Categories

 Loading... Please wait...

What to do if your instrument gets damaged.

Posted by Anton Krutz on

I Just Had an Accident! Help!

Damaged Instrument
 

If you just had an accident with your instrument it can be scary and you might not know what to do next. Here are a few steps to help you when something goes wrong and you need to bring your instrument in for repair. Being prepared before something happens, and knowing what to look for when it does, can be very helpful when bringing an instrument to a repair technician or luthier.

1. Try to remain calm.

Accidents happen and if you have been playing for awhile, you may have a deeply emotional connection to your instrument. It is important to try and remain calm so that you can assess the situation and take action in order to help your instrument be prepared for repair and keep it from having additional damage occur before your instrument gets to the shop.

2. Check to make sure you have all the pieces.

Many parts of your instrument are held on by tension and are interconnected. It can look really scary if your bridge and tailpiece fall off or if a string breaks and then the peg falls out. Some of these can be pretty easy fixes, but you will need the part or parts that fell off. This is also important when there is true breakage. A part that is still intact can significantly lower the cost of repair (in the case of some parts, such as a soundpost, an intact part is reset free of charge). In addition to this, be gentle with the instrument and keep it in a safe and secure place until you can get it to a repair specialist. Because certain parts of the instrument are held together by tension, it is common for the loss of a part to cause the loosening of other parts.

3. Check the seams.

Sometimes an instrument might fall to the ground and seem to be in good shape in the moment, when later it begins to have issues. This is likely due to an open seam. A seam is the point at which the top or bottom of the instrument meets with the side part (called the “rib”). These separate pieces of wood are held together by a specific type of glue that comes apart if the instrument experiences a sharp blow, weather-related structural changes, or melting heat. This design element makes it more likely for an instrument to survive various forces without cracking the solid wood pieces. Instead of cracking, the pieces pull apart and require regluing. Regluing a seam is much cheaper and faster than repairing a crack and doesn’t significantly affect the tone quality or monetary value of the instrument.

4. Loosen the Strings.

Strings produce a lot of tension on an instrument in order to sound properly. If you have an accident, it is a good idea to loosen the strings enough that the bridge could easily slide out but tight enough that the bridge does not fall over. If you have a crack on the top or back, especially if it is near the bridge, it is important to immediately loosen the strings as much as possible in order to help keep the crack from becoming longer because of the pressure caused by the string tension.

Instrument Repairs
 

5. Find a trusted source for repairs.

Because of the very specific materials and measurements needed to keep an instrument sounding its best, it is important that you take it to someone who specializes in orchestral stringed instruments and knows what they are doing. If you are renting an instrument, take it to the place from which you are renting. They will likely have a repair staff and will at least know where you should go to have repairs done if not. In many cases, rental plans include insurance. If you own the instrument and do not know where to go in your town, it is worthwhile to ask other musicians or music teachers before going to a shop. To get the best estimate of what is needed for a repair, you will need to take your instrument to a shop in person and have it properly assessed. If you are concerned about the estimates given at a particular shop it can be good to get a second opinion.

Tags: 

How to Go About Purchasing a Bow

Purchasing a Bow.. p.titless { font-size: 13pt; margin-bottom: 0; padding-bottom: 0; font-weight: bold; } Purchasing a new instrument can be a daunting task. There are seemingly endless possibilities of woods, varnishes, luthiers, etc. to choose [...]

Read More »


The Benefits of Learning Violin as an Adult.

Learning the violin as an adult! Knowing how to play a musical instrument is an exciting prospect for most people, and many people dream of being musically inclined. However, many people also believe that learning an instrument is too hard for an adult, for numerous reasons. They may say that they don't have [...]

Read More »


Viola (vēˈōlə)

Violas! Why are there so many jokes about the viola? Those who are in the strings community and, to some degree, those in the world of instrumental music at large, are well aware of the proverbial “viola joke”. While all musicians with a sense of humor have their self-deprecating jokes about their [...]

Read More »


An Interview with Anton Krutz, Master Luthier - in Bass World, Magazine for the International Society of Bassists

Anton in the shop. From the Interview: At the end of our correspondence I asked Anton Krutz if he had any philosophical thoughts he would like to express. His response was, "Long ago in Europe, there were fundamental changes to long-established ecosystems that coalesced to result in the dark ages. When the first bowed [...]

Read More »


Purchasing a New Bow?

Purchasing a new bow! Having a good bow is one of the most important steps in achieving the quality experience that you desire while playing music. Not all bows are equal; each featuring a different tone, feel, and capability. Every player is different, therefore a bow must be fitted to your specific abilities [...]

Read More »


What to Look For in a Violin/Viola Pickup?

What to Look For in a Violin/Viola Pickup? Violins and violas are fairly loud for their size, and can do very well to fill up a room with sound when alone, or in an ensemble. However, there are some situations where the violin by itself isn’t loud enough. For instance, you might be performing [...]

Read More »


Purchasing a New Instrument.

Purchasing a new instrument? Whether you are looking to make your first instrument purchase or are looking to upgrade what you currently have, here are some tips to help you find the right instrument for you. Know your budget. If you are completely new to purchasing an instrument, this may be a hard place [...]

Read More »


How Do I Find a Private Lessons Instructor?

Violin Instruction! How Do I Find a Private Lessons Instructor? Are you interested in learning to play a stringed instrument or already playing an instrument at school and wanting to take your musical knowledge to the next level? Private lessons are one of the best, and fastest ways to learn. One-on-one instruction enables you [...]

Read More »


I'm in Orchestra at School. Should I Have Private Lessons?

Private Lessons? Many students who play in the orchestra at their school, along with their parents, grapple with the question of private lessons at some point. Do I really need them? Is it worth the money? The answer to this question is not very straightforward, and it has a lot to do with [...]

Read More »