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Flip string from peg to tailpiece


Regit
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Hi all, firstly, I do clean the string every time  after a playing session. Despite best effort, I think rosin buildup on the strings is inevitable. Up to a point, the buildup will dull the sound, especially the lower strings.

 

I have thought of adding monthly alcohol cleaning into the routine, but I guess this will have limits as well (and risk as well if not done properly).

 

Assuming the strings are in good condition along the fingerboard, any thoughts if one is to remove the ball from the tailpiece end, and tie a knot (or two) at the peg end of the string, and flip the string around? Not sure if strings are made with orientation regarding which ends go to which.

 

I have not try it, but probably give it a go when string changing time comes.

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Seems a pointless faff to me. Strings are wound differently at the peg end, compared to the tailpiece, where the core is anchored to the ball end.
Strings lose their tone for several reasons, so I’m struggling to understand how your rosin buildup theory will be negated, by putting the strings on upside down.

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I've never known anyone who did this, but that's what they said about Dick Fosbury. Looking at my strings I don't see any obvious sign of rosin build-up. And as you know it's at the other end where the most wear occurs, although Dominants don't seem to be as prone to unwinding as they used to be.

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30 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

Seems a pointless faff to me. Strings are wound differently at the peg end, compared to the tailpiece, where the core is anchored to the ball end.
Strings lose their tone for several reasons, so I’m struggling to understand how your rosin buildup theory will be negated, by putting the strings on upside down.

Thanks for the crucial note on how the string is anchored, I did not know that. For this reason alone, it will indeed seem pointless.

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David Finkel (ex cellist with the Emmerson quartet), uses a scouring pad, the sort you use in the kitchen to wash pans by hand, on the strings after playing. Since I heard about this I've done the same. It is very effective at removing rosin build up and doesn't seem to damage the string at all. But this could be something cellists are happy to do but violinists wouldn't contemplate. After all many cellists (not me) are happy to rest their cellos on hard floors and wear down the edge of the belly in the process. Meanwhile violinists are wrapping their violins in silk scarves.

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20 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

You can boil bass guitar strings and they will be ok again (unless they are corroded). I've never tried with guitar strings.

I have tried it with guitar strings.  It works... but maybe steel cores would get more corroded?

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Along with strings getting dirty and just old and worn, bowed instruments also have the additional dynamic of torsional twist to deal with, and when it become too loose, the string goes dull and will not bow correctly. It seems to get worse after removing strings or loosening them multiple times which seems to happen mostly around violin makers- repairers. Thus the use of old strings for the initial setup, and the fresh strings put on once and brought up to pitch.

What I have found that reliably works to restore some of the sparkle, and usefully extend the working  life of a dead string, is to simply twist it.

It should seem obvious the necessity of twisting it in the direction that would tighten the outer winding.

Some strings are cross wrapped. And tightening the outer wrap seems enough to hold it all together.

If you have gone the wrong way it will be painfully obvious.

The outer wrap leading to the end to be twisted, needs to be followed to the end, and if it rolls to the right as it approaches the end, twist it to the right, if it rolls to the left , then twist left, usually two or three times, you can feel it tighten up.

I have never broken a string doing this, though I must say it has surprised me.

This will clean up the dull sounding and or possibly hard to bow (rubbery) G, D, or A string on a fiddle, or viola,,etc..

It also works for nicely guitars, along with boiling,,,(I generally boil in alcohol)

On pianos the difference can be huge. For pianos it is good to clamp the copper winding with vice grips or similar as the end of the string is twisted with a long tool through the loop and the copper is kept tight along with it. It takes two people for pianos as the wound string is akin to a power tool ready to cut loose, and as soon as you get the loop on the bridge pin and held there, someone else has to pull the slack out with the tuning pin. If it gets away from you, it is possible that the spinning tools can cut you up, knock you out,  or chip a tooth,,, as the body often ends up in some contorted position, reaching in some awkward inconvenient place, leaning over on the belly, or lying on the back with the feet in the air, with the wire in your face to get this accomplished.

Violins are much more user friendly.

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You would have the opportunity to see what it feels like to bow over months of finger oil residues, and finger over that sticky sticky rosin.  

A violin teacher once told me not to press when cleaning the strings off, just whisk the rosin off quickly.  Pressure softens the rosin, e.g. ice skating, and it can get much more deeply impregnated in the strings.  

I presume you are a cellist, so perhaps you would require a more aggressive technique to clean your strings.  

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