Instrument Care | Utah Viola Teacher

Instrument Care | Utah Viola Teacher

 

 

Stringed instruments require special care in order to keep up the health of the instrument. Follow these important guidelines in order to keep your viola in excellent playing condition.

 

Store Your Instrument in Proper Conditions

Because violas are made from wood, they require proper temperature and humidity conditions in order to stay in the best shape possible. Wood can warp or crack if not stored properly. In general, your instrument should be stored at:

  • 60-80 degrees Farenheight
  • 40-60% humidity

Take care to not make the common mistake of leaving your violin in the car for an extended period of time. In the home, be sure to store your violin away from any HVAC vents and, ideally, away from any exterior walls.

 

Remove Excess Rosin

Rosin will naturally stick to the strings and fall around the bridge area. A moderate amount of build-up is fine, but the strings and instrument should be wiped periodically. Too much rosin on the strings can cause a harsh, sometimes squeaky tone. Use a soft, smooth cloth to remove the excess rosin every month or so.

 

Tune With Care

I teach my students how to tune their instruments fairly early on in the learning process, but tuning should not be attempted without some initial coaching. Use small, careful movements to turn the fine tuners or pegs. Too much force can cause the string to snap. I also highly recommend getting a tuner to avoid any unnecessary accidents. I love the tonal energy app and use it in my studio daily. My students love seeing the green smiley face when the string is perfectly in tune!

 

Loosen Your Bow Between Practice Sessions

One common mistake that beginner violists make is not loosening the bow hairs properly. The bow hair should be loosened when stored and tightened when in use. Just like the viola, the bow is also made of wood. If it experiences too much tension, the stick could snap. It’s important to let the wood “rest” between playing sessions in order to maintain the health of the bow.

 

Rosin Your Bow Frequently

Bow hairs need rosin in order to produce a beautiful tone on the viola. If there is not enough rosin, the tone will be weak. Depending on the quality of the rosin, I recommend applying rosin several times a week. Beginner rosin does not apply as generously and should be applied before every use. Intermediate to professional rosin may be applied every 5-10 practice sessions. This is the rosin that I personally use and recommend to my students. I apply this rosin about once a week.

 

Looking for more tips? You can read my tips for instrument shopping here!

 

Heather

 

I’d love to work with you! Please contact me for more information about music lessons!

 

 

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