5-String Electric Violin – Is It Worth A Try?

If you visit a marketplace to purchase an instrument, you will find engineered electric violins that are worth a try. One on the line is the 5-string electric violin, which has an additional viola range. Since it was released on the market, it garnered lots of attention from musicians, especially those who are looking for new ways to produce music. However, it might not be a typical instrument that everybody would want to play because of its added range that might seem complicated. Still, there are people who prefer this kind of instrument.

Stick around as we give you more information about this 5-string electric violin and see for yourself if it’s for you or not.

Facts about 5-string electric violins

Electric violin in 5-strings, which is arranged in descending E, A, D, G, and C, aren’t unusual. You can find lots of it in shops, and it became one of the trending instruments because of some reasons. To name some, here’s a couple of facts you might want to know about this instrument. 

  • It has a specialized C string.

Apparently, the viola’s C strings should not be put in a violin because of the tension properties. If we attach a C string on a violin, chances are, it will not intonate well because it is not designed to fit the tension of a violin scale. Luckily, manufacturers have brought up a new way to do it, and they successfully designed a specialized C string for a violin and electric violins. Some of these manufacturers are Dogal, Thomastik, D’Addario, and Super-Sensitive.

  • Bobby Hicks introduced the 5-string instrument. 

In 1963, the combination of pitch ranges of viola and violin made its way to the public. It was popularized by a bluegrass fiddler named Bobby Hicks in his performance in Las Vegas, where he made some modifications in his instrument. However, due to the limitations on violin sizes, the C string sounded a little softer than the rest of the strings. His performance and instrument became the talk of the town and later gave the inspiration for the instrument we have today.

Advantages of 5-String Electric Violin

Just like any other instrument, a 5-string electric violin could also be on your list. Before looking for the best electric violin that fits you, you have to know some advantages of a 5-string electric violin. Take a look at the reasons why. 

  • More creative possibilities

If you are a composer or an improviser, you will definitely see what a 5-string electric violin can do. First, it can add or extend another lower range, which is pretty helpful in making music. Second, you’ll enjoy a deeper timbre, which can spice up your music as well. 

  • Play viola parts

Having a 5-string electric violin can allow you to cover not just the violin but also the viola parts. Whether you are an instructor or an orchestra director, you can always demonstrate violin, violin, and cello parts to your students using this 5-string electric violin. 

  • Good timbre

If you love playing with a darker and richer range of tones, a 5-string electric violin could give you that. In fact, if you love or appreciate the lower range than the higher ones, this instrument is ideal for you.


Playing a 5-string electric violin requires deep mastery from your end, and it might seem a bit complicated because of the added viola range. However, if you want to embark on a new journey and are looking for new ways to produce a sound different from ordinary ones, this instrument is all you need. After all, it has an excellent lower range and other advantages that you might want to explore.

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