Care and maintenance
It is recommended that you wait until your first lesson before removing the instrument or bow from the case! It is very easy to self-teach bad habits. Your teacher will be grateful!
Storage of your Instrument
Keeping your instrument and bow in the case or bag when it's not in use is the easiest form of maintenance you can perform and is the best way to keep your instrument from getting damaged. Never place objects other than a thin rag or cover over the bridge when closing the case. Make sure that the shoulder rest is off the violin or viola before putting it in the case. Cellos and basses should always be sotred on their side. Never prop them against a wall or chair.
Watch the Temp
As a general rule of thumb, treat the instrument as you would a person. What is uncomfortable for you is also uncomfortable for it. Your instrument is a mixture of spruce, maple and ebony wood. Always avoid exposing the instrument to extreme hot or cold temperatures by keeping it away from direct sunlight, heater vents and keeping it out of the car. Leaving the instrument in the car for any period of time, winter or summer, can be fatal to the instrument. In the winter time, due to the extreme cold, the instrument could easily crack, and in the summer time, due to the heat, the instrument's varnish can quickly melt or the glue holding the instrument together can soften and lose its adhesive properties.
Keeping it Clean
Each time the instrument is played the rosin dust should be removed with a soft cleaning cloth. If rosin is not removed from the surface of the instrument, it can become embedded in the varnish which ultimately affects the tone. It is also unattractive. Only use a dry cloth! Using any household cleaners will destroy your instrument's varnish.
Tapes or Stickers
Please put tapes and/or stickers only on the fingerboard.
Every time your instrument is tuned the bridge is pulled slightly forward. The back of the bridge should always be standing at a 90 degree angle to the top of the instrument. Ignoring a crooked bridge may lead to its breaking, warping or falling down. Your teacher will be able to do simple adjustments to your bridge or always feel free to bring it by one of our shops.
As a beginner, it is best to let the teacher tune the instrument; it is very easy for a less experienced player to break strings. Periodically check under the fine tuners to ensure the tuners are not resting on top of the instrument. This can cause a good deal of damage to the instrument if not corrected. Please inform your teacher and they can back the tuners out.
If the chinrest is loose or touches the tailpiece, it will most likely produce a buzzing sound. Please either notify your teacher or stop by one of our shops to have it tightened.
It is normal for the pegs to slip when the weather turns cold or dry and to stick when the weather turns to hot or humid. If a peg slips never force it back in. If it sticks, never force it to turn as you may damage the peg or peg box.
A fallen or moved soundpost will drastically affect the sound of your instrument. If the soundpost ever falls, it is important that the strings be loosened and the bridge removed immediately to prevent any damage to the top of the instrument.
The Seams and Edges
Check your instrument regularly to note whether the top or back has become unglued from the sides at any point. If you find a separation, bring the instrument in to one of our stores immediately.
Check periodically for cracks that may develop, especially during the cold, dry weather. Don't let cracks go untreated. Make sure to let us repair them as soon as possible.
Never touch the bow hair. Touching the bow hair transfers dirt and oils to the hair preventing the rosin from sticking and creates an uneven sound performance. It is also very important to loosen the hair of the bow when it is not in use. (Remember: lefty loosey, righty tighy) Leaving the bow's hair right can warp or even break the stick, and in most cases the damage is permanent. It will also stretch the hair making it very difficult to tighten for normal playing conditions. Tighten the bow only enough so that a pencil would fit between the hair and the center of the bow stick.