About String Instruments
String instruments have special qualities that require specific care. The instruments are made from wood, so they respond to seasonal changes in humidity and temperature that affect their performance. You may notice that the strings are higher in the warm months, or that the instrument has a tighter feel at certain times of the year. When you come in, we can discuss and address these issues
WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT HUMIDITY?
String instruments are comfortable in temperatures humans find comfortable, so should not be left in a hot car in summer, or a cold one in winter.
HOW SHOULD I CARE FOR MY INSTRUMENT?
When the heat in your house is on, make sure you humidify your instruments. Dryness can lead to cracks, open seams, slipping pegs or other common issues. Cracks require repair to prevent them from extending.
Bridges should be looked at to make sure they are standing straight. If they lean too far, they can warp or fall and break.
After playing, wipe rosin off strings, then the body, with a microfiber cloth. If too much rosin builds up on the instrument, it can dampen the sound and should be brought in for cleaning. Strings should be changed if they can no longer be tuned reliably or lose sound quality; the frequency of string changes varies with amount and kind of playing and sensitivity of the player's ear.
WHEN SHOULD I REHAIR?
There are several indicators that a bow needs rehairing. The hair may look dirty near the frog. The hair may be stretched out, which makes it feel difficult to tighten the bow adequately. It may take more work to get sound from the instrument, or the bow hair may not want to grip the strings, in spite of careful rosin application.
WHAT DOES THE REHAIRING PROCESS INVOLVE?
During a typical rehair, the bow is cleaned and polished, the screw is lubricated, and the bow will be checked for straightness and overall health; we will note any cracks or chips so you can decide what repairs should be done. We will also give the rehaired bow a light dusting of powdered rosin to finish.