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Best Viola Strings 2023 REVEALED… Viola Strings 101!!

How do you choose viola strings? What size viola strings should you buy?

The best viola strings are those that help you get the most out of your viola.

By that we mean that just like with any stringed instrument, the strings themselves are the most important part; strings are what translate your movements into sound. Exactly why investing in a custom set of strings can put you at a significant advantage! Go custom & you immediately have more control over your sound’s direction + are more able to fine tune it to suit your compositions/ own unique style of play.

For any viola player who’s looking to develop a strong personal brand (i.e. stand out from the crowd), custom strings are an ideal place to start. Saying that though, knowing where to start when shopping for viola strings, isn’t always easy. Due to the subjective nature of sound, most strings (even the most highly regarded sets) come with – how do we say – slightly ‘mixed’ reviews. Something that can add another layer of difficulty to getting your hands on the perfect set.

But with that being said, choosing the best viola strings is NOT impossible. In fact, if you do your research, it can actually be a lot easier than you think. So without further ado, what viola strings do the professionals use? And in an ideal world, what viola strings should you get? We investigate.

Searching for something specific about the best viola strings? Or just curious whether D’addario, Spirocore or Pirastro strings are any good? Tap that menu below to find all the answers you need in 1 click…

stringed instrument resting on the shoulder of a player

NOTE: Interested in more than just viola strings? Be sure to also check out our guides to the Best Violin Bows + the Most Popular Violin Rosins.

The best violas strings aren’t always easy to track down. Believe us – we know!

Heck, after reviewing 20+ sets of strings on a bunch of different violas, we’d be tempted to say there’s no such thing. And that’s because what viola strings turn out to be the best for you, really all comes back to what they allow you to do with your sound. Granted – some strings do have more scope + others are slightly better at standing up to regular punishment, but on the whole, it is quite a challenge to come to a definite decision.

Saying that though, we’ve given it our best shot. So instrument type, playing style & tension preferences aside, here’s what we consider to be the best viola strings for sale today…

PS/ The links above are for specific sets. If you’re just after a single string, most manufacturers will give you the option to do so.

1: Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold viola strings

2: Larsen professional-grade viola strings

a viola player using their bow to make a deep sound on their strings

3: D’Addario Ascenté viola string set

4: Alice A905 beginner viola strings

5: D’Addario Helicore viola strings

bow resting on a set of viola strings

6: D’Addario Kaplan Amo (KA410 LM) viola string set

7: Thomastik-Infeld 141 Dominant viola strings

8: D’Addario Prelude viola strings

viola strings vibrating under the pressure of a bow

9: Thomastik-Infeld Peter Infeld (PI200) viola strings

10: Jargar 4792 viola string set

11: Thomastik-Infeld Dominant Pro (DP 200) viola string set

Enjoy this review of the best viola strings & eager for more? Be sure to jump into the rest of our Guides To Musical Instrument Care, as well as our Reviews Of Stringed Instruments. Recently we also did rundowns on the Best Electric Violins, as well as another on the Best Beginner Violins, which may also be worth a read!

comparison between multiple types of viola strings

Or if you’ve still trying to decide what acoustic electric guitar is best for you, keep reading & we’ll answer more of your burning questions…

There is an excellent reason why the viola is among the most played string instruments in the world. It may be played in various ways and is simple to play and enjoyable to listen to. There is no optimal viola string option or brand because of the large range of available viola string manufacturers and the fundamental distinctiveness of each viola.

You need to experiment with various viola strings and note the ones that make your instrument sing. A few of the industry’s top and most reliable names are Larsen, Prelude, Jargar, Helicore, Prim, Pirastro, and others.

You must choose the best viola strings because they are one of the most crucial components of the viola and are ultimately what produces the lovely tones that violas are famous for. Many professionals enjoy mixing and matching string sets since different brands of viola strings will draw out distinct elements in your instrument. If you are a dedicated musician, you will want to find the proper fit for your equipment and playing style, even if experimenting can get rather pricey.

Many violists use different brands of viola strings on each instrument’s four strings. In reality, violists are string musicians who frequently mix various brands for their A, D, G, and C strings. Instead of purchasing a set of all four strings, you can find single strings, like the Larsen A string, to achieve this. The Larsen A, Larsen D, Spirocore Tungsten C, and Spirocore Tungsten G is the most typical configuration of viola strings that most professionals use, and these models are very popular.

When buying a viola, there are numerous variables to consider. Even while violas’ materials are much more resilient than those found in other stringed instruments, there may still be some durability issues. You should pay close attention to your viola’s intricacies. 

The middle portion of a viola should be hollow and resemble a bead since this will enable the strings to vibrate freely without changing the sound. The strings need to be designed, so they are not in the path and fit snugly inside the instrument. Violas with several frets will need more mobility in the tuning pegs for a good playing position.

In violas, three different string kinds are employed: hollow-fir, solid-core, and semi-solid. Hollow fir strings are light and thin. Despite their extreme durability, these strings do not significantly improve the sound quality. 

Make sure that the strings you choose won’t impact the sound of instruments while making your selection. Some viola strings are the best option for novices because they come in various sizes for the appropriate fit. Whatever option you select depends on you as a musician.

Viola strings must be changed over the years, just like those on other string instruments, as they impact the sound that the instrument creates. Sweat, structure, and atmosphere are a few elements that might shorten a string’s lifespan, particularly if you travel and play in several locations with varying climatic conditions. But in most cases, strings need to be replaced since they eventually lose their capacity to sustain pitch and reverberation.

If you play your viola regularly, it is advised that you replace the strings after every 3 to 6 months. However, if the viola isn’t played as frequently, you might change it yearly, particularly if you’re still learning to play the instrument.

Finding the best viola strings entails choosing a set of strings that is structurally compatible with your instrument and musically agreeable to you. You can play to your best abilities and improve your musical knowledge by finding the correct strings.

The gut strings are the first class of string. These are formed from the gut, as the name implies. They are the most traditional type of viola string. Because gut strings need better playing technique than synthetic strings and are only appropriate for experienced and professional performers, they do not last very long.

The most recent type of string for violas is synthetic. After the company that created them initially, these are frequently referred to as dominant strings. The advantages of gut strings are still present with this kind, but tuning issues are avoided. Nylon is used to make synthetic strings. They won’t have intricate overtones or a variety of carefully crafted features, but they are excellent for novices.

With the appropriate guidance, you can select from a variety of viola string kinds and determine which is the most resistant. However, in our perspective, steel strings- the third type, are probably the finest option if you perform the electric viola or utilise any amp system for shows. The gut will not endure as long as steel, and steel won’t need to be adjusted every moment the weather changes.

A steel core is used to create steel strings. Typically, they have various wrappings made from copper, silver, or gold twisted around that centre. Steel strings typically give a slightly thinner, metallic sound and last longer than other alternatives.

A person who plays the viola is called a violist. Some popular viola players are Nobuko Imai, Yuri Bashmet, Helen Callus, Lawrence Power, and more.

Yes, without question, viola players worldwide adore Corelli strings, among the greatest brands available for viola strings. For instance, one well-known model made by this company is the Alliance Vivace strings by Corelli.

These strings have excellent playability and are reasonably priced. These strings are noted for bringing out the best and worst qualities of any violin, and they provide a clear, pleasant sound. Although they have a higher tension, they are not rigid; rather, they are extremely flexible.

The four strings on a viola are G, A, C, and D. A is the most elevated and C the lowest. A viola’s strings are set one-fourth down from one another as well. The violin and cello share the same three strings, G, D, and A, and the violin is adjusted one-fifth above the cello in this tuning.