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Can missing check ups for instruments cause damage, eventually?
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Mouse
February 16, 2022 - 9:09 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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I have not been able to get my cello and my viola that were purchased semi-locally in to the luthier/violin shop to get a "check up" for a couple years. I was going to do the cello this past Summer, but my knee kind of prevented that. It is not a new cello, but not an antique, mid 1990's cello. But, it hasn't been looked at since I purchased it, 3-4 years ago.

I was planning to follow up with the viola the owner/luthier of the shop made. It was made a few years ago. I bought it about 2 years ago. 

I am hoping for this summer. Will not having had them checked out in over a year possibly cause damage if there is something wrong that I can't see or hear? Does that happen often, an unknown issue causing damage to a bowed string instrument?

Thanks 🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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stringy
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February 16, 2022 - 10:30 am
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Don’t know anything about cellos, but the thing to be checked apart from any obvious crack or seam coming apart, which would be visible anyway, on a violin or viola is the sound post. These sometimes can move after about The first six months or so, but to be honest if the viola still sounds ok it’s unlikely to need anything doing. The tailpiece and bridge are looked at as well to see if the tailpiece has moved up and to see if the bridge is ok. As far as I know not having the instrument checked can’t cause any damage except for maybe if all the strings were loosened at once the soundpost could possibly I suppose fall over.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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Mouse
February 16, 2022 - 12:17 pm
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Hanks, @stringy. I think I worry too much about them. But, I do get a lot of enjoyment from them. 

They add to my day. I have many different things to do and I would not want them to be damaged. With card making, machine knitting and my instruments, it offers a lot of different things to do. 

Thanks. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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February 16, 2022 - 8:36 pm
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As long the instrument hasn't been through big temperature or humidity changes since its last checkup, and hasn't suffered any hard impact or had all the strings loosened, there isn't much chance of major issues. (If any of the above things have happened, or if you don't know, then it's riskier to go without a checkup!)

 

Typically my luthier gives my viola a quick look-over when I bring my bow in for rehairing, just checking the bridge and fingerboard and looking for cracks and open seams at the most common places. I get a more thorough checkup every two or three years, but those checkups have only ever found any issues once (and it was just an open seam) in the 16 years I've had my viola.

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Mouse
February 16, 2022 - 10:55 pm
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Thanks, AndrewH. No damage has been done to any of them or any if the other issues mentioned. I should be good until I can get them in to be checked out.

No big temp and humidity changes. I don’t travel with them either. and that helps.

I was getting concerned because I read where you are supposed to bring the  in once a year for a check up. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ABitRusty
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February 16, 2022 - 11:17 pm
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idk how much trouble it is to visit a shop for you there and not sure if its a common practice for shops but   One thing I do sometimes is buy strings from a shop..  theyll put them on while I wait for free... Both shops in my area  just as part of it will check the bridge placement and sound.  Maybe they do that sorta thing there?  I wouldnt think its something to be overly concerned about doing though..especially if things sound and feel ok.  And I usually just order strings and put them on myself.  I think as long as you keep doing what you are and at least take them out of the case, tune and play regularly they should be ok.

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Mouse
February 17, 2022 - 9:41 am
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Thanks, ABitRusty.  I usually buy my strings at Fiddlershop. They actually do seem to have the best prices for companies I will buy from online. I just wait intil I have a $25 order and get free shipping.

The violin shop is a ways away. We went more often before 2020, but don't do that anymore. We did go last Summer. I was going to bring Mikey G in to get checked in August, but my surgery was scheduled for early August, so I stayed home the rest of the Summer. It will be Summer before we get out that way again, so I guess it isn't that far off. Maybe I will bring Mikey G and the viola the luthier/shop owner made in at the same time. I have the soloist viola I can play while the viola is in the shop. I just won't do any cello while it is there. I donated my other two cellos to a student orchestra. 

I looked at the side seams on Mikey G. They seem okay on the outside, I can't see inside well enough. I am assuming he is just fine. The wolf tone eliminator has not had to be moved or adjusted, so that is holding steady where it is. I might have them put a magnetic one on. I have a magnetic one on a violin and it is much easier to adjust than the one that gets slid onto the G string. We will see.

Sounds like a plan. 

By the way, @ABitRusty, have you been able to do anything about that rust build up?

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ABitRusty
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February 21, 2022 - 7:54 pm
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@mouse im glad to see someone else has a weakness for instruments!  sounds like a cool arsenal there.

yeah i did the name change in the fall during a horrible spell of not being able to play much.  it implies that a level of proficiency was reached then lost which is part of the humor there with it.. 😉  i will say that during that time i did notice that some things i felt i had progressed with had slipped.  tunes i thought i had down i had to go back over.  but yeah its better now.. but due to work theres always that period ..like evryone..where practice time suffers.   ill keep it as an ode to working adult late starter fiddle players! i salute you all 😃😊

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