Taking everyday steps to make sure your instrument is kept safe and performs at its best is vital. Here are our top tips that are useful to keep in mind on a daily basis - these will help you improve your instruments durability as well as keeping it safe and sounding great! 1. Never let your instrument get too hot or too cold Excessive changes in temperature can seriously damage your instrument. Heat can cause damage to the varnish and may also cause the adhesive of it to melt, making your instrument fall apart. Severe cold or dryness on the other hand can cause cracks that can be very difficult to repair. The easiest way to determine whether the temperature is okay for your instrument is to ask yourself if you would be comfortable staying in the said environment for longer periods of time. If you feel comfortable, your instrument will be perfectly fine. One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make is to leave the instrument in the car which can easily heat up in the sun and cause damage. So keep in mind the importance of storing your instrument in mild temperatures. 2. Invest in a quality hard case This is incredibly crucial. Most instruments already come with a hard case, however, if yours didn't or you are looking to upgrade, make sure the case you go for is robust and strong with soft lining on the inside. A good quality case will keep your instrument safe whether its for storage or transportation purposes. 3. Don't over tighten the bow Always make sure that the stick of the bow is curved towards the hair. Over tightening it may cause serious damage to the bow and make it unplayable. After practice, always loosen the bow as this will avoid damage to the wood and hairs and make it more durable. 4. Make sure to store your instrument in a safe place and preferably inside its case Never leave your instrument out on the floor or other places where it can easily be kicked, sat on or people may trip over it. If possible, keep your instrument inside its case if it is not being used for longer periods of time. Alternatively, there is a range of instrument stands available that will ensure a safe place to put your instrument in between playing. Handle your instrument with care at all times to minimise the risk of damaging or breaking it. 5. Wash your hands before playing Washing your hands before practicing and performances will avoid leaving fingerprints, grime, oil and general dirt on your instrument keeping it clean and in optimum condition. Also, when possible try to avoid touching the hair on your bow as this will prolong the life of the bow. 6. For any faults, take your instrument to a qualified technician No matter how minor the fault is, if it isn't something you feel confident with fixing, don't do it. Always take your instrument to a qualified, experienced repairs technician that will be able to repair it for you safely and quickly. Click here for information on Normans Repairs If you need any further help or advice, please contact the Normans Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01283 535333 option 1.