Why do violin E strings sometimes whistle?

Whistling on the E string is a problem that violinists all over the world occasionally have to cope with. Beginners usually contribute to this undesirable effect in two ways. First, whistling usually occurs when the bow, after changing from the A to E string, is too far from the bridge. Second, violinists sometimes slightly touch the E string with the left index finger (with the side of the finger, just above the nut) at the moment of changing to the E string. Whistling is also is a challenge for many professionals. Some instruments are simply sensitive to whistling on the E string even the best violins.

When we realize that various E strings have various resistances against this phenomenon, it becomes clear that not all E strings are suitable for all instruments. Even though we seek to achieve the lowest possible tensions for our strings, our Karneol and Brilliant E strings have rather high tensions in order to produce their characteristically rich and colourful sound. This fact may contribute to whistling on instruments that already have a tendency to whistle. For such violins, we recommend using our non-whistling AMBER E string.