Excel Music - Serving Tampa, New Tampa & Wesley Chapel

STRINGED INSTRUMENT CARE




Protecting Violin Strings from the Ever-Changing Weather


Instrument Storage: I always like to say, "treat your instrument like you would treat a baby." Always keep your instrument in its case when you are not using it and keep your case somewhere with good humidity and temperature, preferably the house. Even the slightest draft of air can send your instrument completely out of tune. Your teacher only gets to tune your violin, viola, or cello once a week so try to keep it as in-tune as possible.

Avoiding Cold Weather Effects: The biggest problem with cold weather is the lack of humidity. When it comes to wood instruments, whether it is stringed instruments, woodwinds, or

guitar, the humidity (or lack thereof) can be a real threat. Dry air during the cold months ensures that the wood of your instrument will be very dry and it will contract (get a little smaller). This means your instrument can go out of tune, or worse, the wood can crack, which leads to costly repairs. To avoid these problems, keep your instrument in a safe, warm place. Keeping the instrument in the house is fine. Do not however, leave it near doors or windows, or in closets. These are places where the air is colder than the rest of the house, and you want to avoid that cold air.

Maintain Proper Humidity: Some violin, viola, and cello hard cases come with a hydrometer built in. This tells you the level of moisture inside your case, and what level is

normal. These can also be purchased separately. They are mandatory if you use a case humidifier. Humidifiers distribute humidity evenly throughout the case to keep it at a safe level for the instrument. They are refillable with water. Humidifiers and hydrometers can be purchased at most music stores where string instruments are sold.

Avoiding Hot Weather Effects: Hot weather or hot environments cause the wood of your instrument to expand (get a little bigger). While humidity is abundant in most hot weather, the expansion of the wood can cause your instrument to go out of tune a lot. Again, the solution is to keep your instrument in a place with good temperature.

-Trevor Morris


Trevor Morris has been an instructor at Excel Music since 2009.

















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- Tune Yourself Up - by Robert Yaniz - New Tampa News, September 2006
- Excel Music Owners Share The Joy Of Music With New Tampa - by Melissa O'Brian - New Tampa Neighborhood News, May 2007
- Excel Music: The Art of Teaching Students One Note at a Time - by Alicia Pack - New Tampa & Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News, September/October 2011
- Tony Coleman, Drummer for Blues' Great BB King at Excel Music - by Sheri Thrasher - The Advisor, February 2012