It’s that time of the year – school’s out for the summer, and it’s time to gear up for barbeques, beaches, music festivals and more. But before you crank up The Beach Boys’ greatest hits, violinists should keep a few things in mind.
You probably know the basics of violin care, but when the temperature really starts rising, you’ll need to give your instrument even more TLC. While you’re firing up the barbeque outside, a violin roasting inside a case (or even worse, left in the trunk of a car) can result in permanent warping and damage to the wood, bow hairs and more. The violin’s varnish can blister or stick to a humid case, pegs may not move as smoothly, and the wood can actually swell and distort, causing a change in sound.
So how do you cope without losing your cool? Here are some things to remember:
- Always keep your violin out of direct sunlight or enclosed areas.
- Pegs may stick in high temperatures. Lubricating the pegs may help.
- Do a visual check of your instrument every few weeks. The bridge should still be straight, the soundpost should be parallel to the bridge, and no other signs of warping should be present.
- Bow hairs can stretch and loosen during the summer. It’s recommended to have your bow rehaired in the spring to prepare for this.
- Heat can cause darker rosin to become even stickier – consider switching to a lighter, pale rosin during the summer
- Clean any rosin debris off your violin right away. Anything leftover can end up sticking to the varnish permanently!
Readers: do you take special precautions in the summer to care for your violin? Leave a comment below, or stop by our Facebook page to join the conversation!
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Photo by land_camera_land_camera.