One question we get asked often in the store is “What can I do to take care of my _____” – insert violin, viola, cello, or bass here. Well the good news is that string instrument care is really quite simple. String instruments don’t require yearly chemical cleans or anything that involves intensive labor. Most of the upkeep can be done by the player at home with just a little knowledge.
Here are a few other things you can do to maintain your string instrument to keep it in the best shape possible:
- Wipe away the rosin from your instrument and strings after each practice. This helps maintain string life and prevents rosin build up, allowing your instrument to make the best sound possible.
- Similar to the instrument, your bow can use some love too. A quick wipe down of the bow after playing prevents rosin build up and keeps the hairs from sticking together.
- Also don’t forget to loosen your bow hair once you are done playing! This reduces tension on the hairs and stick, allowing for longevity of the bow.
- Pegs causing you trouble? Your best friend will be peg paste. Rub a generous amount of this along the whole side of the peg and they will be turning like new in no time.
- If you are finding fine tuners more difficult to use, an unscented bar of soap can help. Generously apply the bar (dry, don’t wet it) along the fine tuner for a more smooth turn.
- DON’T leave your instrument in the car. Temperature is a number one cause of string or instrument damage. Extreme heat or cold can cause the wood on the instrument to either shrink or expand, which eventually leads to cracking. Strings will also tend to lose their tautness, sometimes causing them to loosen an extreme amount.
Let us know if this list has been helpful or if you have any other questions about your string buddy! Thankfully with strings, just a few diligent changes can have a huge impact in both the longevity and sound of your instrument. If you notice anything going awry though, we always have a luthier in our store happy to help you out! Have a great week and happy practicing!