2016 International Virtuoso Competition

ivc2016-4

Care of Stringed Instruments

careviolin

I. Temperature and Humidity

1) Always use a Dampit whenever the heater is on in your home, or when it is in a dry region. Take the dampit out every day: during this time, soak the dampit in water for 20 seconds, squeeze out the excess water in a towel, and put the dampit back in the instrument. Do this twice a day if the temperature outside is below zero. If you do not do this, you are increasing the possibility of cracks and openings.
2) Keep the instrument away from direct sunlight. Do not store the instrument near radiators or heat vents. If you have a room that is humidified, that would be the best room to store it in. In general, avoid any and all extremes in temperature and humidity.
3) Never, Never, Never transport or leave your instrument in a car trunk—in cold weather the instrument will get cold very quickly; in warm weather the instrument may get very hot causing the glue joints to come apart and varnish to soften and stick to your case.
4) For the same reasons as above, Never leave an instrument in an unattended car. Most insurance companies do not cover theft or damage to an instrument in an unattended car.

II. Polishing

Never let rosin build up on top or underneath the strings. Clean the rosin off before you put the instrument away.

III. Bridges

Check your bridge and straighten it often! The side of the bridge facing the tailpiece should be perpendicular to the surface of the violin. Tuning the strings generally pulls the bridge towards the fingerboard. If the bridge moves off the perpendicular it will warp, and shortly there after it will break. Have your teacher check it also if you are taking lessons.

IV. Strings

Change the strings at least once per year. Strings break, and usually at the most inconvenient time. It is a good idea to have a spare set with you at a concert or a recital.

V. Pegs

Warm humid weather will make pegs sticky. Lubricate the pegs with peg compound. Dry, cold weather will make pegs slip. Use backboard chalk to make the pegs hold firmer.

VI. Maintenance

Visit our shop 3 ~ 4 times a year for free maintenance.

Never leave an instrument where it can be stepped on,
Sat upon, or knocked to the floor.

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