Home Page for Non Logged In Forums All about fiddles It’s a clean machine … [or is it?]

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    • #46546
      Nick Wilkins
      Participant

      I was watching a bluegrass fiddler yesterday when all of a sudden I noticed that his violin was covered [and yes, I do mean covered, at least, from the bridge to a couple of inches up the fingerboard] with rosin dust. Let me say that again: covered in it. That had me confused as I know that rosin eats away the varnish on a violin over time.

      I clean my fiddle and my strings every time I finish practising, and I’m wondering, what does anybody else do?

      I use a dry Jim Dunlop cloth [a bit like a synthetic chamois] which previously kept my guitars looking rather lovely to wipe the violin itself, and I use Larsen’s ‘Royal Oak’ string cleaner [“Royal Oak, a new string cleaner by Larsen Strings. This is unique in being a solvent free product, and can be shipped in the mail. Use a little of this on a cloth to clean your strings of rosin and dirt and they will sound bright and new again. Price – £4.86 Delivery – £3.90”]. It cleans rosin residue off my strings in seconds [I don’t put it on my violin]. I give the wood of my bow a wipe with Jim too, now and again.

      What does anyone else do?

    • #46550
      cbFidHed2020
      Participant

      Nick, wiping down your violin and strings after every session is the age old standard of violin care. I was taught to do this at my very first lesson. I’ve never used— or been told to use— a string cleaning product, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good thing. Larsen is a very reputable brand of strings so I would trust that it’s a good product.

      The question with the bluegrass fiddler isn’t really about how much rosin dust is seen on the fiddle while he’s playing, but rather, does he clean it off afterwards? I’ve seen plenty of bluegrass fiddlers and Cape Breton fiddlers who put crazy amounts of rosin on the bow and then send duststorms of rosin flying all over the instruments as they play lightening fast through long, intense sessions.

      No matter what anyone else does, personally I always wipe down my fiddle and strings at the end of every practice.

      • #46559
        Nick Wilkins
        Participant

        Hey, cb, that’s a good point about those fast players, and I’m definitely with you on cleaning at the end of session.

    • #46556
      MoonShadows
      Moderator

      As far as a lot of rosin, I have read everything from “laziness” to “reverse snobbery” to “custom, style and the wish for a certain sound.”

      Early on, I found a very helpful little tool that cleans the strings and fingerboard at the same time. It’s called simply “The String Cleaner”. I bought at the Fiddlershop, but I imagine it is available elsewhere as well. I have had it for 2 years. Periodically, I clean it with warm water and a mild dish soap, let it dry thoroughly, and it’s like new again.

      The String Cleaner

      For around the bridge and the rest of my fiddle, I use a standard microfiber cleaning cloth.

      Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

      • #46562
        Nick Wilkins
        Participant

        Thanks, Jim. That looks like a nice piece of kit. I’ve found one over here but it’s £17, so I think I’ll keep using my cloth!

        BTW, how did you add those images?

    • #46581
      MoonShadows
      Moderator

      Hi Nick. That’s the first thing I thought when I first found it…such a big price tag for such a small tool. I paid $20 USD for mine, but I have had it almost 2 years and it should last 2 more, at least, so it’s been worth it, and it clans the strings better than just using a cloth.

      To add an image, you have to find the image you want online. Right click and copy the image link. Then, click IMG in the menu above in the box you are responding in. A box will pop up and ask you for the image link and an image name (you can choose anything as a name). Once you click OK, the code will be written automatically in your response, and the image will appear once you submit your post. In the case of my Tabs sheet I shared, I have my own website, so I uploaded it there and copied the image link. Hope this helps.

      • #46584
        Nick Wilkins
        Participant

        Thanks, Jim. $20 but good value, by the sound of it.

        Yes, that explains about the image issue. I was trying to add a screenshot of some guitar tab from my hard drive, so obviously I couldn’t quote a URL for the image.

        Take care.

    • #46591
      MoonShadows
      Moderator

      Some WordPress forum plugins allow you to directly upload images, but not this one. Not sure if allowing it would just be an addon or not.
      Thumbs Up

    • #47068
      Melinda Newton
      Participant

      I clean my fiddles after I play – just a quick wipe down of the string and the instrument bridge area with a dry cloth. It’s what I was taught to do at my very first school lesson so I just continued. *shrug*? That being said, I see a lot of bluegrass and old time fiddlers that have rosin everywhere and I’m not convinced it’s from the session. It seemed to be a point of pride to let it build up? I dunno…..

      The biggest thing I’ve learned is to wipe down the strings where my left fingers are. I sweat a lot and have really corrosive sweat so I’ll see wear on my strings pretty quickly unless I make sure i get the oil and sweat off in that location.

    • #47078
      Carolyn
      Participant

      Some people just don’t know. They didn’t learn from an instructor who helped with the small stuff. I was in a music camp class when the instructor told the class why they should clean it off. You could see some uncomfortable “what? really?” looks, and the next day you could see they had made an effort. But the build-up needed more than a wipe by then. There is also a kind of pride some people have in it, I’ve seen. Maybe, “Look how much I play! Look how I only care how great I sound, not what my fiddle looks like!”

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