Tips for Instrument Care

First time player or parent of a first time player? Here are some tips on caring for your instrument:

Clean your instrument with a soft cloth, as well as the stick of the bow.

This is something that should be done every time you finish playing in order to prevent rosin buildup. Make sure to wipe down the strings, fingerboard, wherever you see rosin on the body of the instrument, and the stick of the bow. If you want to polish or clean your instrument, only use a compound made for string instruments such as our JSI Cleaner and Polish.  A complete list of our instrument cleaning products can be found here.

Keep your instrument’s environment consistent.

The easiest way to accomplish this is to keep your instrument away from extreme temperatures. This means storing it in an insulated room away from vents, heating or air conditioning units, and windows. Do not leave your instrument in an unattended car, especially during the height of winter or summer.

Another factor to keep in mind is that string instruments are sensitive to humidity. Too much will cause the wood to expand, causing problems like immobile pegs. Conversely, too little humidity will cause the wood to contract, increasing the risk of open seams and cracks. Consider monitoring the humidity levels with an in-case humidification system to prevent damage.

Store your instrument properly.

When you are done playing, make sure to take off all shoulder rests/sponges and store them safely. Strap or tie down the neck and make sure any accessories like rosin or pencils are in an accessory pocket. Loosen the bow every time you put it away to prevent the stick from warping and to extend the life of your bow hair.

Do not attempt your own repairs.

It may be tempting to glue an open seam back together or straighten a warped bridge yourself, but performing your own repairs can become more damaging and costly than the initial issue. Particular methods and materials are used to fix stringed instruments; when you use a material that is not normally found on a string instrument, this can harm it. If you suspect something is out of place, please pay a visit to our workshop and let our luthiers assess the instrument.
Use your eyes and ears.

Your powers of observation are your best asset when it comes to taking care of your instrument. If something does not sound or look right, it most likely is not. If you hear an unexplained buzzing or rattling, see an open seam or a crack, or notice anything else out of place about your instrument, bring it to your luthier to have it checked out. If problems are ignored, they can easily get worse and more costly to correct. A little preventative care will allow your instrument to remain in good working order.

Copyright © 2015 · All Rights Reserved · Silvija Kristapsons

Silvija Kristapsons

Social Media and Marketing at Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins.