A few parts of your string instrument are not mentioned as frequently when it comes to instrument care, however, they are vital to your instrument’s health and playability.
First, the bridge. The bridge supports the strings on a stringed musical instrument and sends the vibrations of the strings to the sound post!
The sound post is a dowel inside the instrument that spans the space between the top and bottom of your instrument. It is held in place by friction.
The pegs tighten or loosen the strings when you are tuning the instrument so you can achieve the correct pitch while playing.
Each time you play, check the bridge! As the instrument is tuned, the strings tend to pull the top of the bridge towards the fingerboard. If the bridge tilts too much, it may fall over. This can break the bridge, or even crack the top of the instrument. It may also cause the sound post inside the instrument to fall.
In proper position, the bridge should be parallel with the bottom edge of the fingerboard and the feet of the bridge should rest on the top of the instrument uniformly.
If your bridge tilts for any reason, CALL DAY VIOLINS! We will make, or help you make, the proper adjustments to the bridge. Unless it is done correctly, attempts to fix this problem may break the bridge and result in a costly repair.
If something “rattles” inside your instrument—STOP! It is probable that the sound post has fallen and will need to be re-set. You cannot repair this yourself. Instead, call Day Violins to arrange for the necessary repairs.
Tuning your instrument is a skill that must be learned. If you have not been trained to tune your instrument you should have your teacher assist you until you understand the process. Improper tuning is the #1 cause of strings breaking!
While tuning your instrument, make sure the pegs turn freely with minimum pressure towards the peg box. Never force a peg into the peg box. If it slips or it is stuck, do not force it. Using force often results in a broken peg or damage to the peg box.
Dry conditions may cause the pegs to shrink and slip, and humid conditions may cause them to swell and stick. Also, over time, pegs may start to slip. If this happens they will need to be refitted in order for your instrument to be properly tuned. If you are having trouble keeping your instrument in tune, talk to your teacher or call Day Violins for assistance.