Violin Summer Care Tips
Summer presents many fun extracurricular activities for violin players: a jam around a campfire, outdoor music festivals, and performances at summer camps.
But dramatic changes in temperature and humidity present special demands on your violin and bow. Knowing how to deal with these problems in order to protect your instrument will help you keep your violin in excellent working order throughout all seasons, and prevent costly repairs.
On a very hot day, when temperatures can top 90 or 100 degrees, you should avoid bringing your instrument and bow into the heat and bright direct sunlight. Never leave your instrument in a closed car, where the temperature in the passenger compartment or trunk could rise to 120̊F. Attempt to maintain a relatively constant humidity year-round. Depending on where you live, dehumidification or air-conditioning could even help in the summer. Since stringed instruments are wooden, the wood will generally expand in the humid summer months and contract in the winter.
Extreme heat can result in permanent warping and damage to the body, bow, and bow hairs. The varnish on the instrument can soften, melt, blister or crack, and the lining of the case could leave pitted impressions.
High heat can also cause a bow to twist, bend or snap. Pegs may stick and not move as smoothly, and the wood could swell and distort, causing a change in sound.
Switch to a pale lighter rosin during the hot months, because the heat can make a darker rosin very sticky. Be sure to clean any unneeded rosin off your violin immediately before it has a chance to permanently stick to the varnish. Glue also dissolves in heat and could leave the instrument vulnerable to open seams.
Be cognizant that drastic changes in temperature, such as when you and your violin travel from a hot car into a cold concert hall, can cause damage.