Your Guide To Proper Violin Care

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Your Guide To Proper Violin Care and Maintenance

If there's one good thing the Covid-19 pandemic did for us, it's that more people are learning to play musical instruments. Due to the new wave of quarantine musicians, it's important that we all know how to properly care for our instruments.

Well, the violin is a particularly delicate instrument with a beautiful sound, and it needs to be properly maintained. Luckily, we can make that easy for you. Let's talk about proper violin care and maintenance to keep your instrument in the right shape!

1. Use the Right Violin Cases

Keeping your violin in its case when you aren't using it will dramatically lower its risk of damage. The right case will protect your instrument from outside elements, scratches, and even serious damage.

However, not all cases are created equally. Investing in a quality violin case will ensure that your instrument is protected from falls, drops, punctures, and other accidents.There are some things to keep in mind when searching for the right case.

First, ensure that the violin fits snugly inside. The less movement, the better, as this will prevent internal damage and keep your instrument in-tune.

Next, you want to choose the right materials both inside and out. For the inside, softer materials like felt are ideal, especially with padding or cushioning behind it. For the outside, the opposite is best, as a hard shell will protect your instrument from any blunt force.

Finally, you should also be able to strap your violin down by the neck to prevent unnecessary movement internally, especially if you travel a lot.
For a bonus, choose a case that has some extra storage for your violin care kit. From there, develop the habit of putting the violin in its case every time that you're done using it!

2. Clean Your Violin

violin cleaning

Of course, you should clean the dust under your strings off once in a while, but that's not all. Ask yourself, how often do you clean your violin? If the answer isn't "every time I use it", then you're not doing it enough.

In all seriousness, the white dust that you see all over your instrument is rosin dust, and it won't just harm your strings. If given enough time, the rosin dust will deteriorate the finish on your violin body and neck, which means you will need a revarnish at some point.

How To Clean Your Violin

Fortunately, cleaning is easy, especially if you have a violin cleaning kit. Using a microfiber cleaning cloth, gently wipe the dust off your strings and body until you've covered everything. It isn't a daunting chore, as it should only take 30 to 60 seconds after each session and it will save your instrument!

Avoid Certain Products

Never use any alcohol or solvent-based cleaning supplies or any type of polish on your instrument, as they will destroy your varnish. If there is something you need to remove (grease, sticky material, etc.), then water is okay to use, as long as it's immediately dried afterward.

However, if you are cleaning your violin with enough frequency and keeping it in the case, you will never have to use more than a dry cleaning cloth.

3. Don't Use Too Much Rosin

Don't Use Too Much Rosin

We all know that scratchy sound that our bow instruments make when we have too much rosin, and we all know it scrapes off fairly quickly when playing.

However, that means that the leftover rosin will land on your body and strings, which creates a sticky surface that will deteriorate your finish and cause more cleanup. Avoid this by simply limiting the amount of rosin you use.

Also, try to keep your bow as rosin-free as possible between uses. Believe it or not, the varnish on your bow hairs is the same as the violin body (especially when purchased together), which means that rosin will cause it to deteriorate in the same way over time.

Of course, your bow is meant to hold rosin, but not for extended periods. To clean it, simply use the same microfiber cloth in your violin care kit and wipe as much rosin off as you can (don't worry about getting it all).

4. Temperature Control

Temperature Control for violin

If you're not aware, any wooden string instrument should be kept at a moderate temperature and kept out of the sun. Some people choose to humidify the room where they keep their string instruments, but this isn't always necessary.

Although, you should at least try to keep your violin away from dry, freezing temperatures as well as extreme heat. If you live in a hot area, look for violin cases with heat protection to prevent any damage and always keep your violin in the case between uses.

Not only will you risk damaging the instrument without temperature control, but you'll spend a lot more time tuning your violin than you'd want to!

5. Change Your Strings

Of course, changing your strings too often is just going to force you to spend unnecessary money. However, it is important to avoid waiting too long. If you start to notice any fraying, change your strings immediately.

Not only do you not want a string to break during an important recital, but a broken string during practice could leave some ugly scars on your varnish! The best way to prevent that is by changing your strings on time.
 

6. Check Your Bridge Alignment

The bridge on a violin will pull forward if the strings are too tight, which could affect the soundpost or other parts of your violin. If you find it is unaligned, loosen your strings slightly before moving your bridge to avoid breaking them. From there, simply adjust the bridge until its feet are flat against the body!

Keep Practicing!

Like a car, your violin wants to be used. Don't leave your instrument alone for too long, keep practicing your best work, and see the results in a few years! Although, when you do leave it alone, make sure you're using the best violin cases for safe keeping!

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