How to take care of your new violin and bow

You just bought your first violin. Now what? How do you take care of your violin and bow the correct way, to make them last forever? Fiddlerman gives you his best advice.

How to tune your violin

Fiddlerman has a tuner online, that is easy to use:

When you first learn to play, you often struggle with tuning the instrument. Don't be afraid to experiment. You can practice achieving the correct tension by tuning down and up below the pitch until you feel confident that the peg will not slip and not be too difficult to turn. The conical pegs need to be pushed in like a cork in a bottle while turning. Push harder to stick, allow them to come out to loosen their tension. Most often we don’t push in hard enough. Just remember to not over tighten the strings, because there is a risk of breaking them.

Cleaning the violin

Wipe the rosin residue of the violin with a soft cloth after each use. Violin polish can also be used, but is usually not necessary unless you neglect to wipe of your violin after each time you play. Avoid touching the violin with oily or sweaty hands.

How to rosin the bow

Usually a new or a rehaired bow has no rosin on it. If you buy an outfit from Fiddlershop, you always receive a rosin. This is how you rosin your bow:

Cleaning the bow

First of all, never touch the hair. After you are done playing, loosen the hair. The hair shouldn’t be too tight when you aren’t using the bow. Otherwise the stick might warp or the hair might stretch. Wipe off the stick with a soft cloth to remove rosin dust and to slightly polish it, after playing.

Rehairing the bow

How often should you rehair your bow? Well, this depends on how much you play and how much hair you have lost. A soloist might do it as often as every month. Others might rehair their bow once a year. Let’s put it this way: If the bow sounds good, the hair is in good shape and it’s full, there is no need for rehairing.

In extreme cases, you might have to rehair your bow after every performance lol:

String maintenance

Wipe excess rosin off your strings when putting the instrument to rest. A little rosin buildup won't do much to affect the sound but will become difficult to remove if left unattended for a lengthier period of time.

How often should you change the strings? Many experts say that you should change your violin or viola strings every 6 months, if you use them frequently. One should not wait more than a year, that’s maximum. But as a beginner you can sometimes use them longer. When the strings look frayed or when they loose their quality of sound and/or power, it is time. Change the strings one at a time.

Alignment of the bridge

Make sure to always check the bridge so the feet are flat against the top of the violin, and aligned with the notches of the f-hole. Over time, the top of the bridge frequently gets pulled forward. This could make the bridge warp and even fall down. You can carefully adjust the bridge yourself so it stands straight, but loosen the strings a bit beforehand. Here is a video to help you out:

Storing the violin

Many experts advise against leaving the violin out in plain sight, when not being used. Fiddlerman somewhat disagrees. If you leave your instrument out, now and then, you get reminded to practice. Just keep it in a safe place, like on top of a piano or in a bookcase.

Most musicians keep their instrument in their case, when not being used. If you live in a dry climate, you might want to invest in a humidifier for your case. Otherwise the wood can become brittle and crack.

One final advice: Never leave your violin in a car. In the winter it gets too cold and in the summer the glue can melt.

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Asa Holstein - January 18, 2019

Hi Annette!
The Fiddlerman Master Violin is available in a 1/2 size and up:
The Fiddlerman Soloist Violin is not but we can custom order it, that should take about 4 months to make.
Thanks for asking!

Annette - January 18, 2019

Do you carry the Fiddlerman Soloist in a 1/2 size? I noticed the Holstein’s are not offered in a 1/2 size either. I am 69 yrs old and have very short arms 20" from neck to mid palm, but want to purchase a professional grade violin.

Fiddlerman - January 14, 2019

Hey John,
Thanks so much for your post. We ran out of hats but I’ll contact you one when we get some new ones in. We need to order them first. Send me a PM from my forum, so that I can keep track of you for the hat. :)

John Finney - January 14, 2019

I am 75 years old. I have been playing the guitar since I was about 14 yrs old. Self taught. Learned the French harp few yrs later. If you don’t know what that is, you are no bluegrass man! In august of 2018 I decided to learn the fiddle. At first I thought “I am 75.” Then I thought " And how old will I be if I don’t learn the fiddle?" I bought a very cheap one until I was certain I was going to stick with it, about 2 weeks ago I decided to get me a nice one. I came upon the Fiddlerman’s web site and was really impressed by it. But I was reluctant to order something so expensive on line. Watched all the videos, read all the reviews and decided to go for it. I received my Fiddlerman Master fiddle yesterday. I am absolutely thrilled with it. Looks and sounds fantastic. These guys are all they claim to be! Right now I am screeching thru The Kentucky Waltz, So lonesome I could cry, Cannonball Express, Cottoneyed Joe, Old joe Clark, and I’ll Fly Away. Thanks Fiddlerman! Also, Where can I get one of those Fiddlerman hats?

Michael - December 10, 2018

Hey Anna!! Thanks so much for your kind words, it means the world to us :D It’s because of customers like you that we love what we do!

The Soloist violins are just absolutely incredible and really a steal at this price. They compare with violins that range much higher, and we’re absolutely stoked that you love yours!

We’ll always be here if you need anything at all.
Best Regards,

Anna Smit - December 10, 2018

I started violin lessons about a year ago at the age of 64 (!!) on a student violin that I bought. Playing the violin was a long time dream. I strongly believe that your are only too old to do/learn new things when you can’t or don’t want to put actions to your dreams anymore. I promised myself that, if I can see progress within a year, I would buy myself a decent violin of my choice as time is obviously not on my side. I want to enjoy the couple of years that I have left of learning and playing to the full. Searching the internet, I came across Fiddlerman playing various violins (and giving lessons) and immediately fell in love with the sound of the Fiddlerman Soloist violin whilst he was playing “You raise me up”. I started saving for this violin and on 29 November 2018 I ordered it from Fiddlershop to be sent to South Africa. The e-mail correspondence that I had with Michael was tops and all promises made to me were fulfilled. I received my violin only 8 days later on 7 December 2018 and was nothing else but highly satisfied! The violin itself is beautiful, the sound is exactly what I wanted and the bow that I received is as light as a feather. In playing this violin, I sound so much better than before!! Thank you Fiddlerman for encouraging people, thank you Michael for keeping promises and thank you Fiddlershop employees for sending my package, clearly packed with care, to reach me in such a short couple of days (also due to DHL Worldwide Express). An amazing Christmas present to myself!! God bless.

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