Instrument Care
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Stringed instruments are affected by changes in temperature and humidity. Avoid exposure to heat sources and direct sunlight. Do not leave your instrument in a hot or cold car. A dampit can help maintain consistent humidity levels.


Use a soft lint free untreated cloth to wipe rosin from your instrument each time you are finished playing. If the rosin builds up, it rehardens and eventually requires professional cleaning. If you use a cleaner/polish, apply it first to a cloth. Use it sparingly and do not get polish on the fingerboard, strings, or in the instrument.

Instrument Safety

Store your instrument in its case, never upside down. Make sure the bow is secured so that it does not mar the instrument when the case is closed. A cloth or blanket offers additional protection. Violins and violas should rest flat on the bottom of the case allowing ample clearance when the case is closed.


Learn to regularly check the position of the bridge. The back of the bridge (the side facing the tailpiece) should be perpendicular to the table, or top of the instrument. With repeated tuning, there is a tendency over time for the bridge to become misaligned. This may cause the bridge to warp, requiring that a new one be cut to fit the instrument. We are happy to reposition the bridge at no charge.


Using quality strings is essential to optimal performance from your instrument. While there are many good string choices, avoid replacing a high quality string with an inferior one. Strings need to be changed not only when broken or damaged, but also regularly (about six months to a year for the casual player) as they become false and lose their responsiveness.


Pegs should fit properly in order to function well. They can require periodic maintenance, as they tend to stick in warm, humid weather and slip in cold, dry conditions. Never apply excessive force to a peg as this can crack the peg box.

String Adjusters

We advise that instruments be set up with either a single fine tuner, or, if four are required, a tailpiece with built-in fine tuners. The weight of four tuners at the tailpiece adversely affects the response of the instrument. Fine tuners are helpful when used in conjunction with the pegs, but are not intended for large adjustments. They should have ample clearance beneath the tailpiece. If over tightened, they can severely damage the top of the instrument. If the adjusting screw or the securing collar is too loose, a buzz may occur.

Trauma Situations

Learn how to respond to "trauma" situations to avoid further damage to an instrument. It is necessary to take the tension off an instrument (loosen the pegs completely and put something soft under the tailpiece) if any of the following occur:

The soundpost or bridge falls down.
The top or back of the instrument is cracked.
The neck has started to slip from the instrument.

The Bow

Bows are extremely fragile and require careful handling and maintenance. When preparing to use the bow, it should be tightened only to the point where the stick does not touch the hair when playing. Over tightening stresses a bow and can cause the stick to warp or possibly break. Be vigilant about loosening the bow after use. Bows require rehairing at six months to a year for the recreational player. The hair length can change over time due to general use and climatic conditions. If the bow will not either loosen or tighten properly, it needs to be evaluated by a luthier. Avoid using excessive amounts of rosin, as it can adversely affect the tone.


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