Have a new viola that you want to keep in great playing condition for years?
Here are 5 things we suggest you do:
Rosin and Bow Care
Want to shop for rosin, shoulder rests, cleaning supplies and more? Find those here
Check out how each of these tips can help you maintain your viola below:
1. Regular Cleaning: Wiping down your viola with a lint free cloth each time you play to remove rosin dust and fingerprints is a good first step. Oiling your fingerboard if it's particularly dry, and polishing the body are a few ways you can enhance the appearance of your viola while extending its life. We recommend our Spiffy Kit complete with rosin, wood polish, chin rest, microfiber cloth, and a clip on tuner making cleaning and comfort easy.
2. Rosin and Bow Care: Be sure to apply rosin to your bow hair as needed to maintain a good grip on the strings while you play, but avoid over-rosining as this can result in the hairs feeling gummy, sounding scratchy, and excess rosin dust on your viola. Always loosen the tension of your bow before storing it in your viola case.
3. Humidity Control: Especially in a dry climate like Arizona it's important to maintain a stable level of humidity for your viola. Wood expands and contracts when the weather fluctuates (i.e. your wooden door sticking during monsoon season) which can result in cracking, loose sound posts, and more. Having a humidifier in your case can help make sure your instrument is always at the right level of humidity. Bonus points if your case has a built in hygrometer.
4. String Maintenance: It's a good practice to regularly check your viola strings for any sign of damage. Fraying, caked on rosin, and a noticeably duller sound may mean that it's time to change your strings. Be sure to change your strings one at a time, gradually, to maintain the tension on your bridge and on the soundpost inside.
5. Regular Checkups: Checkups are necessary to keep your viola playing just the way you like it. Your luthier (string repair technician) can help you with bridge adjustments, soundpost positioning, and other minor repairs as well as assess and address larger issues like cracks, slipping tuning pegs, and more. Schedule your checkup!
We hope your new viola brings you joy for years to come. Taking care of your instrument can be fun, fulfilling, and allow you to spend more time playing and less time in the repair shop.