Please feel free to share. “The Little Drummer Boy Project”
Just wondering where you keep your violin when you are not practicing/playing? Because the humidity in our house is very low in the winter, anywhere from about 25-35%, even with a humidifier running just outside my office (practice room), I always put mine back in the case with a Dampit in it. This keeps my violin in an environment that is anywhere between 10-15% higher than my home office.
What I don't like about this is if something pops into my mind, and I want to run the thought on my fiddle, I have to open the case and take it out. I have read in a few places that you should keep your violin "handy" because you'll practice more and play more; but, I have also read that keeping it in the case with a humidifier (for me it's the Dampit) is much better for the instrument, especially when the environment is dry.
So, what do you do?
I have mine hanging up on my wall. I don't have a humidifier and I do live in a cold climate, so I'm taking a chance but so far so good. The humidity and temp does not change radically where I hang it. Makes it easier to practice when it is looking at me instead of hiding in my case. Same with my cello.
I keep my main violin in the case. I travel a lot with my violin, so I like to keep everything in their place so I can grab it whenever I want to go somewhere. That, and my temporary home doesn't have any places where I can store my violin safely without the case. My other violins are kept out in the open, on hangers or stands, in my primary home. I don't think it effects my practice though, because I've set times in the day where I focus solely on practice. However, I feel my practice sessions when taking my violin out of the case is most focused. I guess it's because I get time to get into practice mode while unpacking my violin and so forth. While having the violin in the open, I play a little here and there, but I don't get as much out of each practice session.
'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.
I keep both my violin and viola in closed cases when not practicing. The viola is too expensive to risk damage, and the violin, while not especially valuable, is a family heirloom. I'm especially careful about keeping the cases closed because I adopted a cat two months ago.
My viola case usually stays on a table so that it's easy for me to reach when I want to practice. I only play violin a few times a year, so my violin case is usually on top of a high bookcase to protect it from bow bugs.
@Heinrich Perhaps I should do that. I just know in my bones I will be buying another, better one at some short point in the future. I could use my Fiddlerman Concert violin as my "go to" violin and the next one I buy, which I'm sure will be an upgrade, as my "baby". 🙂
@hp Ah, to own more than one...some day for me!
Mine are hanging on the wall mount my husband made for my violins, viola, bows and shoulder rests. I find I play and practice more because they are just there. I get up and get one and either just play for fun and from memory, or get out my book and do serious practice. I do the practice time every day at least once. I find with them avaialable, I do that more often, or that practice time dand also just fun memory playing.
If my cellos could hang from the wall .... Well, I have nice floor stands for them and the chair I use is always where it needs to be, along with the music stand. I play those more often since we got the stands.
One of my problems is that I can’t be bending down and lifting them out of their cases, so the wall mount and floor stands eliminate that need. Don’t have a spare room to lay them out on a table. They actually dress up my livingroom.
They call me, “Mellow Cello”
I like the idea of a wall mount @cid What about humidity levels in you house? (I don't know where you live.)
I wonder if AI am worrying too much about the dryness in my house....
Haven’t had any issues yet. Pegs are all working properly. I check my instruments’ seams once in a while yo see if I see any cracks, not sure what else to look for. I will bring each one in to get a look see and any adjustments they might need at the violin shop once a year. Haven’t had any of my good ones a year yet.
It has been an extremely cold Winter, so the heat has been on. We have a little humidifier in the lbedroom, but I doubt it affects the livingroom. We have a little hygrometer in the livingroom and my husband checks it periodically. It is at 54 now, the dial reading is small, but it is somewhere around there, and I think that is in the acceptable range. If it was to go low, we would just bring the bedroom tabletop humidifier into the livingroom for a while. It has never gone below 52. Stays steady.
I believe for stringed instruments between 40-60 is good.
They call me, “Mellow Cello”
40 to 60 is good. 45 to 55 is the ideal from what I have read. Low 50's is pretty good for the winter. I wish I could humidify my house to that level during the winter. In really cold, dry stretches, our house can get down to 20%. I have to struggle to keep it at 30-35% most of the winter, and that's with a humidifier and wet towels and water containers on top of the radiators. Now that the temps are rising, we have been around 40% the past few days, but that is the low end for a stringed instrument...thus, my concerns.
My main fiddle is always in the case with a case humidifier in the winter when I'm not practicing. My outdoor fiddle I leave on the wall, but it is out of tune all winter, and is tricky to tune it when I want to use it until summer.
If I ever do leave my fiddle out for a little bit between practice in the winter, the pegs drop. My house isn't a good fiddle environment in the winter months, lol.
World's Okayest Fiddler
I keep a console wick type humidifier running in my instrument cave. Its pretty good about keeping the whole room at about 50 to 60% if I stay on top of it and keep the water from running out. Ill also monitor across the room with another hygrometer just cuz i dont trust the readouts on any one device. I usually put my better instruments back in the case at night when Im done DONE practicing 😉
Sounds like your place is very dry during the winter like mine @damfino
@GregW I was not familiar with a console wick type humidifier, so I looked it up. We're just about at the end of the humidifying season (I hope), but I think I will look into buying a console humidifier for next year. It seems they hold more water, humidify a larger area, and don't cause that strange "white dust" to collect on and around electronic items like the mist vaporizers do. We have one of the ultrasonic ones made by Vicks that puts out a fine mist. I have to clean my computer monitor, keyboard and printer everyday. It gets that "white dust" coating in the worst way. I could avoid the dust if I use distilled water, but at 3 gallons a day, that would start to get expensive, not to mention lugging 21 bottles a week from the store, so I use our regular tap water that comes from our well. Drives me crazy(ier).
Not a problem. I would rather change filters than clean all that "white powdery dust" off of all my electronics in the house, and changing filters once a year or so will probably be cheaper than buying distilled water.
I wrote an article on my blog this morning about Temperature and Humidity and their affects on violins. Nothing earth shattering, but us newbies have to learn. I find when I write blog posts, putting together ideas from internet sources, the information sinks in better to this old noggin.
At home, I keep it on the wall in the living room, except in the winter because that is where the wood stove is. During the heating months, I keep it in my basement music room on the counter next to my music stand. BUT in VT at the cabin, I got tired of toting it back and forth so I just leave my old student viola hanging on the wall. The cabin is not heated, so it does (waiting for the cringe) go from extremes. So far after 3 years, I have not noticed any changes. In fact that one sounds better all the time....
My house tends to get very dry in the winter. I keep a humidity gauge on the wall and it has commonly stayed at 25% through the worst parts of the winter. This was even with running humidification. When my outdoor temps get below 25F-30F I switch from using a heat pump to using a=my hydronic system, although this year I replaced the hydronic system which forced me to use the heat pump longer than I intended. Hopefully next year running the hydronics longer will help lessen the humidity issue.
Forced air systems will have the tendency to usually dry the air out more than a convection system. At least, this has been my experience.
Now my humidity levels are beginning to climb due to warmer temps.I'm in the 35-45% range.
The main issues playing a violin in low humidity for me have been the sound of the violin seems to change at times. The tone isn't as nice. No major issues other than that.
I have been trying to keep it in the case but I fall off of that wagon with regularity. I really prefer to have it available where I can grab it and play it. Not good I know.