Care of Instrument and Bow

A string instrument can be expensive to repair or replace. If the following procedures are observed there should not be any expenses incurred beyond normal maintenance.

Protection
• Always return instrument to case/cover when not in use.
• Place a cloth over the top of instrument before closing the case (violin & viola).
• Always raise endpin when not in use (cello & double bass).
• Completely close/latch the case/cover so it will not open suddenly when it is picked up.
• Do not leave instrument where it could fall over or be knocked down.
• Store instrument away from pets and other children.
• Identify your instrument with a tag that includes your name and address.

Temperature and Humidity
• Avoid exposing instrument to extreme changes in temperature or humidity.
• Avoid all contact with liquids, high humidity, extreme cold or heat.

Cleaning
• After playing, always use a soft dry cloth to clean your instrument.
• Remove all rosin from instrument each time you play.
• Occasionally remove rosin from the stick of the bow, taking care not to touch the hair.

Care of Bow
• Always tighten the bow hair before playing, but…
         not so much that the stick does not arch towards the hair.
• Always loosen the bow hair after playing, but…
        not so much that there is no tautness in the bow.
• Apply rosin to the bow before playing, but do not over rosin.
• Avoid contact with the hair of the bow. Oil and dirt from your hands will not allow the rosin to stick properly to the hair.
• Do not abuse the bow. It is fragile (especially the tip).
• Trim broken bow hair with a scissors. Do not pull them out.
• Bows should be rehaired at least once every two years.

Strings
• Strings should be replaced at least once every two years.
• Steel strings are recommended for beginners. Perlon (the better) strings are fine.

Other Problems
• Do not try to make your own repairs.
• Make sure your instrument is insured.
• If any of the following things happen, contact your teacher as soon as possible:  string breaks, bridge falls, soundpost falls, instrument becomes cracked, seam opens, chin rest falls off, tailwire breaks, bow hair falls out or bow breaks.
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