Replacing violin strings one by one is simple, but there are a few things to take note of before you start:
- Never take off more than one string at a time – the bridge is held in place by the strings, not by glue.
- If you do change the whole set, be sure the bridge is in proper placement when you are finished.
- If during the process you notice that the grooves in the upper nut and/or bridge have become deep or too angled, take the violin to a luthier to have the grooves adjusted.
- Lubricating the grooves by softly rubbing them with the graphite from the lead of a soft pencil will ease the tension on the strings and make them easier to tune.
With these things in mind, start changing each string individually following these 10 simple steps:
- Make sure the string is the correct length.
- Unscrew the fine tuners as much as possible.
- Thread the lower end with the ball or loop into the tailpiece or fine tuner.
- With gentle pressure on the lower end, use your other hand to thread the upper end into the peg hole, pushing the string all the way until you can see only a few millimeters on the other side of the peg hole.
- Turn the peg toward the scroll while carefully pushing the peg deeper into the peg box.
- Wind it so that it is tightly and closely wrapped and lies flat along the peg. This must be done carefully to keep the strings from breaking under too much pressure.
- If the string is too long, unwind it and cut it to the correct length with a string trimmer and start again.
- When the string is almost finished winding, check the positioning and make sure that it is on top of, and not next to, the appropriate groove on the bridge and the nut. Thin strings should have a small protector placed where they rest on the bridge so that they don’t cut too deep.
- Bring the string up to pitch at the peg.
- When you have finished replacing strings, readjust the fine tuner.