Autumn Violin Care Tips
Differences in temperature can affect the sound quality of your violin. Hot and cold weather and differences in humidity can cause parts of your violin to swell or shrink slightly. Here are a few tips regarding instrument care during the autumn and all year round.
1. Do not apply lubricant to pegs during cold weather. Lower humidity and cooler temperatures can cause peg slippage. The pegs shrink when humidity is low and they can fall from the box. Do not use a peg lubricant, as that will cause even more slippage. Fix the problem by inserting the string into the proper peg holes and wind toward the wall of the box. Strings that are wound to the edge of the box will have less slippage. Just be careful not to wind them so tight that the pegs cannot turn.
2. Use peg drops to protect against slippage. Peg drops can also be used to fix slippage issues. Remove the peg, apply two drops to the part of the peg that attaches to the box, and reinsert it into the box. Make sure it adheres before restringing.
3. Use a humidifier in very dry climates. Climates with extremely low humidity may require the use of a humidifier made specifically for violins. Humidifiers can be put inside the violin case or inside the instrument itself.
4. Do not touch bow hairs with fingers and be careful of overtightening. Oil from your skin will make it difficult for the bow to grip the violin strings. There should be a space the width of a pencil between the bow stick and hairs. Always be sure to loosen bow hairs before putting it away in your case.
5. Do not store your violin near outer walls or windows. Storing your violin against an outer wall or near a window will subject it to sudden changes in temperature. Sudden changes in temperature/humidity can cause cracks or seam separation. Store your violin in a heavy case far from outer walls and windows.
6. Never store a violin in direct sunlight or too close to a heater. Direct sunlight and high heat can cause the varnish to melt.
7. Always clean after playing. Always clean your violin after playing. Use a clean, soft cloth to remove rosin from strings and clean any dust or oils from other areas, especially the chin rest.
8. Always let a professional fix cracks. Cracks or separations in seams should always be handled by a professional. They use a special glue made specifically for violins. Trying to fix cracks yourself can result in extreme damage to your instrument.