String Instrument Care

Be NICE to your Instrument! Here's HOW!

1. Stringed instruments should be stored in a safe place, out of young children's reach, away from heaters, air conditioning vents or units, and windows. Stringed instruments are affected by humidity and should be stored in places that are not excessively damp or dry. Your instrument should not be left in closed automobiles which are subject to the rays of the sun and can become over heated in the car causing your strings to snap and brake. Likewise, when it is cold outside your instrument can crack if left inside a cold car. If you are getting out of the car, so does your instrument - even if you are going into a restaurant - and yes, even if you play bass.

2. Your instrument should be kept in its case when not in use to avoid becoming damaged or dirty. 

3. Instruments can even be damaged while in their cases if bumped, slid, or dropped unintentionally, so always use care when handling your instrument. 

4. Your bridge is extremely fragile and is not glued down. The tension from the strings holds the bridge up right. If tension is lessened on two or more strings at the same time, the bridge and soundpost (inside) may fall. If this happens, ask Mrs. Quin to reset your bridge. However, if it brakes you will need to take the bridge and instrument to a luthier (a stringed instrument repair person). PLEASE do not order a generic bridge online or at a music shop. Each instrument is shaped slightly different therefore each bridge needs to be sized to the instrument - hence taking it to a luthier.

5. The bow is fragile and should never be used for anything other than its intended use. Do NOT touch the bow hair with your fingers as this leaves a residue of oils that contribute to poor sound and early deterioration of the bow hair. Individual bow hairs will break naturally with use - if this happens do NOT pull the bow hair. Use scissors to clip the two ends of the individual hair close to the ferrule and the tip. Pulling bow hairs will cause the rest of the bow hair to come out. Mrs. Quin will also teach you how to do a fancy pull that will not cause damage. Bows should be rosined every day or every other day and rehaired by a luthier every 6-24months.

 6. Stringed instruments should be kept free of rosin, dust, and fingerprints. Keep a soft cloth or a piece of an old soft t-shirt in your case and wipe off your instrument and stick of the bow after every time you finish playing.

7. If you want your instrument to really shine you can purchase special instrument polish at music and luthier shops. But PLEASE bring it to Mrs. Quin and we can do it together. And absolutely NO pledge, window cleaner, disinfecting wipes, shampoo, or other household cleaners.

 8. Strings are not permanent. With use and time they will stretch and lose their ability to stay in tune and will unravel. Strings should be replaced every six to nine months.

9. Do NOT touch the pegs. They are not glued down. If your pegs begin to slip please ask Mrs. Quin to fix it. If the pegs are not turned properly the strings with either snap and brake or fall off. 

10. Students will learn how to use the fine tuners. However, if they are turned too far down they will dig into your instrument and leave a permanent and very noticeable mark. 

Please come in before school with any instrument repairs, and I will take care of it as soon as possible.  When in doubt, bring it to me and I will help! :)