Buying a viola can mean an instrument to enjoy for a lifetime! Here are some simple tips to ensure you’re showing your viola love and care throughout its lifetime with you.
Following these tips will ensure you and your viola enjoy a long life together, whether you intend on playing this instrument forever, or passing it onto the next child in your family to enjoy.
In order to maintain your viola, there are a few quick steps you can follow after every practice session.
- Wipe down the body and strings of your viola
Before you play, be sure to wash your hands. Use a soft microfibre cloth to wipe down the body and strings after every time you play. This will ensure there is no sweat or rosin buildup on any part of your instrument. Be sure to gently wipe down the front, back and sides, fingerboard and chinrest.
- Loosen off your bow
After every practice session or performance, be sure to loosen off your bow. Your bow hair will stretch over time and will need replacing, but you can help the hair last a little longer by loosening it off. This will remove the tension off the hair and ensure a long life for the stick too.
- Check the bridge for signs of warping
The bridge and soundpost are important components for the production of sound. The soundpost is harder to keep an eye on, but be sure to keep checking the bridge for signs of warping. If the bridge is not standing completely straight anymore, and warping towards the tailpiece or fingerboard, it most likely will need to be replaced. Keep an eye on the strings of your viola too - if they are old or rusting, be sure to replace them. When you are replacing the strings on your viola, make sure your bridge remains straight.
Learn more about how violas are made here.
There are a few storage considerations to keep in mind.
- Don’t leave your viola in the car and avoid extremes in temperature.
We know it will only take a few minutes to run into the shops and grab milk and bread. But if you leave your viola in the boot of your car, you could be potentially exposing your viola to stress and damage. Violas are constructed using speciality glues, which will negatively react to hot temperatures. Don’t risk it - never leave your viola in a car.
Try to avoid variations in heat and cool. Avoid placing your viola case against a wall which is west-facing and exposed as these walls get hot in summer and can cause variation in temperature. Keep your viola away from air conditioners, heaters or open fireplaces.
- Keep humidity levels as stable as possible.
Violas are crafted using timber, which means your instrument is susceptible to humidity changes. We recommend regular usage of a humidifier to ensure your viola stays safe and sound in its case.
- Take the shoulder rest off after playing
It might sound obvious, but be sure to take the shoulder rest off after playing. If the instrument fits inside the case with the shoulder rest remaining on, just double check the feet of the shoulder rest are not damaging any part of the viola. If in doubt, just take it off before you pack up.
We hope you've found this simple love and care guide helpful! Read our Ultimate Care and Maintenance Guide here, or visit our store in Red Hill to chat to our friendly team of musicians.