5767 Mayfield Road, Cleveland, OH 44124   |    440-461-1411   |    info@zaretandsonsviolins.com   |    View »

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Rosin dust should be removed immediately after each playing or practicing session from the violin and the strings. Use a soft, lint free cloth after each practice session. This is necessary because rosin dust collects on the body of the instrument under the strings and on the strings, and if it builds up it will be difficult to get off. If you do this consistently, it shouldn’t be necessary to... read more »
  • There are many signs which indicate it is time to have your bow rehaired. The most obvious one is when it is missing many hairs. Most commonly hairs break from the playing side edge. For the violin and viola it is the left edge as you hold the hair facing you when you hold the bow at the frog. For cello and bass it is the opposite side. Continuing to play on a bow that has many hairs missing from one... read more »
  • A soundpost is absolutely crucial in getting a violin to sound well. A cheap commercial violin with a properly placed soundpost will sound much better than a Stradivarius with a soundpost down. Aside from the poor tone, you can tell when the soundpost is down when you hear something rattling around on the inside of the instrument. This can happen for a variety of reasons. It may occur if you drop the... read more »
  • The bridge should be individually cut and fitted to your instrument so that the feet fit the top exactly and the strings are at the correct height above the fingerboard. The correct positioning and fit of the bridge is very important to give the optimum sound and ease of playing for your instrument. If the strings are too low there will be a tendency to buzz, and if they are too high, this can cause... read more »
  • A violin is made from many individual parts and several different types of wood. Wood, being a porous material, is sensitive to changes in atmosphere, temperature and especially humidity. As each part of the violin expands or contracts at a different rate, factors like the neck angle or the tightness of the soundpost are affected, which in turn will influence the quality of sound.
    Another cause for... read more »
  • Always use good quality strings. Cheap strings can make the best violins sound terrible. Even if they don’t break, strings should be replaced after a certain period of time. Old strings are lifeless, false and dull sounding. I have found that there are three main reasons why strings go bad.
    1. Prolonged use
    How long strings will last first depends upon how much they are used. If someone practices... read more »
  • Even normal tuning will cause both pegs and the peg hole to wear smooth. This causes slipping. Remove the peg, and try putting old fashioned school chalk on the parts of the peg that are shiny. This will create some traction. If the peg still keeps slipping, it may not fit properly and will need to be replaced. If a peg is too tight, try rubbing it with a bit of dry bar soap. Lava brand soap will work... read more »
  • Occasionally a violin may develop a buzz or lose volume and quality of sound. There can be a number of causes for this, but the most common is an open seam — the glue that holds the violin together can dry out. Gluing a seam together is not a difficult repair for an experienced violin repair person.
    Finding buzzes can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. They can be caused... read more »
  • Zarelon vs. Horsehair in terms of rehairing

    There is very little difference in rehairing a bow with Zarelon and rehairing a bow with horsehair.

    Cyanoacrylate (super glue) works very well to help secure the knots at the ends of the hank.

    The gauge of Zarelon is thicker than horsehair by a significant amount. I use the same tool for measurement for both the Zarelon and the horsehair... read more »
  • Open seams and cracks are extremely bad for both the health of the violin and its tone. It is not advisable for the typical player to attempt to close a seam. It is an absolute no no to try to fix a crack. Extremes of weather can cause seams to open and cracks to develop. When this happens take the violin to a good repair person. The longer the repair is delayed the worse the situation can become.... read more »
  • Always keep your instrument away from extremes of temperature and humidity. The ideal temperature is 72 degrees and humidity of 50 to 60 percent. Keep your instrument out of direct sunlight and away from heaters. Even in the dead of winter direct sunlight is very dangerous. Avoid putting the violin in a trunk of a car or in a closed, unoccupied car. Heat can cause damage to the varnish, seams can open... read more »