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Everyday Violin Maintenance

The everyday routine maintenance of your violin is very important so as to ensure your violin is always in good playing condition (Instrument able to produce the desired sound).

To ensure that the violin and bow is in good shape to play, various steps have to be done before and after the playing of the violin.

Steps Before Playing the Violin:

1) Tighten the Violin Bow

Before playing the violin, the screw of the violin bow should be tightened (about 2 to 3 full turns) to ensure the correct tautness of the bow hair. Bow hair should not be too taut or vice versa.

The correct tautness of the bow hair can be achieved by ensuring that the space between the bow stick and hair is about the width of a pencil.

2) Rosin your Bow

It is important to rosin your bow every time before playing the violin as rosin functions to aid the bow hair in gripping the strings of the violin. This will result in producing a sound when the bow is pulled across the strings.

Rosin is normally applied on the bow hair by slowly swiping the bow hairs back and forth on the rosin. Bow hairs should not come in contact with your fingers or hand as the natural oils on your fingers will penetrate into the hairs, causing the bow hairs to lose friction on the strings. This will cause the bow to slide off the strings easily.

The amount of Rosin applied on the bow hair will affect the sound produced when playing violin. If there is too little rosin applied, the violin would produce little or no sound at all. This is so as the bow hair would not grip the violin strings tightly, causing the bow to slide off the strings easily. On the other hand, too much rosin on the bow hairs will result in a harsher or scratchy sound.

The adequate amount of rosin to be applied can be tested by using the back of one’s thumbnail to pull the bow sideways across the hair of the bow to see if rosin particles is noticeable on the bow. If it is noticeable in the bow, it means that the bow hair have enough rosin.

Steps After Playing the Violin

1) Wipe the Violin

After playing maintenance is also required. The violin, especially the strings should be wiped to remove the rosin buildup on the instrument. Sticky rosin residue on the violin strings would impact the vibration of the strings.

2) Loosen the Violin Bow

Before putting back your violin to the case, it is vital to loosen the violin bow to reduce the tension on the bow hair. Reduced Tension reduces hair breakages, prolonging the lifespan of your bow.