Common Peg, Fingerboard, Bridge, and Sound Post Issues

You know there is something wrong with your instrument but you’re not exactly sure what and not sure what to do. Below you will find a brief list of common issues and what to do for each one. Need additional help? Come into our shop and let our professional craftsmen evaluate your instrument for free!

Peg Complications

It’s not uncommon for pegs to either stick or slip from time to time. In hot weather months, pegs swell and are prone to stick. This can be remedied by the application of peg soap, which lubricates the peg holes and allows the pegs to turn more smoothly. If you cannot get the peg to turn at all, bring the instrument to your luthier. If may need to be knocked out of place and the peg can be damaged if too much torque is applied to the peg head when the peg is firmly stuck.

In cold weather months, pegs often shrink and slip. Often, a quick fix is to make sure the string is wound close to the pegbox. If this doesn’t fix the problem, try applying peg drops – a viscous solution which helps the pegs to grip better. Pegs which continue to stick or slip despite these remedies might need to be refitted, which is a job for your local luthier.

Loose Fingerboard

If you ever notice that your fingerboard is becoming detached from the neck of your instrument, don’t panic! An experienced luthier can fix this easily by scraping away old glue and using new hide glue to secure the fingerboard.

Bridge Alignment

One of the most important aspects of an instrument’s setup is proper placement of the bridge. Because it is held in place entirely by string tension, the bridge is prone to move from time to time. You might occasionally notice that the bridge seems to be leaning toward the top of the instrument (the fingerboard and scroll): this results over time from tuning the instrument, the tightening strings tugging on the bridge.
Ideally, the bottom of the bridge should be flush with the body of the instrument and appear to lean ever-so-slightly toward the tailpiece. So if your bridge ever appears to need an adjustment, carefully loosen your strings until you are able to move it into its proper position and then re-tighten your strings.

Loose Soundpost

If you’ve begun to notice a buzzing sound while bowing or plucking one or more of your strings, your instrument might be in need of a sound post adjustment. Situated inside the instrument, the sound post makes contact with both the front and backplates, transferring vibrations between them and facilitating resonance. Because the sound post is held in place by tension alone and its precise position is crucial, an accidental jostling of your instrument could cause the sound post to shift, thus adversely affecting sound quality. Most violin shops are easily able to make the necessary adjustments to eliminate that pesky buzz and restore a smooth, beautiful tone!

Have any additional questions or comments? Let us know or bring your instrument into our professional repair department!