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There are a lot of things to know to use a stringed instrument. Alienor Lutherie presents you some of them.

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How do I take care of my instrument ?

You have recently acquired an instrument or are simply looking for ways to look after your violin ? Here are some some good ideas used in the stringed instrument profession...

The Pegs

During the life of an instrument the pegs are used a lot.  Called upon at each tuning, they can after time become loose, therefore causing your instrument to be out of tune.  There are two possible causes to this phenomenon : either the area where they are fixed has become slippery and smooth, or the peg has become worn and needs replacing.

In the case where the pegs become loose or are completly stuck without  being worn, you have 2 solutions.  First of all, it is convenient to dismantle each peg.  If, your peg is stuck, rub a little soap on each part that is in contact with the wood.  If, your peg slides, rub it with some chalk.

Of course, today there exists specific products for this operation, but it is not always possible to have these to hand !

The Strings

Each instrument of each musician has a set of strings that are more agreable than others.  Once this difficult choice is made.  What do you have to do in order not to change the strings too often ?

Like the rest of the instrument, your strings are sensitive to variations of temperature and humidity, as well, they are constantly put under tension and with the passage of time can become worn out therefore losing their tone.  Unfortunately, we cannot fight against this.

Be careful! By consequence you must not neglect the strings.  In the course of playing a thin layer of rosin, which comes from the bow, builds up on the strings.  You must, after each time you play, pass a soft cloth over the strings to remove this dust.  However, little by little, a more solid layer of rosin can build up on the strings therefore harming their tone and causing a sort of blowing noise everytime you play.  Before arriving at this stage it is important to use a cleaning agent to clean the strings, which will give them a new lease of life.  

The varnish

It is the varnish that gives a violin all it's visual character.  We often see violins, especially study ones, arriving with lots of grease stains, or a solidified layer of rosin....among other things !

Without arriving at these extreme cases, it is normal that an instrument gets dirty when played regularly.  A dry cloth will remove the dust, which collects on an instrument, but does not maintain it.  In order to do this a stringed instrument maker uses a special cleaning agent, which allows him to clean all the instrument giving it a finished and alive appearance.  Today, you can also look after your instrument by using such a cleaning agent.  There is no need to use it everyday, but do not hesitate to clean your instrument regularly e.g. once every 2 weeks.

How do I sell my instrument?

In the life of a musician, it may be that one day you are faced by the problem of selling your instrument. It could be that you cannot play it any more for one reason or another or that the evolution of your playing pushes you to acquire a better instrument, therefore, it can be interesting to preserve a little money by reselling your old instrument.

In order to realise this transaction there are three possibilities on offer to you :

Selling to your personal luthier

This violin maker has followed your instrument since the beginning and only he, except for yourself,  knows it as well! For example, as we practice at Aliénor Lutherie, when you're buying an instrument in our shop the conditions of repurchasing your instrument have already been considered. In this case, reselling your instrument will not require much effort and will be carried out immediately. 

Selling to a professional buyer

This professional buyer does not know your instrument. He will be able to make an offer, but note that the value of the instrument would be decreased by the VAT, the cost of repairs to be carried out in order to resell it, and the profit to be made.

Selling to private individuals

This solution will enable you to make a profitable sale and you will most likely recover the price for which you bought your instrument. In this case it is recommended to place an announcement in the academies and music schools. Do not ask for a too higher price and it will sell very easily!  

Of course, these solutions work for the majority of instruments. However, for the instruments of great value, the other and only way is the auction :

Selling at an auction

This type of sale will allow owners of old instruments to get the right price for it. However, you must make sure that your instrument is in good condition otherwise buyers won't be interested!

If you wish further information on our conditions of repurchase of an instrument, do not hesitate to contact us !




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