How Do I Tune My Violin

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Do you want to tune your violin, but aren’t sure how? Perhaps you’ve been looking for violin lessons in Ashburn, VA and you want to get a head start before you meet with a teacher. Whatever the situation, this article will take you through the tuning process.
Tuning your violin can be frustrating, making anything you play sound unfamiliar. Asking how do I tune my violin is a good question. Please understand that how you tune your instrument is a skill, like any other part of playing the violin, but with the correct steps and practice, you can master it! Since the violin needs to be tuned everyday that you play it, you will get plenty of experience quickly!

Parts Of The Violin Involved

There are two parts of the violin that can change the pitch of each string: the pegs and the fine tuners. The fine tuners are small screws located on the tail piece near the bridge. Each string is attached to a fine tuner at one end and a peg at the other. The pegs can be found near the scroll. The fine tuners are used to make small adjustments to the pitch. While the amount you can change is limited with the fine tuners, the chance of breaking a string with them is much smaller, so they are a good place to start. Once you’ve started, if there needs to be a larger adjustment, you can use the pegs. Since these can easily make the strings break, it is good to have help from a teacher during your violin lessons in Ashburn to prevent damage to the instrument.

The Physical Motion

The fine tuners can be turned with clockwise motions. Turning them clockwise will make the string higher, and counter clockwise will lower the pitch of the string. Don’t worry if you start turning it the wrong direction, as you can always switch directions. I always teach that the best practice is to turn it counter clockwise if you are unsure which way to go first. Then you can switch if it gets more out of tune.
The pegs can be turned up or down. These should always be turned down first, while pulling the peg gently out from the side of the peg box. Then, they can be turned up in very small increments while gently pushing the peg back in. Pulling the peg out allows it to turn more smoothly, and – since they work using friction – pushing it back in as you turn it up makes it stay where you want it.

Tuning Steps

There are a handful of ways to find when the string is in tune, but the easiest is using a tuner, which can either be a separate device or an app on your smartphone. Either way, you can follow these steps to get your string in tune:

  • Pluck the string you wish to tune close to the tuner.
  • Check the note name appearing on the tuner, it should match the string name (E for the highest string, then A, D, and G in descending order).
    • If the note name does not match, then start by adjusting the fine tuner to get it to the appropriate note.
  • If the tuner shows the correct note, but is showing that it is flat, turn the fine tuner for that string clockwise.
  • If the tuner shows the correct note, but is showing that it is sharp, turn the fine tuner counter clockwise.
  • Repeat these steps until the tuner shows that each string is in tune

If you notice that the fine tuner cannot turn any further, and your string is still out of tune, then it is time to use the pegs. If that is needed, follow these steps:

  • Turn your fine tuner the opposite direction so that it can be used again when the string is closer to the correct pitch.
  • Carefully turn the peg down while gently pulling it out.
  • Turn the peg back up while pushing it in with very small increments. Pluck the string regularly to check that you have not gone above the desired pitch.
  • Once you have the string close to in tune, use the steps above to use the fine tuners again.

Going Forward With Lessons In Ashburn

Now that you can tune your violin, you can get started playing! Teachers at Lessons In Your Home can help guide your musical process with personalized lessons. They can either come to your home or teach online lessons. Our virtual music lessons are taught by local music teachers who plan their lessons to best suit you or your child. Contact us today to find an instructor near you!
Article by our very own violin teacher in Ashburn, VA –  Heather Marsico,

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