Viola da Gamba Strings
First appearing in Spain in the 15th century, the viola da gamba or viol was most popular in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Although part of the violin family of instruments, the viola da gamba differs in a number of significant ways from most other instruments in this family. The viola da gamba has five to seven strings instead of four, “C” holes rather than “F” holes, a flat back instead of a curved back and sloped rather than squarely rounded shoulders. Also, the viola da gamba is tuned in fourths with a major third in the middle just like a lute, instead of tuning in fifths like a violin. Unlike other instruments in the violin family they have frets and are played with an underhand rather than overhand bow grip. At JustStrings.com, you can choose from two well-known, classical string manufacturers for your viola da gamba strings – La Bella and Super-Sensitive. Labella makes a more traditional viola da gamba set of six strings, including three plain, unvarnished gut strings and three aluminum or silver plated wound on gut strings. The treble viola da gamba set has strings with medium high tension with a 36-39 cm scale (vibrating length of the string – nut to bridge). The tenor set is also medium high tension and 48.5 - 56 cm long. Super-Sensitive’s viola da gamba strings have a multi-filament core wound with aluminum or nickel providing the feel of traditional gut strings but with more stability from temperature and humidity changes than gut strings can provide. You will find six string sets in light, medium and heavy gauges in treble, tenor and bass tunings. Single strings are also available for the bass viola da gamba, including an additional seventh A string wound in nickel.