¨ Be sure your have a nametag on your instrument case. Have something identifiable (keychain, sticker, etc) on the case so you can ID it quickly. Many cases look alike and it is easy to pick up someone else's by mistake.
¨ Always keep your class room instrument cage locked to prevent theft items/instruments.
¨ Do not let other people play on your instrument. Accidents happen when you least expect them.
¨ Always keep your instrument in its case or bag when not in use.
¨ A cello or bass should be set on its side when you are not playing. If your instrument falls over it may break the bridge or the neck.
¨ String instruments are very susceptible to changes in weather. Hot temperatures cause the wood to expand, dry out, and crack. Very hot temperatures will cause the glue which holds the instrument together to fail. Cold temperatures cause the wood to contract, and crack. If you bring your instrument from a cold area into a warm area leave it in its case, to change temperature slowly, because cracking of the finish or wood can occur.
¨ After you are finished playing, remove any rosin and hand oils from the instrument with a soft cloth. Don't let rosin buildup on your instrument. It is very difficult to remove if left on your instrument for any length of time. Rosin left on the strings will affect the tone by preventing the bow from "grabbing" the string properly, and rosin left on the instrument body will eat away the varnish.
¨ Once every two or three months, the instrument should be polished. For polishing the instrument, do not use household furniture polish. These polishes contain wax, which is not good for the varnish. For best results, use a product that has been specifically developed for cleaning string instruments.
¨ Keep an eye on the bridge. As you tune the instrument the strings tend to pull the top of the bridge toward the fingerboard. If the bridge tips too much it may fall over. This can break the bridge or even crack the top. If the bridge falls the soundpost inside the instrument may also fall over. The back side of the bridge (side toward the tailpiece) should be at a right angle to the top and the feet of the bridge should touch the top uniformly.
¨ Bows should not be used for banging on music stands or swordfighting. It's all fun and games until someone's bow breaks. Even fiberglass bows should be treated with respect.
¨ The hair of the bow should be loosened when the bow is not being used. Loosening the hair removes the tension from the bow and prevents the stick from warping.
¨ A bow should be rehaired periodically, especially if many hairs have been broken. Rehairing will restore proper balance to the bow and the fresh hair will grab the strings when rosined correctly.
¨ Keep the bow stick clean by wiping off excess rosin after each use.