Taking care of my instrument
I just realised my teacher neglected to teach me some very important things... Other than loosening the hairs on the bow when not in use, and dusting off the wood from the rosin dust, I was never taught how to care for my instrument...
I have a beautiful 200 year old violin I bought about 20 years ago in CT which I love very much.
I just took it in to get serviced, as I noticed the bridge had started to bend just slightly.
But could any of you answer these questions?
- What do I need to do to take care of my instrument on a daily / weekly / monthly basis?
- What do I need to look out for and react, ie. the bridge bending?
- Are there any tell-tale signs for those of us who weren't taught these things that the strings are dead etc?
- Is there an ideal height for the bridge or distance between the strings and the grip-board? (I have no idea what the English term is... English is not my first language) How does it effect the sound if the distance is smaller / greater?
- Any other things I should know?
I am a relatively seasoned violinist otherwise... I've played 2nd violin in an amateur symphonic orchestra.
I recommend the book "Kitchen Table Violin Repairs" by internationally recognized luthier Dalton Potter. This book shows you, in very simple, easy-to-read fashion, what you can and should be doing by yourself (daily, weekly, etc.) and what you should be leaving to professionals.
On a daily basis, wipe off rosin from the playing area (strings and beneath) using a clean dry untreated microfiber cloth. Practically all violin shops sell or give away such cloths.
Thank you, Lydia.
Thank you, Paul.
Bridges usually warp because you don't keep them standing up straight, for most luthiers the tailpiece side of the bridge should make a right angle to the body, this needs to be adjusted fairly frequently, especially when you change strings.