Perhaps author, musician, and artist Ross Caligiuri said it best: “As with dreams, the vibration of strings walks us towards places we’ve never seen.” The sounds of a string instrument are quite beautiful and unforgettable. Some of the favorite strings include the violin, viola, cello, double bass, guitar, electric bass, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, and harp.
Proper Maintenance Is Essential
It doesn’t matter what kind of string instrument you enjoy playing because they all have unique and exquisite features, but each of them requires proper care to keep them turning out such fabulous music with their vibrating strings.
As any seasoned musician would tell you, string instruments must be tuned perfectly by tightening or loosening their strings.
On that note, so to speak, these amazing musical instruments aren’t just played and then, casually put aside. There is a method for maintaining a string instrument the right way.
Classic Violin Care Matters
Let us take a further look at one of the most beloved string instruments, the violin. This special instrument first appeared in Italy in the 16th century, and Stradivari became one of the world’s most famous violin makers, and about 650 of these violins are still around today.
One of the most popular questions asked is this one: What are modern violin strings made of?
No, the strings are not made from cat guts as many have been led to believe.
Many centuries ago, however, animal intestines were used in the making of violin strings, but no cats were ever used for this purpose.
Most violin strings these days are made from nylon or steel. You can keep them clean from build-up by daily wiping the strings down with a microfiber cloth after playing.
Rosin dust is one of the worst types of grime that can ruin your string instrument.
By the way, be very careful if you’re intent on polishing your string instrument. Products that contain alcohol are a no-go as this ingredient will destroy the finish and dry out the wood.
Even Temperature Can Ruin The Instrument
The environment can also play a number on your favorite string instrument. Always take the instrument inside with you, and do not leave it in the car, for example.
String instruments can warp, crack and also lose tonal quality due to very hot humid weather or very cold temperatures.
Remember that wood expands in the heat and contracts in the cold.
Laying Down The Instrument The Right Way
A string instrument shouldn’t be tossed aside or laid down, face down on its bridge.
Always place your instrument such as a viola or violin on its back, for example.
If you play the cello, lay the instrument on its side.
Also, expert string musicians recommend being gentle with the pegs, which adjusts the tension of the strings. You can sparingly add a bit of peg paste to turn smoothly and retain their grip.
There’s A Reason You Carry A Case
When you adore playing and keeping any musical instrument, protecting it is your number one mission. When you aren’t playing your guitar or viola or ukulele, for instance, keep it in its case.
Did you know that even the sun’s rays shining through your window can negatively affect the quality of your instrument?
It’s true. A case that is well made will protect the delicate wood of these instruments and also serve to shelter the precious strings.
Keeping Extra Strings On Hand…Just In Case
Snapped strings can occur, especially in the colder months of winter, and when that happens, well, your favorite violin, for example, is rendered useless.
Advice from the pros is simple. Have an extra set on hand, and learn how to string your instrument.
A Humidifier Isn’t A Bad Idea
If you want to maintain the ideal indoor atmosphere for both you and your string instrument, consider purchasing a humidifier. Keep the gadget at the desired comfort level for string instruments and people, which is between 40 and 60 percent.
Let’s be honest; a string instrument makes some of the loveliest sounds in the universe. Take proper care of your instrument because it could last you a lifetime of musical enjoyment.
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