these factors. Plus, its only been a week, so maybe it’ll sound better to me after another week.
- I read that there are two main groups of A and D strings. The first group is typically Jargar and Larsen Soloist which are designed for HEAVIER bow pressure and a more powerful core sound. I’ve discovered when I switch back from Evahs to Larsens that I definitely need to use more pressure and my bowing needs to be more accurate. While the second group, which are typically Permanent, Evah Pirazz and Dominant, are more pliant which makes faster bow strokes easier, but are also brighter and more resonant. For me, Evahs are definitely more forgiving and easier to play. Although when I get nervous my hands start to shake and that's more noticeable on the Evahs! :). I didn't realize that strings make that huge of a difference in playability! I may have to try out Permanents or Dominants next.
I've read through a lot of forums regarding strings, and I thought they were being a bit picky about strings, but they really do make a difference! Along with my teacher's advice and a couple shop owners recommendations, I came across some good reading on picking out strings from the forums below:
- Some helpful discussions on strings from Cello Heaven Forum:
- A Player's Guide to 30 Brands of Strings
- Alex Review Cello Strings Part 1: Favorite A&D
- Alex Review Cello Strings Part 2: Review of G&C
- Alex Review Cello Strings Part 3
- Looking for String Recommendations
- Help!...String Selection
- String Combinations (besides Larsen and Spirocores)
- First time buying strings, in dire need of assistance
- Some helpful discussions on strings from Internet Cello Society Forum:
- Any thoughts on Larsen Wire Core C and G
- Concerning the A&D Larsen + G&C Spirocore Tungsten string combo...Which gauge?
- Larsen Strings Info, Please ?
- Larsen A & D + thomastik spirocore tungsten G & C
- Dominant cello strings
- Time for new strings
- Strings for a Goffriller
- Strings: lower tension pirazzi/spirocore replacment ideas?
- Has anyone tried the new Belcanto Gold Strings?
- Dominant cello strings
- Strings: kaplan, passione, or stick with jargar?
- So frustrated!!!!
- Alternatives to full set of jargars...?
I've been referring back to these forums to figure what strings to try out and had to keep searching for these over and over again! This should save some time! I signed up to the forums, but I have no idea how to search through either of the website forums! I'm going to have spend some time on those websites and figure that out.