Violin/Viola/Cello/Bass Care

Daily Care

After you are finished playing wipe down the instrument with a soft cloth to remove rosin dust, oil, and dirt immediately after each use. (Note: if you are using a treated cloth, be careful to avoid the strings and the bow hair).

Keep an eye on the bridge, it should always be in a perpendicular position. When you tune the instrument it pulls the bridge back which can dislocate or crack it. If you see your bridge leaning, ask your instructor to help you realign it.

Be sure the pegs turn freely. In varying weather conditions, they can slip or become stuck, if this is the case the instrument can be brought into the store to help correct the problem.

It is best to leave cellos and basses on their sides when not in use. The tension on the strings makes the neck of these instruments especially brittle and permits them to break easily.

Monthly/Yearly Care

Actual Humidity Outside Recommended Humidity Inside
 Up to 20%
 30 - 40%
 30 - 40%
 40 - 60%  40 - 50%

Temperature - keeping consistent temperature or allowing gradual adjustment to temperature changes is best for the instrument. (Allowing the instrument to warm up in the case is a good way to slow temperature changes). Too rapid of temperature change causes similar problems as those caused by humidity changes.

Pegs - Common issues with pegs are with sticking or excessive slipping. Humidity plays a large role in these occurrences as wood pegs tend to become oval when they shrink or swell. Also the constant turning of the pegs will eventually wear the peg holes smooth, at this point, the instrument may need to be taken to a technician. Often new players complain that pegs simply do not hold. This is often because the player fails to apply enough pressure on the end of the peg while turning it.

Strings - Even the highest quality strings will age and will often go bad before breaking (average of 6 months). Regularly examine strings for changes in the appearance of the surface of the string. The sound of the string will also become more dull and have overtones that cause imperfections in the sound, At this point strings should be replaced.

At least once a year, we recommend bringing your instrument to a technician for adjustments to keep your instrument in prime condition.

Do Not:

  • Use commercial solvents near an instrument because even the vapors can cause serious damage.
  • Touch the bow hair, the oils from your hands can harm the hair.
  • Never force a stuck peg, this can cause it or the peg box to break.
  • Expose the instrument to extreme or varying weather conditions, this can cause cracking of the instrument or the bow to warp.


















  Did You Know? The violin contains about 70 separate pieces of wood.