Hellmich Violins

Care is the be-all and end-all


Stradivari and Guarneri instruments prove that with good care violin, viola, cello and double bass can last several centuries. Find out here which factors play an important role and how you can help to keep your instrument in excellent condition:

1. temperature and humidity

My expert advice to ensure good sound quality in the long term is to always keep an eye on humidity and temperature. Especially if you travel a lot and your violin is exposed to strong climatic fluctuations, for example, a high-quality case is a prerequisite.

Excessive humidity affects not only the instrument, but also the bow and especially the bow hair. Due to the fact that the wood and hair absorb the moisture, the sound also suffers.

A hygrometer can help to realistically estimate the humidity and balance it if necessary. The optimal range for violin and bow (I will always use one of this group as a representative for all string instruments in the future) is between 50-60

Tip: What helps to balance the humidity, you can also learn in my YouTube video:

2. clean instrument properly

It is quite natural for the rosin applied to the bow to settle on the strings and varnish of the bow and instrument. This is not “ordinary dust”, but a sticky material derived from tree resin, some of which may also be contained in the paint. As a result, unless the rosin is removed after each playing session, it will eventually become almost impossible to remove it without also attacking the varnish.

In this case, only professional cleaning by a luthier will help. To make sure that the rosin does not damage the varnish, I advise you to keep a soft cloth (ideal cotton or eyeglass cleaning cloth) in your case and clean your instrument with it regularly.

Please never use chemicals for this purpose, because varnishes can be oil, alcohol or water-based and can come off with one of these substances.

The situation is similar with hand perspiration. If you perspire heavily, also wipe the bow as well as affected areas dry with a cloth, after each play.

EXTRA: Did you know that rosin loses its stickiness after about 3-4 years and harms your bow hair rather than making it easier to play? Likewise, there are different colonies (for allergy sufferers and those that produce less dust). It is also better to be sparing when applying it, because too much rosin makes the sound scratchy and promotes the formation of dust.

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