Store your fiddle securely in a good case, and keep it tuned.
Strings will loosen with time and their tension should be maintained. Even
your sound post might fall out of place if there is little tension on the
Protect your fiddle from temperature
extremes, direct sunlight and any knocks. Keep an eye out for any joint,
or surface cracks. Have a good luthier check any cracks as they can become
much worse, sometimes quickly.
Be sure to loosen the bow hair after use. Do not over tighten
it when playing. One good player has told me that he has enough tension
on the hair as long as the hair does not touch the stick when he plays.
Keep the humidity up and as constant
as possible. Not only is the sound of a dry fiddle less appealing, dryness
can cause several structural problems. See a reputable dealer, or instructor
about good ways to control humidity around your violin, especially in our
dry Canadian Winters.
Wipe your strings with a soft, clean cloth after use. The
oil from some players fingers can cause problems, and rosin can coat the
strings causing some interesting "tones". Rosin should also be wiped from
the body as it might damage some finishes.
Use good, proper strings. Be careful
of the tension they exert, especially if you have an old violin. Different
types and brands of strings may produce significant differences in the
basic sound you can produce.
Never use a furniture polish on your violin. If you are concerned
about its finish, see an experienced dealer, or instructor about proper
You can always get better sound from
your violin with practice, but having a professional adjust your sound
post and bridge might also improve the sound of your fiddle. If you hear
any strange new buzzes from your instrument, be sure to have it checked
Finally, your violin will probably outlast you. Take good
care of it for its next player. Start an owner's log which can be passed
along with the violin. Jot down its purchase date, any repairs and note
interesting experiences it was part of. I wish the old instruments I now
play had more history with them. I am sure it was fascinating.