String instrument care:
- Take care of your instrument. Treat it as something precious. Don’t swing it around or leave it where it could be sat on or stepped on. Either hold it appropriately or keep it in its case.
- The bow should be tightened before playing—the hair should be about pinky width from the stick, and the stick should still curve a bit toward the hair. To keep the bow flexible, it should be loosened after playing until the hair nearly touches the stick (let the hair “rest” on the stick).
- After playing, keep your instrument and strings clean by wiping the rosin off with a cleaning cloth when you are done practicing. NEVER use water on your instrument! If it gets very dirty, it is best to have it cleaned professionally so the varnish is not damaged.
- The wood of the violin is still “alive”! If you leave the instrument where it is too hot or humid, the wood will expand; the pegs will stick and the varnish will crack. If you leave the instrument where it’s cold or dry, the wood will shrink; the pegs will slip and go out of tune and the instrument may crack. What’s comfortable for you is about right for your violin or cello, so make sure your instrument is kept in a place with comfortable room temperature. (Leaving it in the car is not a good idea!! )
With care, your instrument can last a lifetime and become part of your distinctive voice!