Care of your violin, Viola or Cello
Always keep your instrument and bow in its case or cover when not in use. Never expose the instrument to sudden changes in temperature, heat, or direct sunlight. When not in use, store it in a place with steady humidity conditions. In the winter, protect against dryness with a humistat and humidity gauge.
Rosin dust should be removed after each period of use. Use a soft, lint free cloth to clean the body of the instrument. If rosin has adhered to the varnish, we recommend a good quality commercial violin cleaner and polish. Never use alcohol or furniture polish to clean the instrument as it can dissolve the varnish.
The bridge feet should always be aligned with the inner notches of the F-Holes. The bridge must always be kept in a position perpendicular to the top of the instrument. When the strings are being tuned by the pegs, the bridge tends to pull forward. Straighten and check its position frequently. If neglected, the bridge may warp or even break. Replacement is both costly and time consuming. If adjustments are required, ask your instructor to assist.
Older strings are lifeless and dull. For a better tone, replace them with fresh new strings. Put strings on one at a time and remember to check the bridge position while tuning. Make sure strings are wound over pegs in neat spiral coils parallel to the peg box. Make sure strings are not crisscrossed over each other.
Check the fine tuners periodically to ensure that the lever under the tailpiece is not touching the top of your instrument. This can seriously damage the wood. When necessary, turn backward to loosen the strings, then retune with pegs. Ensure that fine tuners are installed firmly on the tailpiece, otherwise rattling and buzzing will occur.
Even normal tuning will cause pegs to wear. This cases the strings to slip or stick. To give a peg more grip or to loosen, apply a small amount of “peg compound”. When pegs become seriously worn, they should be replaced or refitted by a qualified luthier.
Follow these simple guidelines and ensure a long and healthy life for your bow:
- Never over tighten your bow.
- To prevent warping, loosen bow hair after every use.
- Protect the wood from manual wear and tear by maintaining the winding and grip.Wipe down the bow with a soft cloth after every use to prevent the build up of excess rosin.
- Re-hair you bow at least once a year (more if you play often) or when your bow feels like it’s not “digging” into the strings. Another sign to re-hair your bow is if there are missing and/or dirty hairs.
- Do not apply too much rosin to your bow. Excess rosin will cause the hairs to “skate” over the strings, casing a whistling sound when you play. Too much rosin can also begin to pile up on your instrument which will eventually lead to serious varnish and wood damage if unchecked.