5 Best Violin Strings For Beginners To Pros (All Budgets)

Best Violin Strings

If you’ve been hustling the internet to find the best violin strings, I’m glad to say I can help!

Maybe you’re a complete beginner or a professional violinist.

Either way, I’ve found the very best violin strings on the market to help you up your game. I’ve been playing the violin for years, and I’ve always thought switching up my strings was the easiest (and most cost-effective) way to upgrade my instrument!

So, let’s find you the perfect violin strings to suit your experience and playing style!

Snapshot: Top 5 Best Violin Strings In2024

  1. D’Addario Prelude Violin String SetBest Budget
  2. Thomastik-Infeld 135 Dominant Violin StringsHighly Rated
  3. Pirastro Obligato Violin String SetBest High End
  4. D’Addario J56 Pro-Arte Nylon Violin Strings
  5. D’Addario Helicore Violin Strings

Choosing Great Violin Strings

Best Budget
D'Addario Prelude Violin String Set, 4/4 Scale, Medium Tension – J810 4/4M - Solid Steel Core,...
Highly Rated
Dr Thomastik Violin Strings (135)
Best High End
Pirastro Obligato Violin Strings Set with Steel E Ball End
D'Addario Prelude Violin String Set, 4/4 Scale, Medium Tension – J810 4/4M - Solid Steel Core,...
Dr Thomastik Violin Strings (135)
Pirastro Obligato Violin Strings Set with Steel E Ball End
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Best Budget
D'Addario Prelude Violin String Set, 4/4 Scale, Medium Tension – J810 4/4M - Solid Steel Core,...
D'Addario Prelude Violin String Set, 4/4 Scale, Medium Tension – J810 4/4M - Solid Steel Core,...
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Highly Rated
Dr Thomastik Violin Strings (135)
Dr Thomastik Violin Strings (135)
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Best High End
Pirastro Obligato Violin Strings Set with Steel E Ball End
Pirastro Obligato Violin Strings Set with Steel E Ball End
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Sometimes, it’s challenging to know what to look for when you’re choosing violin strings.

Most people stick with what their teacher tells them to buy or whatever strings their violin arrived with. However, switching it up with some new ones can be a fun and affordable way to experiment with new sounds.

I think it’s essential to consider your playing style when you’re choosing new violin strings.

Are you a classical player or a fiddlist?

Are you heavy or light-handed?

Thinking about how you’d like your violin to sound is also a great idea. More mellow? Or brighter and more playful?

Whatever your style and sound preferences, we will find the strings that suit you to a T!

The Best Violin Strings in2024

1. D’Addario Prelude Violin String Set Review – Best Budget

D'Addario Prelude Violin String Set, 4/4 Scale, Medium Tension – J810 4/4M - Solid Steel Core,...
  • EDUCATOR’S CHOICE – Designed with quick bow response and ease of use in mind, our violin strings are a unique blend of warm tone, affordability and durability making them ideal for both new and...

D’Addario Prelude strings are absolute classics. I think they’re great strings for beginners and progressing students. In fact, they’re the favorite among teachers, so if you’re still learning, you’ll love these strings.

Materials

D’Addario Preludes are steel-core strings. Originally, violin strings were made from gut, typically of the sheep variety (they must have been stinking). However, as time passed, companies began to make violin strings from different materials to create different tones and sounds. Steel-core strings like these are incredibly precise and great for students. They punch out the notes and offer a lot of volumes too.

Playability

Prelude strings have excellent bow response and a friendly, firm feel. If you’re still a student, you probably hear people talking about “training your ear” all the time. As a learner, you’re just trying to figure out when you’re in tune and not, hence “training your ear.”

Unfortunately, the violin is one of the most complex instruments to learn because it’s difficult to tell whether you’re in tune, especially at the start. So, these strings are brilliant when it comes to learning intonation. Trust me when I say you’ll know when you’re not doing things right!

Sound

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Prelude strings are known for their unique warm tone, so if you love that mellow sound, you should give these strings a go. These strings will elevate the sound of a cheap violin as well. If you can’t afford to get a great-quality violin, I would always suggest upgrading your strings. That way, you’ll get much better sound quality without spending hundreds of dollars.

Spec Summary

  • Tension: Available in medium, light & heavy
  • Outer Material: Aluminum
  • Core Material: Solid steel

The perfect steel-core violin strings for students with a warm, yet precise tone

Final Thoughts on the D’Addario Prelude Strings

I don’t think there are better strings out there for learners. D’Addario Preludes offer the best playability and are excellent when it comes to training your ear. Also, they will elevate the sound of your student’s violin!

2. Thomastik-Infeld 135 Dominant Violin Strings Review – Highly Rated

Sale
Dr Thomastik Violin Strings (135)
  • string material type: M-Steel

Dominant strings changed the game in the violin world. They’re a little more complex sounding and are favorites amongst various players. So, if you’ve got a sophisticated taste, you’ll love these!

Materials

Thomastik-Infeld was the first company to develop synthetic-core strings that mimicked the sound of original gut-core strings. Gut strings were so complex-sounding that they almost had a “confused” tone. I like to think of Dominant strings as the refined version of gut strings. They’ve taken all the lovely tones that Gut had and emphasized them (if that makes any sense).

Also, they’re way more durable than gut-core strings, so temperature or humidity changes don’t drastically affect them. If you’ve been wondering how the heck a bow would get any sound out of a nylon string, don’t worry. Your violin bow won’t be sliding about all over the place because the nylon core is wrapped in steel!

Playability

Dominant strings have excellent volume and a pretty fast bow response. It takes them a couple of days to break in, but they have a focused tone afterward. They’re also slightly more malleable than steel strings, making them perfect for folk players and professionals.

Sound

YouTube video

Dominant strings have the perfect blend of colorful and mellow tones. They fall slap-bang in the middle of that scale, I’d say. The way strings sound will vary from instrument to instrument, so it comes down to personal preference at the end of the day. However, go for these strings if you’re looking for something that will give you a bit more unique tone.

Spec Summary

  • Tension: Available in medium, light & heavy
  • Outer Material: Steel
  • Core Material: Synthetic

Beautiful synthetic-core strings with a lovely balance of mellow and colorful tones

Final Thoughts on the Thomastik-Infeld 135 Dominant Strings

I love dominant strings for their unique sound. I think they’d be perfect for professionals or players on stage more often as they offer excellent projection and are so durable. They’re a little more expensive, so they’re not so much aimed at beginners.

3. Pirastro Obligato Violin String Set Review – Best High End

We all know I couldn’t write an article about violin strings without adding the “fancy” option. These Pirastro Obligato violin strings are to die for. If you’re a soloist, you will absolutely love these strings.

Materials

Here we have another synthetic core number. The Pirastro Obligato strings have a more modern synthetic core made from different materials to create a fuller tone. This is often known as a “composite” core, slightly different from the Dominant core. These strings will be perfect for you in a hot climate.

There’s no pain like tuning your violin repeatedly, just for one of the strings to slip as soon as you start playing. Pirastro Obligato strings solve that problem because they’re resistant to high temperatures. So they’re not affected by the heat or bright on-stage lighting.

Playability 

These strings have such an excellent response. They’re trendy amongst traditional folk musicians because they can play at super-sonic speeds and know their strings will keep up with them.

Sound

YouTube video

Okay, this is where it gets interesting. Out of all of the strings on this list, I think Pirastro Obligato strings have the fullest tone. They’re perfectly rounded and have fantastic projection and volume. I know they’re slightly pricier, but they have such a unique tone. I love them!

Spec Summary

  • Tension: Available in medium, light & heavy
  • Outer Material: Steel
  • Core Material: Synthetic

High-end synthetic core strings with a gorgeous rounded tone, ideal for soloist performers and folk players

Final Thoughts on the Pirastro Obligato Violin Strings

These strings are perfect for solo performers and people living in hotter climates. They’re durable and incredibly reliable. Plus, they have the most beautiful rounded tone and incredible projection.

4. D’Addario J56 Pro-Arte Nylon Violin Strings Review

D'Addario J56 4/4M Pro-Arte Nylon violin Strings, Medium
456 Reviews
D'Addario J56 4/4M Pro-Arte Nylon violin Strings, Medium
  • Sized to fit 4/4 scale violin with a playing length of 13 inches (328mm), these medium tension strings are optimized to the needs of a majority of players.

    Pro-Arte synthetic core violin...

Pro-Arte strings are my favorite. They’re D’Addario’s version of synthetic core strings and are absolutely beautiful.

Materials

As I said, these are synthetic core strings, so they’re much more durable and break in much quicker than Prelude strings. However, before you jump the gun, it’s essential to know that they sound entirely different from Preludes (I’ll get to that later). They’re a little bit thicker than steel strings as well, so you may need to check your violin will be able to hold them. You shouldn’t have any issues, but I don’t want you to have any surprises when they arrive!

Playability

I’m going to go a little more into detail about the playability of these strings because they differ hugely from other D’Addario strings. They’re not for everyone, but I still think they’re some of the best! Their response time is slightly slower because they’re thicker than steel strings. You’d probably like these strings if you’ve got a heavy hand.

You may also find them slightly more comfortable to play with because they’re somewhat softer. I don’t know if playing the violin could ever be comfortable, but they’ll give your fingers a little rest from the complex steel strings.

Sound

What they lack in response time, these strings make up for in sound. They have an incredibly colorful, sophisticated tone. They’re not too edgy to the point where the higher strings sound screechy; they’re just the perfect colorful strings. People are often put off by the word “colorful” when it comes to violins, but I think these strings are ideal if you want to switch up your sound.

Sometimes you want a little more edge, especially if you’re going on stage or playing in a band with other instruments. Plus, if you have a professional violin, playing with sound is fun, it’s fun to play with sound. Different strings can pull out different tones from your instrument!

Spec Summary

  • Tension: Medium
  • Outer Material: Steel
  • Core Material: Synthetic

Gorgeous, colorful nylon core violin strings, ideal for more advanced players

Final Thoughts on the D’Addario J56 Pro-Arte Nylon Violin Strings

I don’t think Pro-Arte strings are for everyone. They definitely wouldn’t sound as good on a cheap first violin. However, you’ll love these strings if you’re a more advanced player or at least past the beginner stages. Don’t be put off by the word colorful!

5. D’Addario Helicore Violin Strings Review

D'Addario Orchestral - Helicore 4/4 Size Violin Strings Set with Plain Steel E String - H310 4/4M -...
  • VERSATILE STRINGS – Designed for optimum playability, D’Addario’s Helicore violin strings are one of the most versatile stranded-steel core strings available. Helicore strings suit many playing...

D’Addario Helicore strings are fantastic. Both professionals and beginners love them. So, if you’re unsure what your style or what you’re looking for, these are the safest bet!

Materials

The Helicore strings are steel core strings. Multiple steel strands make up their core to give a better tone and quicker response time. I think these are like the step up from preludes. If you love steel core strings but want to try something new, you’ll love Helicores. They’re swift to break in as well! 

Playability 

D’Addario Helicore strings are slightly thinner in gauge and have an incredible response time. If you spend much time on the E string, they’re pretty sore on the fingers. At this point, I’d be surprised if the nerve endings in our fingers aren’t entirely dead. However, if you’re a beginner with a beginner violin, you might want to keep that in mind.

Sound

YouTube video

These strings are fantastic if you’re looking for clarity without brightness. Often, strings that claim to offer tonal clarity are way too edgy for orchestral players or even soloists. However these genuinely have a gorgeous warm tone, but they’re much purer than other mellow strings.

Spec Summary

  • Tension: Available in medium, light & heavy
  • Outer Material: Steel
  • Core Material: Steel

The perfect steel core strings for any kind of player with a pure, warm tone

Final Thoughts on the D’Addario Helicore Strings

I’d say these strings are the best all-rounders. They’d suit any player, from beginners to professionals, violinists to fiddlists! So, if you’re stuck and want some new strings to give your playing a bit of a re-vamp, these are the perfect ones for the job.

Great Strings Make All the Difference 

Many people don’t realize how much of a difference the right violin strings will make to their playing.

Sometimes the thought of restringing your instrument isn’t worth the result!

I genuinely believe finding the right strings is just as important as finding the right violin. Whether you’re a professional or a beginner, I hope you’ve found the best violin strings to suit your playing style!

Great strings do make all the difference.

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