• Tighten your bow before playing by gently turning the tension screw. Avoid making the bow hairs too taut---the separation between the bow stick and hair should be about the width of a pencil.
• Put a small amount of rosin on your bow before playing. Hold the rosin in your left hand, place the bow hairs flat on the rosin and slowly move the bow back and forth on the rosin.• After playing the violin, gently clean it with a soft cloth to remove rosin build-up on the strings.
• Polish is rarely needed, and when necessary, only a commercial violin polish should be used. Cleaning the violin with furniture polish and/or water could damage the varnish and acoustics of the violin (water could also cause the violin seams to open).
• Loosen the hair on your bow beforeputting it back in the case.
• Do not store your violin in extreme hot or cold locations.
• If you live in a dry climate, you may want to consider using a humidifier made for violins (excessive dryness can cause cracking or the seams of your violin to open).
• The four strings on the violin are tuned in perfect fifths.
• An "A" tuning fork, digital tuner, pitch pipe or apiano may be used to assist with tuning.
• The violin is tuned to the following pitches: G - D - A - E.
• Fine tuners or pegs may be used to tune the violin. If the string sounds lower than the correct pitch, gently turn the fine tuner or peg to the right until it reaches the correct pitch. If the string sounds higher than the correct pitch, gently turn the peg or tuner to the left.
• Manybeginning violinists find it helpful to use a digital tuner to tune their violin, and some models detect and display when the note being tuned matches the desired pitch.
Rosin & Sound
• New violin bows often do not produce any sound because they need rosin.
• Rosin is extremely important because it provides the bow hair with friction in order to produce a sound when the bowis pulled across the violin strings.
• Without rosin, the bow will slide across the violin strings and produce a faint whispery sound (or no sound at all).
• Rosin comes in hard, round or oblong "cakes" of resin.
• Before applying rosin, tighten the bow hairs by gently turning the tension screw (avoid over tightening).
• Place the bow hairs flat on the rosin at the"frog" of the bow (near the bottom where the tension screw is), and gently rub the bow hairs up and down a few times (as if scrubbing a small spot on the floor).
• Then, draw the bow hairs straight across the rosin until the tip of the bow is reached. Repeat the same gentle scrubbing motion at the tip of the bow, and pull the flat bow hairs back to the frog again.
• Repeat this process across thefull length of the bow several times.
• After each playing session, use a soft, dry cloth to remove rosin dust from the strings and body of the instrument.
• There aren't specific requirements for how often or how long to rosin a bow, but there is a simple test to determine if the bow has enough rosin: using the back of your thumbnail, pull it sideways across the hair of the bow(under the bow hair, near the frog).
• If a small puff of rosin can be seen, the bow has enough rosin. Never use your fingers to test if the bow has enough rosin or the natural oil from your fingers will get on the hair of the bow and cause the bow to slide even more.
• Too much rosin can produce a raspy, scratching sound, and can result in rosin caking the strings.
• Key elements in producing a good, solid tone on the violin are:
Sufficient pressure while drawing the bow across the string.
Proper placement of the bow in relation to the bridge.
Speed of the bow.
• A violin teacher is the best person to help violinists know how to produce a good sound when beginning the violin.
Changing Strings Tips: