3 Tips to Care for Your Instrument
1. Cleaning Your Instrument
Every Violin player (Or any “String” player) should keep a “Cleaning” cloth inside their case, when we are using a Bow the “Rosin Dust” collects on the string, Bridge and body of the instrument, if left over time can become very sticky, And even start to “Bond” with the violins varnish (Varnish Has Rosin mixed in) And become a very big job to remove and may even predominantly damage the violins varnish. When finished playing your instrument you should Always wipe the dust from the violin and the bow stick, if you do it often and make it a habit you will have little worries about having a “Sticky Mess” under your strings, Your Violin will sound its best, Strings will last longer, and you wont have a “Dull” Grey/White color under your strings. If the rosin has allot of buildup on your violin you’ll need to bring to a violin shop for cleaning, we have various ways we clean a violin, or if its just a little buildup you can buy a “Violin Varnish Cleaner” from allot of online retailers or in our shop.
2. Keeping Violin in Playing Condition
When you take your Violin out of it’s case always inspect it for any “Opening’s” along the side’s, check the Bridge (Is it straight?), every time you tune the Violin, it will “Pull” the Violin bridge forward towards the fingerboard if uncorrected this can cause your bridge to “Warp” and or break…To correct this bring to your local shop (If not comfortable doing yourself) or, use both both hands and gently place thumb and index finger on both sides of the bridge, then gently pull bridge until edge of both feet are touching the violin body, if it is to hard to pull back then bring to your violin shop it may have to much rosin buildup and may require loosening the strings (Do not attempt yourself). also the oil and and sweat from your hands can cause the strings to get tarnished or rust, if you hands sweat while you play makes sure to wipe the strings off after your finished to prevent this. We must also keep our fingernails short, if our fingernails are long we can damage the strings, they can develop a sharp edge or start to come unwound or even break.
3. Taking Care of the Bow
When we handle the bow you should try and avoid touching the “Bow Hair” as the oils from your hands can seep into the horse hair and discolor it (as you can see) also it will make it so the rosin will not stick to the hair any longer making that part of the bow unusable….The stick should be wiped clean with a cloth after your finished playing so the rosin dose not build up on the stick and cause a problem as explained in Tip .1 The bow should be periodically checked at your local violin shop to make sure the “Camber” is correct and to check for any cracks on the bow itself. When finished playing the bow should be wiped, and hair should be loosened so there is no more tension on the bow, if left tightened can cause bow to lose its camber, also can stretch the hair, stick can develop “Stress cracks” and can even break. Also when playing the bow should not be to tight, general rule on thumb is to tighten the bow until you can slide a pencil between stick and hair in middle of bow its a good rule to follow for beginners, when you get a little more advanced then we use different hair tensions for different musical pieces.