How To Care For Your String Instrument

author: Unregistered date: 03/12/2007 category: gear maintenance

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How To Care For Your String Instrument

By following a basic program of care and light maintenance, you can expect to get many years ofuse from your stringed instrument. Here are some tips in caring for your instrument.
  • Storage: Always store and use the instrument at a comfortable room temperature. Never let the instru-ment get too hot or cold.
  • Rosin Dust: Use a soft cloth to gently remove all rosin dust from the instrument. If rosin is left on theinstrument, over time it will stick permanently to the varnish.
  • The Bow: Avoid handling the bow hair directly with your fingers. Natural oil from your handscan transfer to the hair and shorten its life.
  • Repairs: Always refer any repair needs (no matter how minor they may seem) to a qualified string instrument repair technician or luthier. Never attempt a home repair as it could cause even more damage.
  • Strings: Strings should be replaced regularly (at least twice per year) to assure the best toneand response. Do not wait until strings break to install new strings. Save your old set of strings to use in an emergency. Note: It is always a good idea to take your instrument to an experienced string repairtechnician or luthier at least once per year just to have it checked out and adjusted. You will get the most enjoyment (and best sound) out of your instrument if it is keptin top condition. If you have any questions or need more specific advice on care andmaintenance, ask your teacher or local instrument dealer.

    How To String A Guitar

  • Tuning Key - The Locking Hold The locking hold - The most secure method of wrapping around the tuning peg is to bring the extra string back around and under the string as it winds around the peg. This is especially critical on strings that have no windings (plain steel or classical nylon treble strings).
  • Steel String Acoustic Bridge On steel string acoustic guitars, make sure the ball end of the string is firmly seated under the bridge by pushing down on the bridge pin while pulling up on the string.
  • Classical / Nylon Bridge At the bridge, it is essential to create a locking loop to ensure against slippage. It is common to loop the plain nylon treble strings under two times and the wound strings at least once. This will ensure that as tension is applied to the string it securely locks in place.
  • Proper String Stretching Use thumb and forefingers to gently stretch each string across its entire length. Tune the string to pitch and repeat the stretching procedure two or three times on each string. This will help stabilize your nylon strings more quickly. Care must be taken not to stretch the strings too aggressively. In general nylon strings need more stretching time before they "settle-in." Note: It is common for classical plain nylon treble strings (1st, 2nd, & 3rd) to last longer than the wound bass strings (4th, 5th & 6th). Most professional classical guitarists will go through two to three sets of wound bass strings for every set of plain nylon treble strings. Tips and articles courtesy of D'Addario and Planet Waves.
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