• SHAR Blog
  • SHAR Blog
  • SHAR Blog

Are your Strings Real or Fake?

Posted by James Engman on Apr 4, 2017 11:49:27 AM

There have been rumors about counterfeit strings for violin, viola, cello, and bass infiltrating the market for at least a decade. When I heard of "counterfeit strings", I mostly imagined packaging that looked like it came out of an Inkjet printer, and obviously cheap strings with noticeably altered thread colorations. As popular brands of strings continued to pop up online at wildly low prices, it was time to do some deep investigating. What SHAR found was very troubling: obviously inferior strings of unknown composition and origin, with nearly perfect packaging and presentation. SHAR began buying up these strings, dissecting them, showing them to manufacturers, and searching for the source of these knock-offs, which led us across three continents and deep into the shadowy world of counterfeit products and online marketplaces.

Read More

Topics: Education, China, Strings, Product Reviews

Q&A: With SHAR CEO, Charles Avsharian - Violin E Strings

Posted by Staff Writer on Jan 18, 2017 11:04:55 AM

The advent, or rather the evolution of the steel violin e-string over a century ago brought violinists to new heights in their playing. The stablity and thinness of a steel wire allowed for greater brilliance, intonation, and speed. However, with the loss of gut's sweetness and warmth, further refining and improving the capabilities and characteristics of steel E strings is still an endless pursuit of string makers today. More than just a simple steel wire, the full composition and manufacturing method of steel strings involves trade secrets, precious metals, and very high tolerances! The nuances of response, feel, tension, and volume make choosing the right E-string an adventageous feat for musicians today. We sat down with SHAR CEO, Charles Avsharian, to discuss E-Strings for violinists.

Read More

Topics: Violin, SHAR, Strings, Charles Avsharian

Looking to buy a new set of strings?

Posted by Staff Writer on Apr 12, 2016 1:37:40 PM

Sometimes buying strings for your violin, viola, cello, or bass, is just a matter of reordering the same strings that you've loved for ages. The reliable set that has always sounded great on your instrument might be all you need for the rest of your life. However, sometimes a new instrument, or just curiosity will lead you on a search for the new perfect set of strings. Or, perhaps a change in playing ability or budget will lead you to look for a new sound. There are a lot of different brands and types of strings to choose from, so find a good source to start from can be time-saving first step. With so many new brands on the market, it's hard to just stumble upon the right one by chance or by word of mouth.

Read More

Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Strings, Bass

How Not to Spend a Fortune on Your Child's Strings

Posted by Staff Writer on Jul 9, 2015 9:47:00 AM

Have you ever caught your child sneaking some salty food straight out of the bag or jar, snacking in an attempt to procrastinate before practicing? Maybe not, but I once had a student who loved pickles and would eat them right out of the jar before picking up his violin. It took his mom a few months to figure out why his violin strings kept wearing out so quickly, forcing her to purchase strings more frequently than other students of mine. His fingers would still be sticky with pickle juice, which corroded the violin strings. Does this sound anything like your son or daughter? Let’s face it, kids can be messy. They might not realize that strings and instrument varnish are sensitive, and that replacing or fixing them is pricey.

Read More

Topics: Parents, Strings

Choosing the Right Set of Strings Redux

Posted by Joseph Chapman on Jul 29, 2014 2:52:00 PM

Edited Apr. 14, 2016 - We've rolled live the Violin Strings, Viola Strings, Cello Strings, and Bass Strings Sound Guides, now with interactive icons, a pricing key, and revised placement! See the updated blog on choosing the right set of strings here.

As SHAR has picked up more and more string brands, we realized that our handy string chart was out of date. So we've done three things with the new string chart: we added new brands, limited the strings to violin and viola strings (cello and bass charts are on the way), and we simplified. As far as simplifications: now the major differentiations are Quiet/Loud and Dark/Bright instead of the three differentiations of Mild/Aggressive, Subtle/Direct, and Smooth/Textured. If you're looking for an interactive chart with links to products, check out the chart here. On that chart we've also added a key with price categories ($ to $$$$) to help you decide if a particular string is worth the money for you.

Read More

Topics: Violin, Viola, Strings

A guide to Choosing the Right Set of Strings

Posted by Joseph Chapman on Jul 12, 2012 9:27:00 AM

Edited Apr. 14, 2016 - We've rolled live the Violin Strings, Viola Strings, Cello Strings, and Bass Strings Sound Guides, now with interactive icons, a pricing key, and revised placement! See the updated blog on choosing the right set of strings here.

For advancing players, or established players who want to try something different, there's a lot to consider when upgrading your set of strings: Where do you typically perform? Do you want a string set suited for solos or ensembles? Which string set will draw the most out of your particular playing style and instrument? This graph will help you navigate (almost) everything you should consider!

Projection: Next to each string set there's a graphic that indicates that set's level of projection. The levels of projection range from "Mild" to "Aggressive."

Smooth/Textured:
The X axis (horizontal) depicts the continuum between smooth and textured string sets. Textured sets are complex sounding with many colors and rich, resonating overtones. Smooth sets are very clear and focused. The tone is clean and straight. 

Direct/Subtle: The Y axis (vertical) depicts the continuum between direct and subtle string sets. A direct string set has a brilliant, distinct tone designed for soloists to cut through piano or orchestral textures. A subtle set doesn't overpower. They blend well and often have a dark undertone.

For the new Violin Strings Guide, Viola Strings Guide, Cello Strings Guide, or Bass Strings Guide, click the button below, or feel free to call our string experts for extra guidance!  
 

View SHAR's Interactive String Charts

Read More

Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Strings, Bass

SHAR's 3rd Annual String Quartet Competition

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Apr 17, 2012 11:50:00 AM

SHAR Music is proud to announce the winners of its third annual Quartet Competition!

Read More

Topics: Violin, Parents, Education, Beethoven, Viola, SHAR, Cello, Auditions, High School, Classical Music, Chamber music, Dvorak, SHAR Apprentice, Schubert, Strings, String Community, Performance

Letters from a Violinist: Mendelssohn's Octet

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Apr 3, 2012 9:54:00 AM

Read More

Topics: Violin, Classical Music, Chamber music, Strings, Mendelssohn

A Meditation on Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Mar 14, 2012 10:53:00 AM

Read More

Topics: Mozart, Classical Music, Music History, Strings, Tchaikovsky

Do You Need a Loop or a Ball End for Your E-string? What is a removable Ball?

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Feb 3, 2012 10:13:00 AM

This is a frequent question that those of us in the Call Center need to ask customers as we try to accurately place your orders. This can be confusing, especially for parents who haven’t yet had the opportunity to install strings on their student’s instrument. Hopefully the following information will be of help!

Update: Feb 27, 2016 - Removable Ball-End Strings are now a very popular type of Violin E string and Viola A string. These strings have a ball end that can be removed to reveal a loop-end. Not all ball end strings are removable! "Removable Ball" strings will be marked as such, and non-removable ball-end strings will just be listed as "Ball" under End type. - James Engman

Read More

Topics: Violin, Viola, Strings, Instrument Care

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all