Daily Check and
Care of Instruments
A violin is made of natural wood parts glued to each other.
Therefore, it needs more delicate care than any other instrument. Any unfavorable condition may cause sound deterioration or prevent smooth fingering and/or bowing. Consequently the original potential of the violin may remain undermined.
As long as a violin is handled in order, it keeps enough strength. However, because it is made of wood and is not very thick, it has risk of receiving damage from strong force of dropping or pressure, etc.
A bow has risk of damage, too, after dropping or bumping.
Please be careful enough to handle them.
Avoid extreme temperature and/or humidity or a sudden change of them
The most appropriate temperature and humidity are ones comfortable for the human (e.g. 15 – 25℃, 40 – 60%).
The most dangerous is the summer heat. Please avoid leaving an instrument in a car or any place under the strong sun rays.
It also needs special care when you move outside with an instrument for a long time at high temperature.
In a humid season, put in a dehumidifier in the case and dehumidify the room appropriately.
In winter, on the other hand, the air is sometimes too dry, so use a dampit (humidifier) for the instrument and humidify the room as well.
In seasons when temperature and humidity are very different between the inside and the outside, take care to protect the instrument from a sudden change of temperature and humidity.
Check with your eyes if there is any peeling off, crack, chip, scratch or anything unusual on the instrument. If you do it regularly and your eyes are accustomed to such checking, it is much easier to find a problem.
Check Angle of Bridge
Checking the bridge is one of the most important inspections. A bridge is not glued, but is just fixed with pressure between the body and the strings.
With pegs rotated and strings pulling the bridge little by little, the bridge may be found to be standing slantly. If you leave it as it is, the bridge may be warped or fall. When you tune strings with pegs, be sure to check the angle of the bridge. When you hold the instrument to play it, it is the appropriate angle if the bridge straightly faces you. Until you get accustomed to such checking, it may be hard to know what the right angle is, but you will learn what it should be as you make it a daily routine. It may need some experience to learn to correct the angle of the bridge. With a cushion or anything like it under the tailpiece, it will protect the body even if you fail to control the bridge as you like. If you find it difficult to control the bridge, please feel free to ask us.
Care after Use and Keeping in Room
Please loosen the hair of the bow, but you do not have to loosen the strings. (If you loosen the strings, the bridge and/or the sound pole may move or fall.)
Be sure to wipe the violin clean after playing it.
Basically the safest way is to wipe it with a dry cloth.
Please do not use any alcoholic chemicals.
Use two pieces of soft cloth like gauze to wipe sweat away from where your hands and chin have touched and to wipe resin away from the bridge and around it respectively. Please do so carefully.
Wipe resin away softly from the bow, but do not wipe the hair.
Be careful to wipe gently and lightly, but not forcefully. The bridge and around it are so delicate that you should take special care to wipe there softly. Do not stick your finger into any hole.
With too much force, the bridge may be moved or the thin board may be broken.
“Gently and lightly” wipe resin away.
Keeping an instrument in a case is the safest way to keep it.
Make sure that fasteners and/or catches are closed.
Troubleshooting for emergencies
A peg does not stop
While rotating a peg, be sure to press it into the hole.
Make sure the string is wound in the appropriate style.
A string has cut
How to change strings by yourself: Remove the old string. Rub small concaves on the bridge and the nut with the tip of a soft pencil (2B or softer) so that the string may move smoothly.
Put the ball at the end of the string through the hole on the tailpiece, and pull the string upward until the ball is fixed in the thin slit of the hole.
Then, put the other end of the string into the hole of the peg, and wind the string on the peg by rotating the peg.
Make sure that the bridge keeps the appropriate angle while tuning sound.
Follow the above instructions when you regularly change all of the strings. Please make sure that the bridge keeps the appropriate angle every time you remove/set a string. If you feel any difficulty, ask your instrument dealer for their help, then you will have an extra merit to have your instrument checked if there is anything wrong with it.
When a string has cut and if you bring your instrument and the cut string to us, we may be able to inspect the cause of the string cut. Besides, in any of the following cases, troubleshooting by yourself is supposed to be difficult, so please visit your dealer with your instrument.
- The bridge has fallen down. (Loosen the strings and put cloth under the tailpiece as a cushion.)
- The sound pole has fallen down.
- The instrument was dropped. (Even if no damage was found, condition of the instrument may have changed.)
Violin strings and bow hair are consumables. With too old strings, not only sound volume deteriorates but also they cannot keep steady intervals. With too much consumed hair on the bow, even if you try to play with appropriately soft touch, there may not be favorable friction between a string and the hair, so you may automatically press the hair trying to make a sound. When to change strings and hair depends on how much you play, but commonly we recommend regular inspections of one-year intervals or shorter, which are mostly matched with the timing of string and hair change. It may also happen that conditions of an instrument and a bow change over time. Having your violin regularly inspected for appropriate maintenance, enjoy your violin music.