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Tips For Annual Violin Maintenance

Maintaining your violin is crucial to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. Kennedy Violins, renowned for their expertise in violin care, shares valuable insights on how to perform annual maintenance on your violin. This guide will walk you through the key aspects of this important ritual.

Understanding the Importance of Annual Violin Maintenance

Like any valuable instrument, your violin requires regular care and attention. Annual maintenance is not just about keeping your instrument looking good; it's about preserving its sound quality and playability. Kennedy Violins emphasizes the importance of this annual ritual, likening it to the maintenance needed for cars or other complex instruments.

The Three Key Areas of Focus

  1. Changing Strings: Over time, strings lose their vibrancy and elasticity. Replacing them annually ensures that your violin produces the best sound possible.
  2. Bow Hair Rehairing: The bow hair gets discolored and worn out, affecting its ability to retain rosin and produce a clear sound.
  3. General Cleaning and Inspection: This involves not only cleaning the violin but also having a master luthier inspect it for any potential issues.

Step-by-Step Guide to Yearly Violin Maintenance

Kennedy Violins provides a comprehensive walkthrough of each step involved in annual violin maintenance.

Bow Maintenance

  • Bow Rehairing: A bow in dire need of rehairing, indicated by discolored and yellow hair, should be addressed immediately. If the bow can't retain rosin, it's time for a rehair or replacement. Kennedy Violins offers both local and mail-in rehair services.

Cleaning Your Violin

  • Regular Cleaning: Wiping down your violin and bow after each use is essential to prevent rosin buildup.
  • Annual Deep Cleaning: Using specialized cleaning products, such as the Colin cleaning kit, helps remove accumulated dirt and sweat. The kit includes a cleaner, polish, and a microfiber cloth.
  • Polishing: Kennedy Violins recommends the Hill cleaner and polish for its all-in-one convenience. A small amount goes a long way in removing rosin buildup and maintaining the varnish.

Additional Maintenance Tips

  • Cleaning the Fingerboard: Use a little alcohol carefully to remove rosin and dirt build-up from the fingerboard. Remember to avoid contact with the violin's finish.
  • Mineral Oil Application: Applying mineral oil can help protect the fingerboard, especially after cleaning.
  • String Replacement: Annually replacing strings is crucial. Ensure the fine tuners are backed out for full adjustability.

Checking Overall Health of Your Violin

Apart from cleaning and string/bow maintenance, it's important to check the overall health of your violin.

Inspecting for Damage

  • Seam Checks: Examine the seams where the top joins the back and sides of the violin for any open seams. Tapping the instrument can help identify any issues.
  • Professional Inspection: Kennedy Violins recommends having a professional luthier inspect your violin at least once a year. This helps identify any hidden issues that might affect the instrument's sound and integrity.

Conclusion: The Value of Professional Advice

Kennedy Violins highlights the importance of professional advice in maintaining your violin. As musicians and experts in violin care, they encourage reaching out for guidance and support in performing annual maintenance. Remember, regular care not only preserves your violin's beauty but also enhances your musical experience.

For any questions or assistance with your violin maintenance, Kennedy Violins is always ready to help. Their expertise ensures that your instrument remains in top condition, year after year.