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How to Take Care of Your Violin

In this article, we will learn how to look after our violin and bow with these easy to follow steps.

The Violin

1. Cleaning the Violin

Always clean your violin after playing it with a clean, soft, lint-free cloth. Run the cloth underneath the strings where the f-holes are to remove rosin, as this damages with timber of violin. Pass the cloth along the strings, around the neck and on the fingerboard to remove rosin and clean the sweat off the strings so that they can last longer.

You will only need to polish your instrument in rare cases. This best done by a professional luthier. Never use furniture polish on the wood of the violin as this will damage it.

2. Storing Your Instrument

When you have finished playing, always put your violin and bow away in your case. They can get damaged if you leave them on a chair or table unattended, even for a brief moment.

Remember to remove the shoulder rest before packing your violin away. Make sure that you do up any zippers or latches before carrying your instrument case.

Do not store your violin in extremely hot or cold environments. Never leave your instrument in direct sunlight and do not leave your instrument in the car on hot days as this will melt the varnish and warp the violin.

In dry weather, use a violin humidifier as excessive dryness can cause your instrument to crack or seams start to open. If this happens take your violin to an authorised violin repair shop or luthier to have the instrument repaired. Never try to repair the instrument yourself.

The Bow

1. Tightening the bow

Always tighten the bow before playing, using the screw. Your bow should like the top bow in the figure below:

However, do not overtighten your bow as the stick could break. An overtightened bow looks like this:


Always loosen the bow hair with the screw before putting the bow back in its case. Never touch the bow hair with your fingers or hand. Your sweat will impact the bow's ability to grip the string and will cause mould to build up on the horse hair.

2. Rosining the bow

Rosin provides friction to the bow to produce sound when the bow is pulled across the string.

You only need to rosin your bow once a week or every 10-hours of playing. However, it is good practice to put a little bit of rosin before you each time you play. Hold the rosin in your left hand and place the bow hair on the rosin. Move the rosin in small, fast strokes starting at the frog, moving to the second quarter, then to the middle, then to the third quarter and then all the way to the tip.

If you do not have enough rosin on your bow, the bow will produce little or no sound and slide or feel slippery across the strings. If you've put too much rosin on your bow, rosin powder will be seen coming of the bow and caking the strings and body of the instrument. Too much rosin can produce a raspy and scratchy sound.

So here's how to take good care of your instrument!

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