The hair's ability to grip the strings and produce a beautiful sound is reduced following repeated use and time. Your bow should be rehaired at least twice a year if you use your instrument every day. Inexpert bow rehairs can damage the bow, so always take care to have your bow rehaired by an expert.
Care of the Fingerboard
Over time the fingerboard will develop grooves where the strings are depressed. Grooves prevent free vibration of the strings. The board needs to have an adequate concave dip to it. Your repair professional will also check the grooves in the nut, or far end, of the fingerboard. A properly shaped fingerboard can make playing in tune much easier and prevent buzzes.
Summer and Winter Bridges
In warm seasons the tops of many string instruments tend to swell upward due to the increase in humidity. This can raise the bridge and lifts the strings too high above the fingerboard for comfortable playing. A lower bridge may be needed. In cold weather the opposite is true - the top of the instrument will be at its lowest level. A higher bridge may be required. Otherwise the strings will be too close to the fingerboard to permit free vibration. See your professional repairperson for help with these problems. Many cellists and a few violinists and violists have winter and summer bridges and sound posts.
If the post was fitted during cold weather, it may be too short for summer use when the top of the instrument raises. Conversely, if it was fitted in very warm weather, it may be too long for winter use when the top is lower. Unless the sound post fits properly, the tone will be not be optimal, and an improperly fittted post can damage an instrument. If it happens to fall or move, loosen the string tension and ask your repair professional to reposition it.
Cracks and Openings
If your string instrument develops cracks or openings, do not glue it at home! Improper gluing can damage the instrument and not be reversible. Most gluing can be done overnight. The sooner you bring your instrument in to us, the easier it is for us to repair it.