Strings Posts

Sizing Up – One Size Does Not Fit All

Not everyone is going to start off with a full-size instrument.  Violin-family instruments are somewhat unique in that people of all sizes and ages play them, and they are sized to fit the stature of the player.  You rarely see a 3 year old studying a brass or woodwind instrument because these are larger instruments that require a certain physicality to them to play properly.

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!

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.

Should My Bridge Be Bent Like This?

cello-bad

Your bridge is an important component on your stringed instrument.  It is critically important to the sound, and playability.  It is a beautiful thing when it is right and an obstacle when it is not.  A warped bridge is not correct.  Even a slight warp will cause intonation problems.  The front of the bridge gives the impression of a lean toward the tailpiece.  It is shaped this way to give it the correct thickness, weight and to add to the beauty of the instrument. The back of the bridge should be perpendicular to the top of the instrument.

Cold Weather Tips For Your String Instrument

Today’s blog refers back to a previous blog about cold weather tips for string instruments from December of 2014. Walking through the shop one day last week I noticed all these instruments in clamps due to loose seams and/or cracks. Mostly caused by the bad cold weather spell we had recently. So as a reminder here is a repeat of that blog and some pictures of cause and effect.

Winter is here with its cold temps, snow, and low humidity. This scares the bejabbers out of any self-respecting stringed instrument. Can’t you just see or hear wood shrinking, pegs loosening, cracks splitting a top rib in two … These are sights and sounds that one might think would bring a smile to a repairman’s face. Winter time does create special problems for the violin family instruments, but good common sense care will reduce the number of unnecessary repairs.

Here We “Grow” Again

The last several years has seen steady growth in our volume and demand for quality string repair. Up to now our string repair crew occupied a small corner in our main repair shop. This is tough to do when you have a couple of basses to repair at the same time!

To remedy that situation we have moved our string repair crew into their very own space. This provides more elbow room with enough space to work on three or four basses if needed! All to meet the growing needs of our string customers and offering quality repairs.

Here’s a little peek at our new string shop!

Quick Look Around

 

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