So you’ve learned how to buy a violin, made the investment and signed up for violin lessons… what’s next? Before you start anything else, it’s important to understand the basics of violin care and maintenance to protect the instrument and ensure years of playing. Here are some important things to keep in mind, as originally published on The Sound Post website:
Regularly wipe excess rosin dust away from the body and strings of your instrument with a dry cloth. Rosin build-up can mar some varnishes and can make strings sound poor. If a bow is over-rosined, a grainy sound will result and rosin dust will be visible.
Replace your strings regularly to ensure your instrument always plays and sounds to its full potential. Strings gradually lose their warmth and brilliance even if an instrument is not played frequently. Active players change their strings as often as every six months for optimum sound and performance. Students should generally replace the strings on their instruments yearly.
This carved, wooden support holds the strings at the correct height and distance from each other and transmits the sound energy from the strings to the body of the instrument. Every bridge should be precisely carved by a professional luthier and custom fit to the table of each instrument. Since the bridge is fragile and not glued or fixed to the table in any way, it is necessary to prevent impact to this sensitive area and to ensure the bridge remains straight and upright. Even with normal use and regular tuning, a bridge will gradually lean forward or back in the direction of the pegs or fine-tuners. If the bridge is left in this position it will eventually warp under string tension. A bridge that is slightly warped can be straightened at your violin shop but a severely warped bridge will need replacement.
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