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What material are most string instruments made of?

There are many kinds of string instruments. The one thing they all have in common is that the strings produce sound by making the air vibrate and also that their necks are long and thin, but there are many other factors we haven’t considered yet.

Below are materials used for string instruments

1. Wood

It comes in many varieties. Typical woods are maple, spruce, mahogany, beech, and rosewood. The vibrating wooden body produces the sound of a violin.

2. Brass

If you play the trumpet or French horn, you use brass instruments! Brass instruments work by the player buzzing their lips into the mouthpiece, which vibrates an internal column of air in the tube.

3. Iron/Steel

Some string instruments have strings made out of metal wire called Electric Guitars. These guitar strings are made of steel with copper winding on them to produce a unique sound.

4. Unusual materials

Besides wood, metal, and strings, some string instruments use other unique mediums to produce sound. Some of these include the glass armonica, which is played with wet fingers on water glasses to create eerie tones, or the glass harp, which has multiple rows of glass rods that are played with the fingers to create an ethereal tone.

When it comes to carbon fibre string instruments, some people like to make them out of carbon fibre and use the electric guitar technique. It is often called a carbon fibre guitar.

What to look for when buying string instruments

1. Price

First, you need to consider your budget. If you are on a student’s budget, something around the £50 to £100 mark would be reasonable for a decent violin or viola. A cheaper ukulele is only around £15! So you could pick one of these up quickly if it is within your price range.

2. Type of instrument

Different kinds of string instruments produce different sounds, so it is essential to know what you want to play before shopping. For example, if you are playing the violin, a solid spruce top with maple back and sides would be an appropriate choice for producing that rich violin tone. However, if you like the ukulele sound, you should go for a Hawaiian Koa top with solid mahogany back and sides.

3. Return policy

If possible, always try before you buy! Many stores offer trial periods to return the instrument if it is not quite right for you. You could also buy online but make sure there is a return policy if you aren’t satisfied.

4. Tone quality

As discussed earlier, each material gives off a different tone, so it is crucial to think about what sound you want to produce and what type of string instrument would be best.

5. Comfortability

Lastly, it is also vital to think about the instrument’s comfort and ease of playing. Some students avoid the violin because they find the shoulder rest uncomfortable or too heavy to hold up for a long time.

As you can see, string instruments produce sound differently, but their necks are always long and thin! Once you know what kind of instrument you want to play, it will be easier to find one within your price range.

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