Congratulations on choosing the violin from ViolinSmart! However, before playing you will need to fully prepare the violin. In order to do this we have detailed below a simple step by step guide to help you obtain the best possible sound.
1 - SETTING THE BRIDGE INTO POSITION
The bridge was wrapped in white packing paper and placed under the tailpiece to minimize damage and ensure the violin remains intact during shipping.
a - Slacken off all the strings so they can be placed either side of the fingerboard. Do not completely remove the strings.
b - Position the bridge (feet touching the instruments top) in an upright position centrally between the two inner 'nicks' of the 'f' holes on the top of the instrument. Note: The bridge has four different sized grooves to accommodate the four different thicknesses of strings. The thickest groove (G string) should be on the left hand side of the instrument and the thinnest groove (E string) should be on the right of the instrument (Most premium bridge comes uncut. You will need to make a notch with a nail file or some other implement so the strings are equally spaced). TIP: Use a soft pencil to apply a little graphite to each groove . This is good for lubrication.
c - Starting with the G string (thickest), place this string into the relevant groove on the bridge and carefully tension the string by turning the appropriate tuning peg. Do not over-tighten.
Repeat this procedure for the remaining strings. Your bridge should now be held in an upright position.
2 - PREPARING THE VIOLIN BOW
The hair on the violin bow when used for playing should be taut.
a - To tighten the bow hair turn the button on the end of the bow stick clockwise (see diagram 2) until the bow hair becomes taut. Do not over-tighten as such could damage the bow hair and/or the bow stick.
b - As a rule, tighten the bow hair so that there is a gap (approximately the width of your little finger) between the bow stick and the underside of the bow hair.
c - Apply rosin (supplied) to the bow hair by running the block of rosin along the length of the bow hair several times. A new bow will require more rosin the first time. Note: If you do not apply sufficient rosin to violin bow hair, the violin strings when played will not respond correctly. This is because the rosin creates the friction between the bow and the strings which in turn is transmitted through the bridge and amplified through the body of the instrument. (Tip: Score the surface of the rosin block several times before applying to the hair).
d - After playing we recommend that the violin bow be slackened off to prolong the life of the bow and ensure it retains its correct shape. Do not over-slacken.
3 - TUNING YOUR INSTRUMENT
Now the bridge is in its correct position and the bow is ready, you should tune your instrument to concert pitch. To help you tune your instrument correctly we would suggest you tune each string to the corresponding note on a piano, organ, tuning fork or pitch pipe.