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Tuning the Violin
The violin is usually tuned by striking, one at a time, the four
notes on the piano that correspond to the four violin strings,
and then twisting the tuning pegs until each string gives the
correct tone or pitch. Fig. 60 shows the piano notes that cor-
respond to the violin strings, and also the position on the musi-
cal staff of the note made by each string.
Always tune the A string first; then the D string; then the
G string; and finally the E string.
To start tuning, hold the violin upright, scroll on top, grasp-
ing the neck with your left hand. Play A on the piano with
your right hand; then pluck the A string with your left thumb.
If the string sounds higher than the piano note, loosen it by
turning back the tuning peg until the string sounds a little
lower than the piano. Strike A on the piano again to get the
exact pitch. Then tighten the string again very slowly, pluck-
ing it with the left thumb as you do so. As soon as the string is
tightened so it sounds exactly like the A on the piano, it is
tuned. If a peg is too slippery to hold tight, chalk it with chalk
that you can get at your music store.
The most important thing about tuning is always to finish
tuning a string with a tightening motion of the tuning peg. If
you finish with a loosening motion of the peg the violin will
get out of tune almost as soon as you start to play.
Tune the D string next in exactly the same way.
Then hold the neck of the violin with your right hand, while
you tune the G string and E string. Pluck the strings with your
right thumb, and turn the pegs with your left hand. Always
tune the E string very slowly because it is under high tension.
Use the E string adjuster when the tone of the string is almost
If a piano is not available, you can tune your violin with a
pitch pipe, which can be bought at any good music store.
(Fig. 60.) It consists of four blow pipes pitched G-D-A-E, to
which the four strings of the violin are tuned. You simply
blow into the pitch pipe instead of playing the notes on the