Violin Online - Violin Instrument Care

Want to know how to take care of your violin and bow? Follow these tips below.

How to take Care of Your Violin and Bow

  1. Tighten your violin bow before playing by gently turning the tension screw. Avoid making the bow hairs too taut---the separation between the bow stick and hair should be about the width of a pencil.
  2. Whenever you handle your violin bow, try not to touch the bow hairs with your fingers or hand. The natural oils on your skin will impact the ability of the bow to grip the string.
  3. Put a small amount of rosin on your bow before playing. Hold the rosin in your left hand, place the bow hairs flat on the rosin and slowly move the bow back and forth on the rosin. Rosin provides the bow hair with friction in order to produce a sound when the bow is pulled across the violin strings.
  4. If you do not have enough rosin on your bow, your bow will slide across the strings and produce very little or no sound. Too much rosin can produce a raspy, scratching sound, and can result in rosin caking the strings. Visit our rosin & sound page for directions on how to apply rosin
  5. After playing the violin, gently clean it with a soft, clean, lint-free cloth to remove rosin build-up on the strings and any dust, oil or sweat on your instrument, including the chinrest.
  6. Loosen the hair on your bow before putting it back in the case.
  7. If you use a shoulder rest or shoulder pad, always remove it from your violin before putting your violin back in its case.
  8. When you are not using your violin and bow, always place them in your case. They can easily fall and become damaged if you leave them on a chair or another surface, even temporarily.
  9. Make sure you have securely closed your instrument case with any zippers and latches before picking up your instrument case.
  10. Polish is rarely needed, and when necessary, only a commercial violin polish should be used. Cleaning the violin with furniture polish or water could damage the varnish and acoustics of the violin (water could also cause the violin seams to open).
  11. Do not store your violin in extreme hot or cold locations, and never leave your instrument in direct sunlight or in the trunk of your car on a warm day (the heat could melt the varnish).
  12. If you live in a dry climate, you may want to consider using a humidifier made for violins (excessive dryness can cause cracking or the seams of your violin to open).
  13. If your violin ever has cracks or the seams begin to open, take it to a music store, violin maker or luthier to be professionally repaired. Never use commercial glue to repair cracks on your violin. Instrument makers use a special glue for violin seams and repairs.
  14. If your violin bridge ever needs to be adjusted, it is important to note that the violin bridge is held in place by pressure and proper placement, not glue (tension from the violin strings holds it in place). Visit our violin bridge adjustment section for more information.
  15. If your violin pegs are stuck or too loose, visit our Stuck or Loose Pegs section for more information, and if you open your case and see that bow hairs are falling off, visit our Bow Bugs section.