You are here:

Violin/Violin pegs keep resetting :(


How can I tune my violin perfectly? I try to use the fine tuner, but a lot of time it doesn't get the right note, so I have to twist the peg to get it, but every time I even touch a peg, the whole thing resets. The strings loosen up, and even other ones do when I accidentally even touch them. :( It's a new violin so I don't think their broke, and they fit perfectly until I twist it a bit.

Also: Any tips or videos on hitting the strings precisely? I don't know, using a bow seems much more difficult from a guitar when it comes to hitting the middle strings.

Hi Eric,

Thanks for your question.  Tuning up your fiddle can be a challenge until you get the knack of it.  First, I'm wondering if your violin's tuners are working properly.  Pegs should be lubricated with every string change, and are often not lubricated properly on new instruments.  So, it might be helpful to have someone at your local shop remove the strings and properly lubricate the pegs with some Hill peg compound (or with chalk and soap if they are old-fashioned about it).  You can do this yourself, if you are comfortable installing strings without help.  

Fine tuners also must be lubricated from time to time in order to function properly.  To lubricate the fine tuners, pop out to your local hardware store (or look online) and buy some "Door Ease" lubricant.  Here's the first link that came up on Google for me (just so you know what it looks like):

Remove the screws one at a time (by unscrewing them) and apply the Door Ease.  Then, just put them back in and tighten.

Once you have your tuners working properly, then next step is to learn how to use them.  The fine tuners should be just fine for small adjustments.  When a larger adjustment is needed, or if a peg slips, then you'll need to use the pegs.  Learning how to tune using the pegs is not that hard, but is more than I can adequately describe here.  However, if you search on Youtube for "tuning violin with pegs", you'll find several instructional videos.  The trick is to push the peg in while you are turning it.  They are held in place only by friction, so if you don't push them in while you turn, they won't stay in place.  And, be very careful not to over-tighten the strings, as that may cause them to break.  (Pluck the string with one hand constantly, while listening for the desired note, and tightening with the other hand.)  Violins can be tuned fairly accurately using the fine tuners and plucking.

Regarding tuning with the left hand . . . Certainly, tuning while bowing is the most accurate way to tune, as this allows you to hear how the two strings are blending.  If they are even a little out of tune - a hair above or below a perfect 5th - then you'll hear the dissonance and know that it's wrong.  But, this requires a bit of training.  (Ask a teacher or experienced player to show you.)  And, it requires that the pegs be adjusted so that they allow a gap for your fingers when the strings are fully tuned up.  Again, more than I can go into here.  There are a number of instructional videos on Youtube, but it's tricky.  I'd really recommend having someone help you.  Still, this isn't really necessary to get the violin in tune.  You can get it very close without using the left-hand method.

Hope that helps.  Best of luck to you!

Jim Fisher

P.S. Stay away from the peg drops, unless you know what you're doing.  You can get yourself in a lot of trouble with them.  Cheers!  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


James S. Fisher


Please Note: For an accurate appraisal of your instrument's value or history, I must advise you to take it to a local luthier or string shop for an evaluation. It's really not possible to do this with any accuracy via email.

However, I am happy to answer other questions about violins, bows, violin playing, and violin/bow repair. I can also talk with you about what bows, rosin, strings, cases, shoulder rests, etc. might work best for you and your particular instrument. (There are some great new products on the market.) I've taught violin and fiddle playing for the past 18 years and will answer questions about playing and technique.


I've been studying the violin for over thirty years. I started teaching in 1996. In addition to my training at Lebanon Valley College and at the Violin Institute, I handle violins, bows, and customer questions of all sorts on a daily basis in my shop - J.S. Fisher Violins,


I hold a Bachelor of Music degree from Lebanon Valley College, as well as certificates in violin repair, violin maintenance, and bow rehairing from the Violin Institute at the University of New Hampshire.

©2017 All rights reserved.