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Bowed String Instrument Care and Maintenance

Adam’s Music rents bowed string instruments for musicians from beginners to professionals. We have a wide range of rental instruments suitable for players at any level, and for all budgets. No matter how much your rental instrument costs, Adam’s Music ensures it’s in good working order before you take it home. Use these handy care and maintenance tips to keep your instrument looking and sounding great.

Before Playing

violin bow

Tighten the bow hair

Tighten the bow hair until the space between the bow hair and the stick is about the width of a pencil.

Bowed String Instrument Care - violin and bow

Rosin your bow

Hold the rosin in one hand and the bow in another. Gently draw the bow across the rosin cake four or five times. Don't touch the bow hairs with your fingers. The oil on your skin may stick to the bow hair and keep the rosin from sticking to the hairs.

violin tuning pegs attached to a violin

Tune your instrument

Tune your instrument, but be careful with the fine tuning pegs near the bridge of the instrument. If the fine tuning peg is completely lowered it may screw into the body of your instrument.

After Playing

violin bow

Loosen the bow strings

Before you store your bow, loosen the bow strings. If the bow is left tensioned during storage it can damage the bow.


Wipe your instrument

Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down your instrument. Rosin dust will become more difficult to remove over time, so clean the body and strings after every playing session.

Adam's Music - Bowed String Instrument Care in Case

Store your instrument

Always keep your instrument and bow in its case or bag when it’s not in use. Make sure the bow hair has been loosened before putting the bow in the proper protective compartment. Keep polish and fingers away from the bow hair.

Cleaning and Maintenance


Clean the strings and body

Rosin dust should be removed immediately after playing. Use a microfiber cleaning cloth to wipe down the strings and the body of your instrument after every playing session. You may use a polish specially formulated for bowed string instruments. Never use alcohol to clean the instrument. Alcohol can damage the varnish.

violin bow

Replace the bow hair regularly

Your bow hair will wear out after regular use. To preserve the timbre of your instrument, it's recommended that you replace the bow hair every six months to a year.

violin strings attached at the bridge of a violin

Replace the strings regularly

The strings will wear out over time and lose their musicality. It's recommended that your replace the strings before they break to prevent damage to the instrument if they snap. Ask your teacher or instrument specialist for help if you're not sure when to change strings or need help changing them.

Be Careful !

Bowed string instruments are delicate and can be damaged by moderate temperature changes and improper maintenance. It’s not designed to function properly if neglected or mistreated. Here are some dos and don’ts of proper bowed string instrument care:

If There's a Problem

Adam’s Music wants you to enjoy your bowed string instrument. These maintenance and care tips will help keep your instrument in top playing shape. If you have a problem with your bowed string instrument, don’t try to fix it yourself. Contact Adam’s Music for instructions. We’re your friendly neighborhood music store in West Los Angeles.

Click here for a printable PDF version of the Adam’s Music Bowed String Instrument Care and Maintenance Page

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