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.
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.
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.
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.
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.