Earlier this month we featured a few tips for violin bow maintenance – but what about the rest of the instrument? As we move into the Winter season, string instruments like the violin are susceptible to the colder temperatures, which can cause warping and cracks in the wood. Most instruments can outlive the season without harm, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Here are a few tips to keep in mind…
1.Keep it in the case.
Similar to deterring bow damage by keeping it in your case, making sure to put your violin back where it belongs is your first line of defense against winter warping. Whenever you’re not playing your violin, it should be in its case. Also, consider purchasing a padded case cover for extra protection.
2. Give your violin time to acclimate.
The transition from a warm atmosphere (inside) to a colder one (outside) is what can cause cracks in the wood, as it shrinks and expands according to the moisture in the air. If you’re heading out to a recital or performance, arrive early to allow your violin time to adjust to the climate changes.
3. Keep an eye on humidity.
Many violin players keep a humidifier in their music studio or home, or at least a gauge to monitor the humidity levels; if it drops below 30%, the chances of cracking or warping are greater (too much humidity can also be a danger zone!). Another popular purchase is a Dampit, a sponge-like device that is placed inside the body of the violin, keeping the wood from drying out.
Readers, what special precautions do you take to care for your violin in the winter months? Leave a comment below, or stop by our Facebook page to share with the community!
Photo by adam_munson