On most modern violins, the tuning pegs are seldom used; they tension the string to nearly the correct pitch, and the rest of the tuning is done with the fine-tuning knobs located at the top of the tail piece. However, your fiddle may not have fine tuners and you don't want to install them or fool with tension pegs. Or maybe you're one of those players who enjoys experimenting with alternate tunings, and you want to be able to make dramatic changes in string tension quickly. In those cases, swap out pegs for tuners.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 4 machine guitar tuners
- 8 small screws for the tuners
- Precision screwdriver
Unstring the violin.
Ease the fiddle pegs out of their holes, twisting them slightly as you do so.
Insert a guitar tuner with the tuner posts running through the first and third holes from the top of the right side of the peg head, making sure the tuning heads are facing the rear of the violin. Reaching into the slot of the peg head with the pliers, screw the tuner post nuts onto the tuner posts and tighten them slightly. Fix the outside of the tuners into position with small screws.
Insert a guitar tuner with the tuner posts running through the second and fourth holes from the top on the left side of the peg head, making sure the tuning heads are facing the rear of the violin. Reaching into the slot of the peg head with the pliers, screw the tuner post nuts onto the tuner posts and tighten them slightly. Fix the outside of the tuners into position with small screws.
Restring the violin, making sure the string winds over the top of each tuner post.
Tips and warnings
- Consider using planetary banjo tuners rather than guitar tuners for this project. These will stick out to the side like violin pegs and will be easier to align and install than guitar pegs. You'll get precision tuning while doing less violence to the look of your fiddle.
- There are also new designs of violin pegs that contain geared mechanisms for more accurate tuning. They're expensive, but you'll avoid having to drill holes in your peg head.
- Make sure you have the tuners properly aligned before you screw them into place. After the screw holes are in the peg head, it is difficult to reposition them.
- Use only individual guitar tuners, not three-in-a-row tuners made for slotted guitar heads. You'll never get them to fit properly, and you'll make a mess of your peg head.
- Guitar tuners can place more tension on your strings than fiddle pegs can. Be careful, or you may wind up breaking strings or damaging your instrument.
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