Caring for your violin in hot weather
Summer is here. How can we look after our violin when the temperature rises?
Henriette shares some useful tips about caring for your violin in hot weather.
A violin, or indeed any string instrument, has an amazing resilience in any weather, be it hot or cold. Most of the time, you will probably find that your instrument copes fine with warmer temperatures. Prevention is the best cure here: use common sense to avoid small issues becoming major repairs.
Whilst the instrument copes fine with the atmosphere gradually warming up, sudden changes in temperature or humidity may cause problems.
What can you do:
- Avoid direct sunlight on your violin. Behind glass and in the sun, temperatures can rise rapidly. Keep your instrument in its case or leave it somewhere out of the sun. When playing outdoors, find a shady spot.
- Don’t leave your instrument in a hot car. You don’t leave your dog in a hot car, so why would it be okay to leave your violin there?
- Keep your instrument in its case when moving from an airconditioned space to a warm area. The sudden change in temperature may affect the tuning or may cause the glue to become undone.
- When travelling from dryer to more humid climates, check the humidity with a hygrometer and use a humidifier or de-humidifier.
- In hot weather, avoid contact between the skin and the varnish of your instrument. Varnish does not agree with sweat.
How do I notice if there is a problem? Violin glue becomes softer when it gets warm. Generally, when a part of your violin becomes unglued, for instance the back or belly of the instrument and the ribs, you will notice a rattle of fuzzy sound. Take your instrument to a reputable repairer to have it checked out. You can check the glue yourself from time to time by looking at the four corners and by checking if the neck of the violin is still set in straight.