Frequently asked questions

What should I look for when purchasing a new instrument or bow?

After figuring out how much you want to spend, the most important qualities to look for are good tone and comfortable playability. Play a few different instruments back to back to discover their unique qualities. Then you’ll be better able to pick the instrument that works best for you and your playing style. Remember: you shouldn’t have to fight with your instrument to make it sound good!

Why does my instrument sound different from when I first bought it?

Much like our muscles need to adjust to regular exercise, instruments need to acclimate to regular playing. The more you exercise regularly and safely, the better and stronger you feel; the more often your instrument gets played, the better it will sound and the more responsive it will feel!

How can I keep my instrument safe/clean?

Consistent temperature and humidity are key. The more these factors change, the more the wood expands and contracts accordingly, increasing the risk of open seams or cracks! When not being played, the safest place for an instrument is in its case, even if only for a few minutes. When you are done playing for the day, be sure to loosen the bow hair and wipe any rosin or dust off of the instrument and stick of the bow with a clean soft cloth. Rosin dust is sticky and easily attracts dirt and oil. Never let your instrument rest string-side down! This puts unnecessary pressure on the bridge which can cause it to shift out of place, fall down, or even possibly put a whole in the front of the instrument!

How often should I change my strings/rehair my bow?

The exact answer is different for every player but if you notice your strings not sounding as bright as they did when they were new, or not keeping a stable pitch (going “false”), or your bow doesn’t grab the string as well as it used to no matter how much rosin you apply, its time to make a change!

Why/how does the weather affect my instrument?

String instruments are usually made from a combination of spruce, maple, and ebony, which all expand and contract at different rates depending on air temperature and humidity. If one piece changes faster than another, seams can open up between pieces, or cracks can appear from nowhere! While these problems aren’t the end of the world, they should be dealt with as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to the instrument.

What makes an instrument more or less expensive than others?

Instrument price is a combination of many factors including but not limited to: the quality of the materials used; the skill and reputation of the maker; and the instrument’s age. Keep in mind that price can still be very subjective. A more expensive instrument is not necessarily better than a cheaper one. The best way to judge if an instrument is right for you is to play it yourself!

How do I know when to upgrade to a better instrument?

The more you practice, the more control you have over your sound. The more control you have, the more variety of sounds you can make. When you find that you no longer get the variety from your instrument that you once had, it may be time for an upgrade. Come visit us so we can help you pick your next instrument!