20 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR VIOLIN (DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST!)
As an entertainment insurance brokerage with a specialty in creating custom insurance packages for musicians, we have seen enough music gear-related insurance claims to be able to speak with some authority on what musicians can do to protect their gear. As it’s one of the most popular instruments, let’s focus on the violin in this article:
Protecting your Violin | Violin Maintenance
- Where to keep your violin? Never store the violin in a very hot or very cold area. Avoid fireplaces, for example. The violin’s organic materials can be affected by its environment, so keep the atmosphere where it's stored stable. The violin should be stored face-up, or on-side, in a case. Never have your violin resting on its bridge, even in a case.
- Consider getting a room humidifier or an in-case moisture regulator [Affiliate Link] for your violin.
- Slacken the bow before storing it. Leaving unnecessary tension on the violin bow can destroy its delicate camber.
- Do not allow pets to get near your violin. Dogs, in particular, may be tempted to chew on the violin, which of course should be prevented.
- Occasionally check and adjust the violin bridge’s alignment. The bridge will lean forward if the strings are too tight. Carefully adjust the bridge, making sure the feet are flat against the surface of the violin.
- Be careful about the amount of rosin you apply – it needs to be adequate to provide friction, but too much will produce a “cloud” that can build up on the surface over time.
- Check the violin’s instruction manual/manufacturer’s notes for specific and acceptable cleaning methods.
- Always lean toward using a special violin solution [Affiliate Link] for cleaning, rather than some generic furniture polish or other cleaner that may damage your violin’s finish.
- Always wipe off the body and strings with a dry cloth to remove any rosin that was on the finish while you were playing.
- Try the “rice technique” for removing dust from inside the violin: place dry rice inside the sound holes of the violin, then gently shake the violin upside-down and let the rice fall out. Dust should come out with the rice.
- If you’re touring, always use a high-quality carrying case [Affiliate Link] such as a hard-bodied, foam-lined, locking Pelican case that protects against impact & moisture.
- Get a violin case cover, ideally waterproof, to put over your violin when not in use to protect it from dust and water.
- Always remove the shoulder rest or pad before storing your violin in its case.
- Get an appropriately sized violin chinrest [Affiliate Link]. If the chinrest is too large, for example, it might scratch the violin.
- Consider replacing your violin’s strings on occasion to ensure the instrument plays and sounds to its full potential. Active violinists change their strings as often as every six months for optimal sound.
- Consider replacing your violin bow hair on occasion. Bow hair stretches with use, becoming brittle with age. Active violinists require fairly frequent bow rehairing, typically every three to six months.
- Consider replacing your violin’s pegs on occasion. All pegs will eventually need to be replaced after regular “wear and tear”, but especially when extreme changes in temperature or humidity affect the way they fit.
- Hiding a Tile [Affiliate Link] or similar tracker in your cases results in a good recovery rate for stolen violins and other music gear.
- At least once a year, take your violin to your local luthier for a once-over. This annual investment in expert service will no doubt pay for itself over the long run by keeping your violin in good shape.
- Try to get into the habit of washing your hands before picking up and using your violin bow. You may not realize it, but your fingers and palms contain moisture and oils that can damage your violin bow.
Downloadable Checklist – Effective Ways to Protect Your Violin
Take the tips in this article with you by filling out this form. We’ll email you a PDF copy of Effective Ways to Protect Your Violin. Or complete the form below: