Ultimate Violin Maintenance Guide
It’s not hard to see that musical instruments, especially those made from wood, can be both beautiful and temperamental. Your violin’s lifespan depends on how well you maintain it. It will be easier to keep your violin in tip-top condition for a longer time if you know how to properly care for it.
It doesn’t matter if you are an expert at either the classical violin or the traditional Irish fiddle. Maintaining your instrument in top condition is your best option. Poor maintenance can cause cracks and other damage which can eventually make your violin impossible to play.
This guide has been created for you with the help of the violin experts at McNeela Instruments who have an excellent violin for sale called the Maestro violin stock a variety of house-made violins, as well as violin made by master Irish flute makers.
How can you avoid these problems? It’s simple. It’s easy. Take good care of your violin, and it will take great care of you. Together, you can create beautiful music.
This blog post contains tips and tricks to help you care for your violin properly.
What are you waiting to do? Let’s give your violin some love and extend its musical life.
Get to Know Your Instrument
There are so many violins for sale but, even if you have chosen wisely, it’s still essential to know a bit about the anatomy of your violin to maintain it in top condition.
The best musicians are able to have an in-depth knowledge of the instrument. This includes how it was built and how it works. This knowledge can help you get the best out of your violin. This information will help you to maintain your instrument and care for it properly.
If you are unsure of the difference between your sound post and your bridge, I suggest that you take a look at my guide to The Anatomy of the Violin. This glossary will allow you to quickly identify the most important parts of your instrument and help you become an expert.
Although it may seem obvious, properly storing your violin can be one of the most important things you do.
Safely storing your violin will protect it from unwanted bumps and knocks. It will also help increase the instrument’s longevity. A musical instrument is an investment and should be taken care of.
Make sure the violin you buy comes with a quality case.
Keep your violin safe by storing it in a case with a lid. Before you put your violin away, make sure that your shoulder rest is removed.
Avoid carrying your violin out of its case. This is just asking for trouble. There have been many musical instruments that could have survived if the owner just kept it in its case.
It is important to know where your violin is stored. Violins, like most instruments made from wood, are sensitive to extremes in temperature and humidity.
It is important to avoid storing instruments in places that are subject to extreme temperatures, hot or cold. Extreme temperature fluctuations or extreme temperature swings can cause wood to warp. This could affect your tuning pegs as well as the intonation.
What is the best temperature for your violin? It should be kept at least 18C, but not more than 25, in an area with a moderate temperature.
Wooden instruments respond to temperature as well as humidity. Therefore, humidity must be maintained constant, but not too high or too low. Your violin will react to humidity below 40%. This can affect the tuning, tone, and overall playability.
Humidifiers and dehumidifiers are your friends.
Surprisingly winter is a good time to monitor humidity, especially if you live somewhere that has dry winters (I’m thinking of you, East Coast of America).
To prevent the humidifier from drying out, you can place a tray of water next to the radiator. Be careful not to spill it!
Keep It Clean
Oils from our fingers and hands can cause damage to the finish of wood. It’s crucial that you take care when handling your instrument. The body should not be touched.
You can prevent the buildup of rosin and clean the violin’s body with a microfibre cloth after you have finished playing.
Do not use water or other cleaning products to clean your violin. You should bring your violin to a professional for cleaning if your fingerboard is stained or has an excessive amount of rosin.
We should keep our fingers to ourselves. However, oil from the skin can cause hair to slip off the string and damage its ability to grip the strings.
Otis Redding once said that you have to show a little tenderness. You should treat violins with respect, whether they are being played or not.
You should not force the pegs while tuning, as you could break a string or even a peg. ).
Make sure you replace only one string when replacing a set of strings on your violin.
You can damage the sound post by removing all the strings simultaneously from your violin.
How Many Times Should You Change the Strings of a Violin’s Strings?
Over time, strings will naturally wear down from the repetitive playing of them. Strings that are worn out will begin to lose their sound quality.
Older strings can also be more difficult to play, which can cause injuries to your wrist and shoulder. They can also snap mid-performance if they become too thin.
The wear of strings is dependent on their use. Therefore, the frequency you need to change them will depend on how often you use your instrument.
The general advice is to change your violin strings every 9-12 months. If you practice for long hours each day, it is likely that you will need to replace your strings more frequently.
If your violin strings become more difficult to tune or produce a duller tone, you will know that it is time to replace them. You will also notice a change in the response of your instrument – worn strings won’t resonate as well.
After playing, cleaning your violin strings can extend their life span as dirt, rosin, and oils build up.
NBRemember that you only need to replace one string at a given time!
- Take out the old string. Slowly turn the peg until tension is released. Then, hold the string in one hand. Remove the string once the peg is free.
- Use peg paste to lubricate your tuning peg.
- The right replacement string is available. Although it may seem obvious, make sure that you have the right string – the same pitch and length as the one you just took out.
- Thread the string through and wrap enough string around the peg to make it secure but not too tight.
- Insert a ball end into the tailpiece.
- Reduce the tension slowly, and hold the string tightly with one finger. This will ensure that the ball ends stay in place. To secure the string, gently wind it.
- Play the string.
- Make sure the bridge is straight. . (If your E string is equipped with a bridge protector, ensure it touches the groove in the bridge.
Sometimes instruments can be a little less than perfect despite our best efforts. Don’t worry! You can take your violin to an expert luthier to repair any damage. These are some warning signs that can help prevent irreparable damage.
Cracks in an instrument’s body can indicate a problem. You should inspect your violin regularly to ensure that the body is in top condition.
It is not unusual for small cracks to appear along the seams. These can be repaired easily and will not cause any long-term damage.
Cracks on the instrument’s body could indicate further problems. Cracks that are serious can be costly to repair, but a skilled luthier should still be able to fix them. These cracks can also affect the sound of your violin. Take care to store and handle your instrument well and be vigilant about its condition.
Your fingerboard should be straight and smooth. It may be necessary to re-plane or replace it if this is not the case.
Each violin has a slight natural curve. A fingerboard that is too curvy or too straight to the sides will result in problems. The violin will not be able to play properly.
This issue should not be a problem for a well-constructed violin. In cheaper instruments, uneven or warped fingerboards can lead to a curved fingerboard that makes it difficult for the strings to be evenly distributed.
The Fhole should have a small wooden dowel inside the violin. It is located close to the bridge and called the sound after. This is what creates the sound and determines the tone of the violin.
A soundpost can change the tone and sound of an instrument by making small adjustments. The soundpost can be moved to make a violin louder or give it a clearer, brighter, darker sound. The sound of your violin may change in quality if the soundpost is not properly aligned.
You don’t have to worry, though. An experienced violin maker will be able to adjust the soundpost and restore your violin to its former glory.
The bridge is the tiny piece of wood that is placed between the tailpiece and fingerboard to support the strings.
Violin bridges can be damaged and need to be replaced as they become bent or warped. This isn’t something you need to worry about if your instrument is well-constructed.
Caring For Your Violin Bow
The Violin bow needs to be taken care of like a violin.
The bow hair should be loose. The screw should turn easily. The hair can become stretched if it is over-tightened or aging. It is possible to have your violin bow rehaired if the bow hair grows too long.
Simply let your bow hair fall as low as you can to check its length. If the hair hangs out like a hammock it is too long and should be removed.
Before storing your violin bow, always make sure you have it shaved.
Be aware of cracks and damage to the stick, especially if it is made from wood. Horsehair that is too tight can cause damage to a wooden bow or warp it.
The bow should be straight. This means that the bow and tip should be aligned. It should not lose its curve or camber.
Simply hold your bow in front of yourself and check for curvature or warping. It’s not suitable for play if it bends or is warped.
If your wooden bow isn’t well maintained, this can happen. Keep your bow safe by storing it in the same case as your violin.
You can avoid this problem entirely by investing in a violin bow. These bows are almost indestructible, lightweight and easy to use.
How To Repair a Broken Violin?
The short answer to your question is no. It’s best to leave it up to the professionals.
Because violins are complex instruments, it is best to have an experienced craftsman handle them. Professional advice is always recommended.
It may seem tempting to try to superglue cracks or create your own quick fix, but home remedies are not the way to go. Do not attempt to fix a violin that has been damaged by your own hands, no matter how handy or skilled you might be.