Keeping my instrument Clean. What do I do?

Time and time again this question is asked of me.

My answer is always the same.

Let me look after the cleaning for you. By this I mean the inevitable hand perspiration and dirt that really can make an instrument look grubby.

Also, players sometimes don’t realise how much sweating, spitting, and snorting goes on when they are really going for it!!

Cello player splash! Clearly seen in the workshop window reflection. The front of this particular cello was covered.

But there are a few things you can be proactive about yourselves.

Its really simple, just follow the few tips below.

Rosin is responsible for a lot of potential damage to the front and ‘c’ bouts. Its where it rests after contact with the strings. So, remove the visible rosin that falls from the bow onto the front of your instrument after every session. A micro fibre cloth is best for this.

Don’t be tempted to use an old style fluffy yellow duster….keep these for polishing furniture. Just remember that each time you wipe the rosin away around the bridge area the cloth collects it. The cloth can become saturated and needs washing, shaking outside or throwing away.

Otherwise this excess can scratch the front of your instrument.

If rosin is left to build up on your instrument it will melt into the varnish and the varnish patina and beauty can be lost.

You can also wipe excess rosin from the strings too. I always say to avoid alcohol when cleaning the strings as drips onto the front can severely damage the varnish by melting/dissolving it. Use the micro cloth or a sheet of plain old kitchen roll.

When the bow and instrument are in their case excess rosin from the bow can disperse into the case. I would recommend taking everything out of the case once every 6 months and giving the case a really good hoover!

This not only removes the excess rosin but also keeps on top of bow mites, and may even prevent wood worm eggs from laying dormant.

Just make sure that your instrument and bow are safely out of the way when you get the hoover out. Never hoover the instrument or bow.

Checking in on rosin deposits is also good general practise. If rosin deposits are regular and very visible it’s definitely time for a rehair!

Chin Rest and Shoulder Rest Fitting

If you are struggling with your playing position for violin/viola just make an appointment and come along for a check-up. As the years go by our bodies change and discomfort when playing is not acceptable these days. With such a good range and combination of chin rests and shoulder rests available it’s possible to make the whole playing experience pleasurable!!

Just get in touch by email or mobile.

Royal Northern Sinfonia – Maltings Berwick upon Tweed

Really looking forward to the Royal Northern Sinfonia concert at the Maltings on Thursday 2nd November.

This is a great chance to hear them up close and personal in the intimate surroundings of The Maltings, Berwick.

The RNUS will be playing Leoš Janáček’s Mladi (Youth), a fabulous showcase for the superb wind players who also have a chance to shine in Bacewicz’s Quintet – a piece that encompasses both spiky, edgy melodies and velvety smooth textures in its brief duration.

The strings take over in the second half for the creative verve of Mendelssohn’s String Octet, a work of utter brilliance and understated emotional undercurrents, while the evening starts with the gentle melodies of pioneering composer Amy Beach.

Tickets still available. Check out the link. 

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