Maintain Your Viola
To keep your viola in the best condition, please follow these suggestions:
- Do not try and tune the instrument yourself! It takes a while to learn to do this properly, and if you're not careful you may damage the instrument and/or break strings. Take your instrument to the teacher at your next class and have them tune it for you.
- Do not leave your instrument in your car! Intense heat or cold can cause an instrument to come apart or crack, and will definitely cause it to fall out of tune.
- Try to avoid exposing your instrument to sudden changes in humidity. When traveling with your instrument it is always better to keep it in the back seat of your car rather than the trunk.
- Keep your instrument clean. Keep a lint-free cloth inside your case and wipe off all the rosin dust and dirt from your instrument after each time you play.
- Pay particular attention to the fingerboard and the top of the instrument. Be careful not to knock the bridge out of place.
- NEVER USE FURNITURE POLISH OR ALCOHOL TO CLEAN YOUR INSTRUMENT.
- Always keep your instrument and bow in its case with the lid closed when not in use.
- Be sure that you securely lock the bow in place and remove the shoulder rest or pad before closing the case. Careless accidents could leave your instrument seriously damaged.
- Rosin the bow regularly. For students it is probably sufficient to rosin the bow once a week. Too much rosin will produce a harsh tone and cause an excessive build-up of white rosin powder on the instrument.
- Always loosen the hair on your bow after playing before you place it back in the case. Simply turn the screw until the bow hair is loose and the bow stick is no longer stressed. Be careful not to over-tighten the bow before use as this will warp the wood. The bow stick should still maintain a natural arch when tightened appropriately. (Remember: lefty = loosey, righty = tightie).
- Never touch the horsehair on your bow. The oils from your skin will damage the hair and take away its ability to grab the strings.