String Instrument & Bow Care

YOU are responsible for the proper care of your instrument, bow, and accessories.

String Instrument Care
  1. Treat your instrument with the utmost respect. Handle your instrument with care. Instruments should not be left outside or in the car.
  2. Wipe the excess rosin dust off of your instrument when you have finished playing. This will prevent rosin dust buildup which can damage the varnish on the instrument.
  3. Never leave your instrument unattended. Always pack up your instrument when you have finished playing it. If you have pets or younger family members around, be sure to keep your instrument in a safe place when you are not using it. Violins & Violas: make sure you close the latch and zip your case. Cellos & Basses: Put your endpin in and secure it before you pack up.
  4. Violins & Violas: remove the shoulder rest prior to putting the instrument in the case. 
  5. Cellos & Basses: store the instrument in its case and have the instrument rest on its side. The instrument should not be propped up against a wall or furniture, as the instrument is likely to fall and break.
  6. Always pick up/handle your instrument by the neck. Picking up/handling the instrument by any other part is likely to result in damage.
  7. Keep instruments away from extremely hot or extremely cold environments. If you are comfortable, your instrument is comfortable. Extreme temperature changes cause the wood to crack and/or warp; extreme heats melts the varnish.
  8. It is important not to use household cleaners or polish on your instrument. The only commercial cleaning product that is safe for use on your instrument is Simple Green.
  9. In the event of damage, please notify Ms. Lochbrunner. Honesty is the best policy. Please make sure neither you nor anyone else attempts any repairs.
  10. YOU are the only one who should play your instrument.

Bow Care

  1. Treat your bow with the utmost respect. Bows are not to be used as tools for anything other than playing beautiful music.
  2. The hair of the bow should never come in contact with your skin. Oil, dirt, and perspiration from your skin will transfer to the hair, making the hair, and therefore the bow, unusable.
  3. Always loosen the bow when you have finished playing. Bows that remain tightened will warp (bend) and become unusable.
  4. Rosin the bow about two to three times per week at home. It’s time to rosin when, as you are playing, you feel the hair is no longer gripping the string.
  5. Cellos and Basses: if you have a soft case, when unpacking, remove your bow from the case prior to removing the instrument from the case.

Cleaning & Disinfecting Instruments

Wash hands with soap and water
Prior to playing or handing the instrument and bow, wash hands with soap and water. (Hand sanitizer is not recommended; residual rubbing alcohol is not good for the varnish.)

Cleaning the instrument
Because the instrument is varnished wood, the only household cleaner that can be used is Simple Green. It is a degreaser, rather than a disinfectant.

Areas that can be disinfected on the instrument: 
Chinrest (violin and viola)

To disinfect the chinrest...
Wipe down the top and sides of the chinrest with your preferred disinfectant. Please be sure no disinfectant comes in contact with the wood of the instrument as that could strip the varnish. 

To disinfect the fingerboard...
Use a cleaning cloth that has been lightly spritzed with disinfectant (rather than a Chlorox wipe, as an example.) Slide the cloth underneath the strings. This is a delicate procedure for two reasons:
1. Avoid getting disinfectant on the neck or on the body of the instrument as that could strip the varnish; and,
2. Most fingerboards are ebony, but every so often, a fingerboard is painted black to look like ebony. If you notice what looks like black paint on the cleaning cloth, please cease cleaning the fingerboard with disinfectant and use Simple Green instead.

Area that can be disinfected on the bow:
Frog (all bows)

To disinfect the frog…
Use a cleaning cloth that has been lightly spritzed with disinfectant. Please be sure no disinfectant comes in contact with the horsehair.