It's that time of year again, the much anticipated summer holiday period! We hope that as well as spending some much needed time with family and friends that you are also able to spend some quality time playing your instrument.
As you might not have access to your teacher during the break, it can often be a daunting time for new players (and often their parents acting as primary instrument carers!) who will be looking after their instrument without guidance.
To help, we've put together our top instructional videos that we hope will help you avoid common problems and keep you playing without interruption these holidays.
Keep reading to learn how to tune your instrument from home, look after your bow, pack away your cello, and more.
How to tune your instrument from home:
One of the most common topics that we receive questions about at Bows for Strings, particularly for newer players, is tuning. Specifically, how to tune your instrument safely and what to do when an instrument has gone so far out of tune that a string has come completely free of the peg (which is common when an instrument hasn't been played in a while).
In the video above Myles shares tips for tuning your instrument (specific to violins, violas and cellos) and demonstrates how to re-fit a string to the peg that has come loose. Read our full blog on the topic here.
How to find the right bow tension
The most important aspect of bow care is making sure you know how to tension your bow ready to play and then (always!) loosening your bow after practice.
In the short video above Myles discusses how to easily find the correct tension for playing, and shows us how to tension and de-tension a bow. Read the full blog about looking after your bow here.
How to apply rosin to your bow
In the short video above Myles explains the purpose of rosin and how to correctly apply it to your bow.
In particular Myles demonstrates how to apply rosin to a brand new bow (and what a new bow without rosin sounds like), and provides a basic guide to follow as to how much rosin you should apply once you have started using your bow. Read our in-depth blog on rosining your bow here.
Tips for storing your cello after practice
Most cello accidents that we see in our workshop occur when instruments are packed away and stored improperly, or when a cello is being moved.
In the short video above our resident cellist, d'Artagnan, demonstrates how to properly pack away and store your cello in between practicing (which we hope you've been doing a lot of lately!). Read our full tips here.
How and why to use a cello stopper
In the video above d'Artagnan explains the benefits of playing with a cello stopper, and how to correctly position and use one.
In particular d'Artagnan discusses what type of cello stopper he recommends, how to find the right length (by having the cello away from you on an angle) and how to ensure you have the right position for optimal playability using the 'hug' test. View cello stoppers here.
How to attach and remove a shoulder rest
Fitting a shoulder rest to your violin and viola is recommended for achieving a comfortable playing position with good posture.
In the video above, our Sales Manager and violinist Myles, shows you how to put on your shoulder rest using a 'ratchet' style method of attaching one foot, and then sliding the other foot onto the instrument. Learn more here.
We hope the above videos help you keep practicing at home and enjoying your instrument during the holiday period.
As always, if you have any questions or would like further advice, don't hesitate to drop into our showroom or give us a call on 03 8802 7905 before Friday 24 December.
Merry Christmas and happy playing from the Bows for Strings team!