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How to Tune

The Violin Strings

The four violin strings from lowest to highest in pitch are G, D, A, and E. The violin is tuned in fifths. Each string is tuned to the fifth note above the next string down.

Tuning Your Violin

To tune, first listen to an A with a tuning fork, piano, or metronome. An electric tuner with a tuning needle is extremely useful!

Play your A string to hear if it is too high or too low compared to the tuning A. Turn the A peg slightly until the pitches match. If you're close to the correct pitch, you can also use the fine tuners. Now listen to the D, G, and E pitches and do the same thing. Or, look at the dial on your tuner to know if your pitch is flat (too low) or sharp (too high). Be careful not to tune too high or the string can break.

Tuning by Ear

Tuning by ear is difficult at first but important to learn over time. Intermediate and advanced players tune by playing two strings together and listening for a "perfect fifth." If the pitches aren’t in tune, you’ll hear a vibration between the pitches, like a “wa-wa-wa” sound. As the strings are adjusted to perfect intonation, the vibration slows down and disappears.