With any stringed instrument the most important parts are the strings. It is the quality and the tuning of the strings that could make a lot of difference to the tones output by the instrument. Viola is no exception. Its set of four strings is of foremost importance in producing the desired musical notes.
During early days all viola strings were made out of animal guts. They went out of use as metal strings took dominance. Viola strings made out of guts were expensive and had to be retuned very often as they went out of tune often. The present day viola strings come in four types. They are the metal strings, synthetic core strings and the gut core strings. For use in gut core strings lamb guts and sheep guts are used.
All metal viola strings are made of a steel core and a winding of another metal around it. For the winding the normally used metals are titanium, silver or steel. It is widely believed that all metal strings are able to provide more lively bright and loud sounds. They are not affected by weather conditions such as humidity and temperature either. Very often all metal viola strings are used in student violas due to this reason. There are some violists who use all metal strings in the “A” string of their violas.
Synthetic core viola strings were made to solve the problem of gut strings having to tune too often because they go out of tune easily. Synthetic core viola strings sound very much similar to gut strings but they do not need frequent tuning. They are made of a synthetic core and a winding with a material such as aluminum, steel or silver. The synthetic material often used is perlon and Kevlar. These viola strings that produce warm and bright tones are durable. There are many popular brands of these synthetic core strings such as dominant viola strings.
Gut core strings are used by some musicians to get the original tones of gut strings. Due to having a gut core these strings are affected by temperature and humidity. Also they are not durable like the steel or the synthetic core strings. However, on producing the high quality sounds these strings are ahead of others. Only problem is they need retuning very often.
No matter whether it is Dominant viola strings or any other brand you need to choose the right size of viola strings for your viola. This is necessary as viola comes in four sizes. A full size viola will measure 15” to 17” and a small one will be anything between 11” and 15”. It is important for you to buy good quality viola strings in order to get the best sounds from your viola.
Dominant viola strings are the first to have manufactured the synthetic core strings. Still they make some of the best viola strings. According to many viola players Dominant viola strings are more reliable than others. When you have them on your viola your problems will be less.