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Home Services Educational Looking after your instrument
Looking After Your Instrument




Instruments should be dusted down after use using a lint-free cloth, although an ordinary small duster would be fine. Particular attention should be paid to removing excess rosin and perspiration from the strings, and rosin dust from under the bridge.



Instrument cases should be secure and in good condition. Bow clips should retain the bow(s) clear of the instrument. Ensure that the instrument fits properly into the case.


Loose objects in the case should be kept to a minimum. Shoulder rests should not be kept in violin cases unless there is space for them. Never store the shoulder rest under the neck of the violin as this will raise the whole instrument causing the bow to mark, or even crack, the front. Never put the violin away with shoulder rest or pad attached!


Music books and folders should not be stored in instrument cases unless there is a specific compartment.


Clean instruments only when necessary, using a varnish reviving solution. Follow the instructions on the container. Do not use proprietary household cleaner / polish as these contain silicones which make repairing more difficult.


Lubricate grooves in bridge and nut with graphite (pencil) each time a string is changed. When changing strings, do so one at a time-if you take all the strings off at once the bridge will fall down, and possibly the soundpost as well. Consult your teacher about how to put on a new string.


Ensure that adjusters are not screwed down to the point that they are in contact with the front of the instrument.


Never allow over-enthusiastic D.I.Y. parents to repair an instrument or bow. Special glues and varnishes are required, and super glue can be disastrous!


Do not leave your instrument near fires, radiators or anywhere very cold. Extremes of temperatures and lack of, or excessive, humidity can cause damage (such as glue drying out or wood cracking). Always keep your instrument in its case or on a special stand when not in use. Never stand a cello upright in a hard case - always lay it on its side. Always ensure that shoulder straps are secure.



Do not over-rosin the bow. It should only be necessary to apply rosin once or twice a week, if the bow is in use every day. A bow which is in constant need of rosin is probably in need of a re-hair. Do not attempt to clean the hair with any form of liquid as this will probably result in the hair stretching, thus requiring shortening or possibly a re-hair.


Loose wedges can be pressed back into place. Do not use glue. If in doubt bring it in to us and we will press it back free of charge.


Do not over-tighten the hair - a good guide is that a pencil should just pass between the stick and the hair.


Always loosen the bow after playing - allow the hair to touch the stick but remain a flat ribbon.


Finally, even the most well-cared-for instruments can be accidentally broken or stolen. We can arrange instant cover for you with Allianz Musical Insurance's "Cover Note" policy which offers excellent rates and comprehensive cover.


If you have any queries or problems which are not covered by this leaflet, please telephone us and we will be happy to help.






Download a Pdf version of the How to Care for your Instrument leaflet.



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