How to Care for Your Violin: Essential Instrument Maintenance Tips and Techniques

The violin is an expensive, rather delicate instrument. Therefore, it’s important for beginners to understand basic instrument care tips and techniques that will maintain both its beauty and its sound quality.

How do you maintain a violin?

Violins are delicate instruments --  it's important for beginners to be aware of basic violin maintenance tips and techniques that will maintain its beauty, sound quality & value.

All musical instruments need to be properly taken care of in order to preserve their beauty and sound. In this article we present some essential violin maintenance tips for beginners so they may properly take care of their instrument.

Storing your Violin

violin case

The first step in effective violin care is proper storage. A good quality hard case is an important measure to protect it from damage.

Violins are delicate to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. If they're kept in a high humidity environment, the top and bottom plates will expand causing the sound post to collapse.

Violins should be kept in as constant humidity and temperature as possible, which is why they should be stored in places that are neither too hot nor too cold!

Shoulder Rests and Rosin

violin rosin

In order to prevent damage, it’s important that you're using the correct shoulder rest. The material must be durable enough for your violin and your playing style (some people like a more padded one while others prefer a flatter support).

If your shoulder rest is too high, you will experience buzzing when playing and that can create some serious damage over time if not attended to promptly.

Violin rosin is another crucial element in playing and needs to be reapplied often. The amount of rosin you use will vary depending on the humidity, so make sure to keep an eye on it!

Clean it after every use

The best way to clean a violin is with a dry, soft cloth. Avoid using cleaning products very often, as they can damage the varnish.

Varnish on a violin is quite delicate. The varnish on acoustic instruments has a significant impact on the sound of the instrument. As a result, it's critical to clean any excess rosin, dust, fingerprints and your skin's natural oils after each usage.

Clean the violin strings with a string cleaner and a separate cloth either in spray or liquid form. This will help remove dirt, dust, and other particles that can build up on the strings and affect their sound quality. Strings will last longer if you remember to do this regularly.

NEVER use water on your instrument! If you have any doubt about how to proceed, make sure to contact a professional for advice.

Keep it simple

Violins are delicate instruments, so avoid using any harsh chemicals or cleaners. It's recommended to use a soft cotton cloth and wipe the instrument with care using only mild soap water solution.

It’s best not to expose your violin for long periods of time in direct sunlight as this can affect its varnish!

Check the setup regularly

violin bridge

Don't forget to regularly check if the violin bridge is in its correct position for stability and alignment.

Instrument setup is a critical part of maintaining your violin sounding as good as possible. The bridge, strings, and sound post are all important elements that need to be aligned and stabilized in order to produce the best sound. If any of these elements are out of place, it can cause the violin to sound muted, muffled lacking in bass or too bright.

Make sure to have your instrument setup by a professional every few months in order to ensure optimal sound quality!

About the Author

MyLuthier was started by two friends while they were studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London. The idea was to provide musicians with exceptional instruments at a price they can afford. We travelled Europe in search for the best contemporary makers and we’re proud of our selection and the partnerships we’ve developed.

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