Orchestral Strings 


The Music & Families Repair Shop is here for all your instrument needs.  We recommend a yearly check-up for your instrument at our shop.  If your instrument becomes difficult to play, or the pegs are being difficult, there are buzzing noises, bring it in for inspection any time.  Instruments should be brought in to our shop for checking and maintenance at least yearly in order to keep them playing well for you.  You can do a lot to care for your instrument:

Before playing:

  • Tighten the bow to about a pencil width between the hair and the stick. Rosin the bow if necessary.

  • How much rosin is needed?  If there is a ‘cloud’ of rosin while playing, or if there is a lot of rosin on the violin and bow after you play, you are using too much rosin. Too much rosin can produce a raspy, scratching sound and can result in rosin caking on the strings.  Too little rosin and your bow will slide across the strings and produce little or no sound.

  • Tune the instrument as your teacher has shown you. It is best to tune every time before you play.

  • While tuning with the pegs, keep a small inward pressure on the peg toward the peg box, so they will stay tight.  Do not use a lot of pressure.


After playing:

  • Always loosen the hair on the bow.

  • Using a soft, dry cloth, clean the rosin off the bow stick, fingerboard, strings and instrument body. Rosin left on the body of the instrument will damage the finish, and left on the strings they will sound poorly.



  • Avoid touching the hair on the bow, so it will not become soiled and defective and not play.

  • When the hair on the bow is left tight, the bow is prone to warp and lose camber (the vertical curve of the stick). Regular playing could also affect the camber and shape of the stick.  If your bow shape looks wrong, bring it in to Music & Families to be corrected.



  • If the pegs slip, are too tight, or make it difficult to tune, there are ways to fix this. Bring your instrument into music and families and we will repair this problem.



  • Sometimes the bridge moves. If it is not in the correct place and position or is warped, it will affect the sound of the instrument. If it’s in the wrong position, it could warp, causing it eventually to break. Regularly inspect the position of the bridge and straighten it when necessary. If you are not comfortable with this, ask your teacher, or bring it to Music & Families to fix.



  • The feet of the bridge should lie on a line between the two inner nicks of the f hole.

  • Both the front and the back of the feet should be touching the instrument top. That is, the feet should be flat on the instrument top.



  • Keep the humidity where your violin is at about 30 to 40 percent. This is especially important in the winter during the heating season. The air in heated buildings is very dry.  Dryness could cause the pegs to slip, or if bad enough, cause the seams to separate or cause cracks in the body of the instrument.