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Yesterday as I was working on relaxing my left hand I thought to myself if only I had some lower tension strings this would be so much easier! and then I realized that I did — the strings that came on the cello. While they were a pain to bow I figured that they would give me an idea if having lower tension strings actually makes a significant difference. It turns out that 1. it made a big difference in how relaxed my hand is (pesky weak little girl fingers!) and 2. The strings are a hell of a lot easier to bow than they used to be. Plus, they are waaaay more mellow than the Jargars! So, I’m thinking I need to replace my stings — the Jargars are now intollerably bright and these strings are pretty shot. I think I need to find a real string shop within reasonable driving distance that let’s you try out whatever strings suit your fancy to find myself a more ideal set.

It was interesting practicing today with the different strings (except the A is still a Jargar.) The strings are in bad shape (winding coming undone and giving me all sorts of funky false tones) I actually enjoyed playing on them. They really point out my faults, which NOW is a good thing, unlike during the first six months of playing during which I had no hope of making them sound good. I spent quite a while bowing open strings and working on nuances that the Jargars never really forced me to think about. The results were quite nice despite the condition of the strings.

Now I need to find a string shop (hopefully in the SF bay area) that will let me try out all sorts of strings!

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5 responses »

  1. Good luck in finding a shop that’ll let you do that.

    In my cello buying exercise I played a bunch of cellos with different combos – Spiros and Larsens, Dominants and Larsens, Evahs The guy in the shop was getting rather pissed off at the string swaps he had to keep doing πŸ™‚ Hey, the customer knows best…

    Having had the cello a while now, I think I’d like to swap the Evahs that it came with for Doms/Larsen. Should have done that at the time, but a free set of $400.00 strings was too good an offer.

    Have you seen http://www.aitchisoncellos.com – they have a review of CG and AD strings.

    • Sorry, I just read that back and the first line sounds very sarcastic… I meant I hope you find a shop that offers that kind of service, not ‘yeah right like that’ll happen’…

  2. No worries — I’ve had that happen on the internet too and once I only realized it days later that something I said seemed insulting in print when I meant the opposite! There are plenty of shops I can call and ask in the bay area. Actually, I should probably just try the plain old music shops in Sac first, just in case (would save me a lot of driving time!) Granted, I’m kinda hoping Ifshins does just because I think it would be a fun shop to visit!

    I’ve seen those reviews, but I found them largely unhelpful. A lot of the information that I want is about how the strings feel when playing them, which isn’t usually in the reviews. Also, you never know how they will sound on your own cello!

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