My AccountView Cart
Specials Mailing List

Viola Strings

Complete sets and a selection of individual viola strings are listed in the following sections:
Corelli Viola Strings
D'Addario Viola Strings
Jargar Viola Strings
La Bella Viola Strings
Larsen Viola Strings
Pirastro Viola Strings
Super-Sensitive Viola Strings
Thomastik-Infeld Viola Strings
The viola is tuned a fifth lower than the violin.  Viola strings are tuned C, G, D, & A. The lower tuning is why the viola has a larger body than that of the violin.

Our viola string selection includes one of three tensions: light, medium and heavy, with medium being the standard. Many high quality bowed instrument strings come from Germany and Austria, and are labeled in German. The German equivalents to the English tension terms are: weich/light, mittel/medium and stark/heavy. Most players find that medium tension strings work well for their needs. If you need strings that are easier to finger, and are willing to accept less volume, a light tension viola string set might be a good choice for you. If instead, you are not concerned with ease of playability, and are mainly interested in getting the maximum possible projection and volume from your instrument, you may wish to try heavy tension strings.

Viola strings are also available in several lengths. Standard violas are "full" or 4/4 size, which is about 16 inches. Student model viola strings are available for smaller violas in ½ and ¾ sizes. Violas are available in many more sizes than the violin. There are 11, 12, 13, 14, 14.5, 15, 15.5, 16, 16.5 and 17 inch violas (measured as the length of the back of the body, not including the neck). As such, many different sizes of viola strings are available to fit both student and extra long models. It is possible to buy a single viola string; we carry single strings from most manufacturers.

Early viola strings were all made of gut. Sometime in the 18th century, viola string makers started winding the C strings with metal wire to improve the tone. This was followed by a wound G string in the 19th century. A modern viola string set has all four strings wound, which improves their tone and response as well as to cut down on string breakage. Occasionally, players will opt for an unwound plain steel A, but gut is almost never used in modern applications.

Quick Links
What Sets Us Apart
Help and Advice