Looking after your violin
The most important part of looking after your violin is to keep it clean! Every time you finish playing use a duster to remove any rosin dust that lands on the top of the violin particularly around the bridge area - it's surprising just how much dust falls from the bow during playing. As rosin is acidic, it can damage the varnish if left on the delicate surface of a violin. Remember that the longer the dust is left , the harder it is to remove. We regularly come across violins that haven't been cleaned for years and see the damage rosin build up can cause to the violins varnish.
It's also advisable to wipe the strings in the area where the bow is placed and to wipe the stick of the bow taking great care not to touch the hair. Rosin sticks to the bow as well with residue tending to build up on the underside if not cleaned
When cleaning your instrument, remember polish is rarely needed, and when necessary, only a commercial violin polish should be used. Cleaning the violin with furniture polish or water is likely to damage the varnish and acoustics of the violin. Water is will also open the seams of the instrument applied even in modest quantities. If at all possible, don't touch the varnished body of the violin and always hold the instrument by the neck. Fingers are likely to leave natural oils on the varnish which can lead to unsightly marks over time.
Remember, a quick wipe is all that is needed to keep your instrument looking good & retaining it's value!
Bow careWhenever you handle your violin bow, try not to touch the bow hairs with your fingers or hand. The natural oils on your skin will reduce the ability of the bow to grip the string and make a pleasant sound.
Put a small amount of rosin on your bow before playing. Rosin provides the bow hair with friction in order to produce a sound when the bow is pulled across the violin strings. Hold the rosin in your left hand, place the bow hairs flat on the rosin and slowly move the bow back and forth on the rosin.
Always loosen your bow hair when not in use. To do this, you turn the adjustable screw at the end of the bow which moves the frog up and down the stick and is the mechanism by which the bow hair is tensioned. Note that the bow hair should be about the thickness of a pencil away from the stick at the middle of the bow once it is tightened.
When you have finished playing you should always unwind the screw so that the hair looses all its' tension. If you don't do this, you risk stretching the hair or taking the curve out of the bow stick. Doing this every time you finish playing can save many pounds and lots of inconvenience.
StorageRemember violins can be valuable instruments, so when you are not using your violin always put it back into its case and fasten the lid. Many good violins are damaged because people forget to do simple things like this. For example, they lift up the case with an unfastened lid and the violin falls out onto a hard floor causing considerable and expensive damage. The safest place for your violin is in its case with the lid shut unless you're playing it of course.
Never store your violin in extreme hot, cold or damp locations and never leave your instrument in direct sunlight or in the trunk of your car on a warm day (the heat could melt the varnish, crack the wood, open the seams). It's worth buying a hygrometer (measures humidity levels in the atmosphere) and thermometer to ensure conditions are right for your instrument.
If you live in a dry climate, you may want to consider using a humidifier made for violins (excessive dryness can cause cracking or the seams of your violin to open) to help you look after your instrument. .
Important note for customers outside the U.K.
If you need to return a violin or bow please contact us for return instructions BEFORE returning the item. We are unable to accept items returned without first contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please nsure the instrument is securely packed before despatching it to avoid transportation damage.