When you encounter a problem with your violin, it can be truly frustrating, especially if you’re a professional violinist and your instrument is your livelihood. Some violin issues can be fixed easily on your own, while others require an experienced luthier’s touch. In this blog, we’ll discuss how to fix a few problems on your own and when to take your instrument to be repaired by a professional. If you’re dedicated to your violin craft, you surely know and admire Máiréad Nesbitt. Touring for years with the musical and vocal sensation Celtic Woman, Máiréad has a talent for combining Celtic and Classical music that is other-worldly and absolutely stunning. Don’t forget to check out Máiréad’s newest solo album release, HIBERNIA, now available on iTunes and Amazon Music!
Issues You Can Fix on Your Own
Strings: Worn-out strings will affect your sound quality and practice efficiency. It’s best to change your strings at least every six months. With a little bit of practice, you can learn to change your violin strings on your own. Take some time to work with a luthier or trusted repairman to learn how to properly place and wind your strings. If your instrument is especially old or delicate, you might want to trust a professional to complete this task for you, but this task can be completed on your own.
Loose or Tight Pegs: Depending on the issue, you can easily remedy peg problems on your own. If the peg is too tight, it probably only needs a little bit of lubrication to fix the problem. Don’t force the peg to turn if you feel like it could harm the violin. If you find the peg is too narrow and is constantly slipping, it could be because the strings are improperly wound. When you change your strings, make sure you’re winding the string correctly and without too much force.
Problems that Require a Professional
If you experience any of these issues, take your instrument to be repaired as quickly as you can.
Cracks or Seam Separations: If you discover your instrument is cracked or pulling apart at the seams, there is a serious issue with the violin. It can be caused by a quick and drastic change in weather and needs to be fixed quickly so as to not compromise the instrument’s integrity. Tiny cracks can become larger quickly, so if you notice a problem, take the violin to a luthier as soon as possible.
Collapsed Bridge: This can be caused by a myriad of issues but definitely needs to attended to by a professional. Don’t try to fix this yourself as you can easily crack the bridge or the instrument. Prepare to have the instrument at the repair shop for a while, as sometimes the entire bridge must be replaced and either has to be custom made or ordered from a craftsman.
Soundpost Issues: Without the soundpost, your violin will no longer be able to make music. If it’s cut too long, then the soundpost can actually separate the instrument pieces. Cut too short, and it could detach from the interior and roll around or cause the instrument to implode. If you hear a rattling or vibrating sound and notice your soundpost seems unstable, head to your luthier’s shop immediately.
Gouge, Scratch, or Chip: This may purely seem cosmetic, but a gouge, scratch, or chip can weaken the instrument’s integrity and cause serious problems for you down the road. While this is not as serious as other violin issues, you do need to have the scratch fixed sooner or later. Don’t run the risk of your violin falling apart or having serious problems later on down the road.
When in Doubt, Call a Luthier
A violin is a delicate and involved instrument. If you’re unsure even the slightest bit, take your violin to an experienced and reputable luthier. A luthier understands the ins and outs of these beautiful instruments and has the expertise to fix them. Don’t run the risk of harming your violin; take it to a trusted luthier.
Maintaining your violin is vital to your success and growth as a violinist, whether it’s your profession or a favorite pastime. Take great care of your instrument and it will never fail you. If you’re searching for a beautiful Classical and Celtic music album, download Máiréad Nesbitt’s newest album, HIBERNIA, today!