We're happy to provide routine maintenance checks on your instrument. Here are a few pointers to keeping your instrument happy, healthy, and singing!
Weather: Your instrument will be the most comfortable where you are comfortable. Never leave your instrument in the car for an extended time in the sun or overnight. Your instrument is sensitive to temperature and humidity levels and can come unglued or crack due to extreme changes. If your instrument has been out in the cold, keep it in the case and let it warm to room temperature before playing to avoid cracks and extra condensation on the finish. Your bow is also sensitive to weather change. Did you know that the horsehair on your bow can be stronger than the stick itself? If you forget to loosen the hair on your bow, the horsehair can contract due to heat or humidity drops, and can snap your bow in half! Be aware of weather when travelling, playing outside, or during seasonal changes.
Storage: The safest place to store your instrument when not in use is in your case! An unattended instrument can be knocked over, sat on, or otherwise damaged very quickly. Unfortunately, we see plenty of accidents happen as a result of instruments not being stored safely or properly.
Bow: Before playing your instrument, you will need to tighten your bow. The bow should always have a slight bend towards the hair. Your bow should never be tightened so much that the stick loses that natural curve, and always be sure to loosen the hair after every use. Please refrain from handling the horsehair on the bow with your fingers. Instead, handle the bow by the frog and wrappings. Natural oils and dirt from your hands can saturate the hair and prevent it from gripping the strings and playing properly. Your bow should be rehaired every 6-12 months. These tips will lengthen the life of your bow.
Soundpost: There is a small spruce dowel that is perfectly fitted to the inside of your instrument. Located under the treble (right) side of the bridge, the placement of the soundpost is critical to both the structural integrity and sound of your instrument. If you hear a piece rolling around the inside of your instrument, please loosen the strings and bring it to us immediately, to avoid any cracks or damages.
Bridge: The bridge of your instrument is a vital part of your set-up. Our bridges are made of quality tone-wood, and hand-cut to fit the top of your instrument. The bridge of your instrument is held on solely by the tension from your strings, and can easily shift or be knocked out of place. If you notice that your bridge looks crooked or falls down, please bring your instrument in as soon as possible.
Pegs/Tuning: The tuning pegs on your instrument should be carefully fit to your instrument. Properly fitting pegs should turn smoothly and hold the string without extraneous slipping.
Rosin: Rosin is an essential accessory to your instrument! Made of tree sap, various rosins incorporate various recipes and additives to make each type special. Rosin keeps your horsehair sticky enough to pull the sound vibrations out of your strings, and should be applied per your teacher's recommendation. Please avoid letting rosin dust accumulate on your instrument, because it can attract dirt, harden, and be difficult if not impossible to remove. Please wipe off your instrument with a cotton cloth when you are done playing. Rosin can also be a fun and relatively inexpensive way to augment, change, or otherwise affect the tone produced by your instrument. Whether you need more grip, more clarity, or less surface noise, rosin can be a great step towards upgrading your playing experience.
Other: Please try to wash your hands before playing your instrument! Your sweat may have different levels of acid present, which can eat through your strings or the leather thumb-wrap on your bow quickly. Try to avoid applying lotions or alcohol-based hand sanitizers before playing. Playing with clean, dry hands will extend the life of your instrument and strings.