cleaning the violin
the most important part of maintenance is simply cleaning the violin each time you practice.
you should see a film of white dust from the rosin on the strings & instrument after each session. this is what you want to clean off!
take a soft cloth and rub the place on the strings where you play until all the dust is gone.
(yes, even when it squeaks!)
then gently wipe underneath the fingerboard, fine tuners and bow stick — anywhere you see white dust.
washing your hands
believe it or not, this is the most important way to protect your instrument!
the need to replace strings and bowhair due to natural finger/hand grease will be greatly diminished if you take this one simple step before practicing.
loosening the bow hair
Loosen the bow’s hair slightly after use. Horse hair can shrink dramatically due to humidity levels and cause the bow to warp if you leave it taut after every practice.
ask me to show you exactly how much to loosen the horse hair.
keeping it safe
Control the Humidity. If you keep a Humidity controlled room in your house, that is the best place to store your Instrument. Avoid big changes in humidity and temperature.
Do not leave an instrument in a hot or cold car. The heat or cold can break down your instrument’s glues & varnishes and leave a puddle.
It also causes your instrument to go out of tune!
changing the strings
not often do the strings need to be changed.
for beginner to intermediate, once every 12 – 18 months. for advanced students, every year.
when you do purchase strings, ask for the Dominant brand. it is not the very cheapest, but it has the nicest tone for the price.
make sure you get the correct size as they all vary!
cleaning the bow hair
anytime your bow hair begins to look like this, it’s time to clean!
the darker discoloration is from finger oils where your thumb touches the hair.
this is the main reason students are not to touch the horse hairs, because once it looks like this, that section will not produce sound!
here is a good step by step process on how to clean your bow hair.
clip your fingernails!
if you’re a girl, your beautiful, long nail days are over. sorry!
in order to play the violin, your nails must be clipped short. problems will occur in your technique if they are too long.
don’t worry, if you forgot to clip them during the week, i will have some for you to use in your lesson!
but to save yourself any embarrassment or precious lesson time, i recommend you take care of this beforehand. : )