Care & Maintenance Posts

Heat, High Humidity, and String Instruments

Regina in Encore Orchestral Strings has some great advice for all of the string players out there.  Keep reading!

We’re approaching the time of year where temperatures are averaging above 75 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity levels in Indiana. We all know that cold winters present it’s own challenges, but the summer heat can create just as many issues. Wood is an organic material that will always react to the temperature, which is why we have to be careful about where the instrument is being stored.

We have seen fingerboards come unglued, necks pop out of place, and varnish essentially melt. With the high levels of humidity and scorching temperatures that we endure in Indiana, you want to be careful with how you store your instrument and where it is being stored. One of the most common scenarios that we hear about from our customers involves leaving an instrument in the car on a hot summer day.

No matter what the temperature outside is, it is safest to bring the instrument inside with you wherever you are. We recently had a cello come in that suffered quite a bit of cosmetic damage due to it being left in a hot car for an extended amount of time. Not only was the varnish ruined by the heat, but the cello itself was stuck to the inside of the case which caused even more damage to the back of the instrument. My best advice to give is to keep your instrument close to you… if you’re uncomfortable with the temperature where your instrument is being stored, more than likely the instrument is uncomfortable too!

Have a look to see what an excessive amount of heat can do to a cello:

Using Pegs To Tune Your String Instrument

Tuning an instrument equipped with pegs instead of tuning machines can be a frustrating task when problems are present.

First of all the strings must be in good condition. Worn or frayed strings cannot be tuned well.

It is essential that the pegs be fitted well, and lightly lubricated if needed. Use peg dope or peg compound when the pegs squeak when turned. No lubrication is preferable to too much. “Peg Drops” is a useful product for a quick, temporary fix to slipping pegs.

When the peg is first turned, it is good to feel and/or hear a click.  This tells us that the peg will stick correctly after tuning.  After the click, the peg should turn smoothly.

The peg is fitted on a taper with the thicker end toward the peg head. It is the nature of this tapered peg to push its way out.  The string will quickly unwind if this is allowed to happen.  It is also essential that the pegs be held in while tuning.  If you have to hold the instrument with both hands and push the peg in very hard in order to get them to stick, or if your pegs are constantly slipping, consider taking the instrument to our shop for correction and adjustment.  Firmly holding the pegs in while turning should suffice.

If the string is just a half step or less off, just use the fine tuners.  

Pegs whose string holes are too far to the wrong side of the peg box can and will keep the pegs from being held in.  These pegs must have new string holes drilled in order to function correctly.  This is a delicate process best handled by a luthier/string technician.   

 Paige’s stringed instrument repair shop is here to help you keep your instrument in its best condition.  Play well and enjoy!

Basic Tips On Caring For Your Flute

Last summer we updated the care videos for several of the beginning instruments available on our Debut Rental Program. The original videos were done just before HD became popular, so it was time for a redo. Below is the general care and maintenance video for flute, with instruction given by Erin Nichols of the Indy Flute Shop. Indy Flute Shop is a flute-specialty store owned by Paige’s Music. If you’d like to see the rest of the flute videos, you can view them on our Flute Care & Maintenance page.

Don’t Let Your Instrument Be Cold

snow-tubasImage credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenpete/5522933139

Over the past few weeks central Indiana has experienced dramatic changes in temperatures—in a span of 4 days there was a temperature swing of 75 degrees! These dramatic fluctuations in temperature can wreak havoc on instruments. Cold weather in particular will cause serious issues with your instrument if you are not taking proper care of it.

Basic Tuning Tips For Woodwinds

We’d like to talk about the basics of tuning your woodwind instrument. While this may seem oversimplified there are some important details about the different families and the instruments within that are important to know.

All brass and woodwind instruments are designed around the A440/A442 pitch and can be adjusted higher (sharper) or lower (flatter) to a certain extent. Adjusting too far either way will affect the scale of the instrument and can actually cause playing problems.

On this blog we will start with the woodwinds.

Contest Season Is Coming Soon – Is Your Instrument Ready?

 

It’s not too late, but time is running out. Contest Season is almost here!

January through April is a really busy time of year for school music students. Many of the annual contests and festivals happen during this time of the year. These include:

  • Solo & Ensemble Contest
  • Jazz Band Festival
  • Junior/Middle School Organizational Festivals
  • High School Organizational Festivals

Your performance level and the success of your organization depend on a properly playing instrument. If your instrument has not been looked over by a technician in the last 6 months you may be overdue.

Send your instrument in for proper maintenance to help avoid small problems from turning into something larger at an inappropriate time. It could help you get to the next level during the upcoming contest season.

If you’d like to send your instrument in for us to check, we have a step-by-step guide on how to do that right here.

As always, please give us a call if you have any questions.

1-800-382-1099

Quick Tips On Caring For Your Baritone/Euphonium

Last spring we updated the care videos for several of the beginning instruments available on our Debut Rental Program. Below is the general care and maintenance video for Baritones and Euphoniums, with instruction given by Britton Watson of our Retail Sales Staff.

Quick Tips On Caring For Your French Horn

Last spring we updated the care videos for several of the beginning instruments available on our Debut Rental Program. Below is the general care and maintenance video for French horns, with instruction given by Chelsea Whittington of our Retail Sales Staff.