Keeping an instrument in playable condition.

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7
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4answers
6k views

What methods are there to determine when a violin string should be replaced?

I am very new to the violin. I have broken a string just once - and it was while attempting to tune it. The string breaking was rather surprising and powerful - I'm glad my face was not too close. ...
7
votes
1answer
359 views

Should I replace unwound strings on my acoustic guitar as often as the wound ones?

The wound strings wear off quite fast, and start sounding dull even faster, so I replace them quite often. But whenever I do so, I replace the unwound strings as well, even though at that point, they ...
7
votes
2answers
156 views

Storing a flute

I haven't played my flute in several years, but it is a fairly high-quality open-holed silver instrument. During this time, it is already a bit tarnished and grimy, and I want to make sure that I am ...
7
votes
1answer
350 views

Valiha maintenance

I recently got my hands on a valiha (an string instrument from Madagascar) which seems quite old, despite still working. I would have loved to change the strings since they seem a little bit old, but ...
7
votes
2answers
152 views

cleaning trombone slide where outer slide is under the inner slide

I have been playing for some time, but have never found a good way to clean the inner slide up inside the part where the outer slide is under the metal in first position I've tried tooth picks and ...
7
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0answers
350 views

How to properly store valuable guitars?

What are the general guidelines when storing a collectors, very nice guitar (special woods, etc.), or one you value greatly? You will find humidity control systems in place at stores with "acoustic ...
6
votes
5answers
898 views

What am I doing wrong when tuning the violin using a web application?

I don't know anything about violins, and I won't have time for a tutor until much later. When attempting to tune my violin, I was advised to get a digital violin tuner. Alright. But before I go get ...
6
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6answers
3k views

Will steel strings wear out my nickel frets ?

I have bought some coated strings because I wanted to try that out. After my purchase I noticed that the package says the uncoated strings are stainless steel. Since my frets are made out of nickel ...
6
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3answers
392 views

Is it okay if I play guitar/bass with wet fretting hand?

I know to keep a guitar/bass is not to play with wet hands. But, is it okay to play just with fretting hand a bit wet? I'm thinking about the neck, will it affect the tone?
6
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3answers
161 views

Piano Maintenance

What should be done to maintain an upright piano? I am not asking about tuning it, but what can be done so it does not have to be tuned as often? I heard someone once say about a particular piano ...
6
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3answers
1k views

How do you identify string gauge?

A friend broke a string on her bowed psaltery (a small zither-like instrument) and needs to replace it. Problem: what gauge? The source of the instrument is unknown and it didn't come with spare ...
6
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2answers
7k views

Guitar's individual bridge saddle intonation cannot be adjusted further

I picked up a cheap (used) guitar on which the intonation was all out of wack. I've followed the instructions in this answer about fixing the intonation using the adjuster screws on the bridge. My ...
6
votes
1answer
152 views

Ιs my tone knob holder broken?

Well, 4 years ago, when I bought my guitar, there was a plastic over the pickguard. 5 minutes ago I realized that I've never got out the plastic completely, and there still was some left under the ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

What is causing this weird distortion coming from my amp?

Here is the sound I'm talking about. I get this sound, unless I strum ridiculously lightly, on different amp volume settings, with no gain, but is seems to become ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Saxophone sometimes out of tune by nearly a fourth

Our band's saxophonist has a bizzare intermittent fault with his soprano sax (so normally uses his tenor or alto sax). Sometimes it's fine and sings beautifully, but other times it'll be out of tune ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Insane amounts of fret buzzing on my lower strings

This may have been addressed before, but I can't really find a thread that targets this problem. Whenever I play on my low B, E, or A string between open and fifth fret inclusive, it always buzzes ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Any issues with restringing a right-handed ukelele to be left-handed?

I know that you wouldn't necessarily jump on doing this on a guitar, but I'm wondering on a fairly inexpensive ukelele if the strings could be reversed without issue.
6
votes
4answers
79 views

Should I worry about this strap pin?

I recently bought a Fender Stratocaster that came stock with Schaller straplocks. This is great, because I pretty much always play standing. In shows, I jump around and do all the tricks in the book. ...
6
votes
2answers
306 views

Correct process for replacing guitar strings

The steps I follow whenever I'm replacing guitar strings come from a diverse set of advices that I got in person, online or whatever, and I never asked any professional about them. I do it like this: ...
6
votes
2answers
983 views

With a Floyd Rose bridge, how big of a difference in string gauge will require a new set-up?

I have a new Schecter Hellraiser Extreme that came with stock 10-46's. I prefer a hybrid 9-46 (only the thinnest 3 strings are different guage) -to bend a bit better.... Is that minor enough change ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Acoustic Guitar Intonation Adjustments

Simply put, how does one adjust it. I have a low-end acoustic where the intonation seems to be out by quite a bit and I'd like to adjust it. It comes down to adjusting string size or length, so I ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I clean the windway on my recorder?

I have a plastic soprano recorder about ten years old. Over the years its accumulated some dirt or something in the windway. it has a straight windway. What is the best way to clean it out? Could any ...
6
votes
1answer
472 views

Acceptable temperatures for an electric guitar

There are plenty of subjects related to storing a guitar in various conditions, but most talk about exposure to direct sunlight or other notable sources of heat or are a bit vague. My problem is that ...
5
votes
7answers
1k views

What to have in mind when traveling by plane with my guitar?

I have to travel by plane to another country in a few months, and I want to bring my guitar with me. I have doubts with what should I do to ensure that my guitar arrives safe and in perfect condition. ...
5
votes
5answers
16k views

What are the repercussions of using really thick gauge strings on my electric guitar?

I have a Jackson King V JS32T electric guitar in blue, see the linked text for specs and the look of it. Anyway, it came with 0.09-0.42 strings and I've been using 0.13-0.56's on it for a little ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Switching my strings from 10's to 9's - am I in for more fret buzz?

So, I'm playing an Agile 200 Les Paul copy (tune o matic bridge). I've had 10's on it and sadly it has some fret buzz. I recently got it set up to eliminate the buzz and the tech got it pretty close. ...
5
votes
3answers
216 views

Is it a bad idea to attach my strap just above the nut?

This question is mainly for my banjo but it seems to apply to my guitar as well. For me it is most comfortable to have the left end of the strap attached to just above the nut on the neck. Is this a ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do I wear out the frets on my guitar faster than most other folks? Do I need a lighter touch?

I know all about the fact that the unwound strings on my acoustic guitars are steel and the frets are nickel. And I understand that fret wear - especially under the plain steel un-coated strings is ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

Best method to clean guitar?

After a month or two of playing, the strings will often have grime and skin oil stuck to the underside, and the frets will eventually start building up dirt. Add to that all the dust that accumulates ...
5
votes
1answer
490 views

Can Adjusting the Truss rod of the guitar crack the neck?

I wonder if anyone can help me here. I bought a used guitar from Ebay and it looked fine at first sight. The action needed adjusting and I tune to Eb so I decided to adjust the truss-rod. I turned it ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

How to disassemble a tuba for cleaning

When I remove the valves of a piston tuba, do I remove the spring also?
5
votes
1answer
409 views

How to stop my double bass pedals from squeaking?

I have had my double kick pedal for at least a year and a half now and I've started to notice a squeaking when the left pedal is pressed (the slave pedal.) I've tried oiling the bearings and it ...
5
votes
1answer
442 views

Can playing in cold weather damage a drum set / skins?

My set is in the garage, and now that it's winter, temperatures have been between 10 C and -10 C (50 F and 14 F). Is it OK to play the drums at such low temperatures, or will it cause damage to the ...
5
votes
2answers
214 views

Guitar Resting Position

I am not using my guitar for sometime. It is very new semi acoustic guitar and i want to keep it to rest for sometime. So, for the last two months I am keeping it flat on the ground with strings ...
5
votes
2answers
562 views

Floyd Rose string tension and action question

I've been playing for quite some time, but have always owned and played non-trem guitars. These days, I'm in a kind of band where some whammy is of great use, so I picked up a Jackson Warrior with a ...
5
votes
1answer
291 views

What is a good string height for a mountain dulcimer?

27" scale, tuned DAd. Just ordered the nut and saddle and don't know how much I should sand them down as I'm not really a dulcimer player. Thanks in advance
5
votes
2answers
399 views

Effect of Rubbing Alcohol Upon Reeds

Apparently it is common to briefly soak reeds in rubbing alcohol to disinfect them. This could be due to sickness, reed-sharing, etc. Any thoughts on how damaging this would be to the cane?
5
votes
1answer
226 views

What are good oils to use on a neck that has been stripped of veneer?

I would like to strip the veneer off of the back side of a strat's neck - I'm guessing that, like furniture, I would need to lock in/out the moisture so that the neck won't warp. Any oils work better ...
5
votes
2answers
215 views

Keyboard keys failing.

I have a Roland EM-1B and some keys are failing... I disassembled it, and the sensors are working correctly, even with velocity. If I press them directly with my fingers they work, also in locations ...
4
votes
2answers
525 views

Piano sustains when pedal not pressed

I noticed this on a piano I played recently - a small amount of sustain with no pedal and much more with it pressed. It wasn't unpleasant, actually, but is it likely to be: A feature of the piano A ...
4
votes
3answers
469 views

Why does my tone knob seem to act as an on/off switch and what should I do about it?

I have a mid-90s Washburn MG-40 electric guitar. It was very crackly when I acquired it so I took it to be serviced. I'm new to playing electric so the tone knob is a bit of a mystery to me, but mine ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Guitar: No sound from second string, but other strings sound normal

I played a Squier Stratocaster last night, well, when I plugged into amp, which it's working, my guitar's second string didn't make any sound - well, a bit actually - but the rest of the strings sound ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it safe to use guitar polish everywhere on the guitar?

I have owned my first electric guitar for half a year and have only been cleaning it with a damp cloth (without any cleaning agent). Since I'm going to change strings, I think it might be a good time ...
4
votes
2answers
91 views

My old clarinet smells musty. How to freshen it up?

I have an old bass clarinet I haven't played for years. I opened it up and it smells really musty. The reeds were icky so I threw them out. How do I get the smell out without damaging it? It's not ...
4
votes
2answers
664 views

Do pianos really need to rest before tuning, after being moved?

I'm new to real pianos and just having bought an old 2nd-hand one, it's obviously gone out of tune being moved to my house. I've heard from a few people, including one tuner, that they need to 'rest' ...
4
votes
2answers
915 views

Fix loose bridge saddle screw

One of the bridge height adjustment screws keeps coming loose on my Precision Bass (leftmost screw in the picture). The screw doesn’t feel loose when the height is properly adjusted, but the E saddle ...
4
votes
1answer
318 views

Electric Violin care

I'm a beginner violinist. I'm planning to buy a used electric violin, but I don't know much about them. Is the maintenance for an electric violin the same as with the acoustic one? Any tips on how ...
4
votes
2answers
640 views

Acoustic guitar, chip in rosette wood, how to avoid in future?

I was performing this afternoon when I felt a sharp pain in my right thumb. I looked down, and there was a big hunk of wood (about half an inch long) sticking out from my right thumbnail. There was a ...
4
votes
1answer
754 views

Proper maintenance for classic guitars?

I have had my classic for about two years, and don't do anything to it other than wiping dust off the guitar and replacing the strings when needed(about every month or so). I've had a sponge type of ...
4
votes
2answers
124 views

Room-wide humidity buffering

I'm trying to keep the humidity level up in my (small 8'x10') music room using a small table top humidifier. I have a couple of guitars and a concertina that I'd like to protect from low humidity ...