How Does Weather Affect the Tuning of Your Violin?
Varying changes in seasonal weather can have an unfortunate impact on the quality and sound of your violin,if not monitored closely. By caring for your violin properly, you are investing in the lifelong strength of not only the sound produced, but the health of your instrument overall.
When playing in cold weather one has tune their violin more often.
In different parts of the world, winter months bring harsh, dry air, and summer months bring humid, hot air. The air changes with each season and climate can greatly affect the health of your violin, as wood expands with the humid air and heat of the summer months, and contracts with the cold, dry air of the winter and early spring months. As a result, your violin’s sounds and overall quality will be affected by the changes these months bring, so it’s important to stay aware of what the air quality is like in the room your violin will be stored in. Your violin maker may provide you with specific care instructions based on where you live geographically.
Even though seasons bring air and weather changes, it does not have to negatively impact your violin as long as you exhibit the proper care and treatment of the instrument.
- During the winter months, seams can come open due to the frigid, dry air and buzzes may occur that should not be naturally happening. On lower-quality and cheap violins, the fingerboards can be bent out of shape and the soundpost may need changing if the instrument is prone to large fluctuations in moisture content. To combat the dry air, it can be useful to purchase or utilize an in-home humidifier set at 30 – 40% humidity. You can use a vaporizer, steam humidifier or cool mist humidifier to replace the lack of moisture in the air the cold season can produce. Monitor the humidifier’s progress and ensure that it is not set too high– you will be able to note if this is the case if water droplets begin collecting on surfaces. If so, turn down the strength of the humidifier until a soft, comfortable presence is felt in the air.
- Continue to properly tune your violin in order to ensure that the sound quality is sufficient and comparable to other seasons of the year, as consistency is key. Dry weather can make the pegs come loose all at once, but peg paste can be applied sparingly if needed to counter-act this. With extra tuning involved, players should take care to ensure that the bridge is always in its correct position.
- When the summer months approach, outdoor humidity may make its way indoors, and therefore a humidification system is not necessary. However, in order to maintain a consistent moisture presence throughout the room your violin is stored in, it may be necessary to supplement the humidity from outdoors with in-home air conditioning. Give your violin maker a call in the summer to ask for recommended summer maintenance advice.
By taking proper care of your violin, you can ensure instrument longevity, quality of sound as originally intended, and minimal repairs needed due to the consequences of weather changes.