After you play your guitar, be sure to wipe the strings with a soft, clean cloth. Every time you play you leave behind oil and dirt on the strings. If not cleaned, oxidation begins and it kills your tone. It can also lead to strings breaking more easily.
Lastly, you should change your strings about once a month. If you play on a highly regular basis, you may need to change them more often. Even if you leave your guitar alone for a month, you should change the strings as the metal oxidizes on its own.
While each woodwind instrument requires different assembly and maintenance there is some general tips that you should follow if you play any woodwind.
- Do not drink soft drinks or chew gum before playing.
- Clean moisture with an absorbent swab before placing it in its case.
- Store the reed in a separate holder than the mouthpiece.
- Clean the mouthpiece in warm and soapy water after removing the ligature and reed.
If you are mindful of caring for your instrument, you’ll be in good shape.
For the best output of your brass instrument, pay attention to these recommendations:
- Warm up a brass instrument before playing. You can do this simply by blowing air through it. This will make your pitch better.
- If you notice any solder joints are broken, take it to a repair technician as soon as you can.
- Do not leave your brass instrument in the trunk or a hot car. Extremely hot temperatures can cause damage.
Remember to flush out your brass instrument once a month in the bathtub.
Cleaning the Violin is essential to keeping it sounding amazing.
Regularly wipe excess rosin dust away from the body and strings of your instrument with a dry cloth. Rosin build-up can mar some varnishes and can make strings sound poor. If a bow is over-rosined, a grainy sound will result and rosin dust will be visible. It is not necessary to rosin your bow every time you play. For more extensive cleaning on the body of your instrument, use a mild violin polish.
It is very important to always loosen the hair on your bow after each and every use. Otherwise, a bow left at tension over time is prone to warp and lose camber (the vertical curve of the stick). Regular use from playing may also affect the shape and playability of a stick.
Bows require regular re-hairing with good quality, unbleached horse hair. Hair stretches and wears with use, becoming brittle with age. Active string players require frequent bow re-hairing, typically every three to six months, to maintain the best quality of sound and responsiveness. Student bows may be re-haired less frequently, depending on usage. Bring your bow to a qualified bow specialist for re-hair.
If the hair stretches a lot, the screw may eventually cease to tighten. If you encounter serious resistance when tightening the bow, do not force the screw any further. Continuing to tighten the screw could crack the stick. Lastly, avoid touching the hair so it does not become soiled and ineffective.
Inside the frog of your bow is a small metal part called the eyelet. The bow screw travels through the eyelet which has the dual function of partnering with the screw to tighten the bow and securing the frog firmly to the stick. Over time the threads on the eyelet may become worn. If your screw will not tighten, the eyelet may need replacement.
The most fragile part of a bow is the tip. The ivory, silver or high-grade plastic tip face that lines the head is not merely ornamental but serves to protect the tip during normal use and during the process of re-hair. If the ivory tip face ever develops tiny cracks, it should be replaced by a qualified bow maker or restorer.
If you have further questions regarding instrument maintenance, be sure to contact us or talk to a qualified technician.