Five string violin

A five string violin bears strong structural resemblance to a traditional violin.

A five string violin is a variant of violin with an extra string tuned to a pitch below the violin's usual range. In addition to the G, D, A, and E strings of a standard violin, a five string violin typically includes a C string.[1] (Six and seven string electric violins also exist, adding lower strings tuned to F and B.)

The five string violin was created as a solution for improvisers that allowed musicians to combine the pitch ranges of violins and violas. Bobby Hicks, an award-winning bluegrass fiddler, popularized the five-string violin in 1963 as he first showcased his modification during his performance in Las Vegas.


The components that make up a five string violin are very similar to those found on a traditional violin. The strings are typically tuned to the following pitches, given in scientific pitch notation: C3, G3, D4, A4 and E5. The shape of the body and neck of a five string violin closely resemble that of a traditional violin. The body may be slightly wider and deeper to improve the resonance of the C string. It features a larger pegbox to accommodate the fifth string. Although larger than a traditional violin, a five string violin is smaller than a viola.


Five string violins excel in musical styles that allow for improvisation because of their wide range and versatility. They are most commonly used in country fiddling, swing, and jazz music. Users of this instrument favor its ability to play pieces written for either violin or viola, and new pieces that utilize the combined ranges of those instruments.

See also


  1. Darol Anger. "Five-String Fiddles Are on the Rise". Strings Magazine. Retrieved January 27, 2011.


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