Our #WednesdayWisdom piece today is on caring for a bowed instrument
Although we are best known for our guitars, we also have a range of 100% European traditionally hand-crafted bowed instruments. As with all instruments, the key to keeping them in good condition is to take care of them every time you play them. So here’s six simple things you can do to keep your instrument looking and sounding good.
1. After every time you play be sure to wipe down the strings. Using a soft cloth, wipe all… the rosin that accumulated during your playing. Make sure you get all of it off.
2. In addition to the strings, you should also wipe down the face of the instrument. Using either the same cloth (but a different side) or a fresh clean cloth, wipe down the entire front. Be sure to get around the F-holes.
3. Use a Q-tip or similar to dust the rosin out from under and around the bridge. Be very careful though as the bridge is liable to become crooked and mess up your playing.
4. Don’t forget to wipe the bow too. It keeps the rosin build up from affecting the it.
5. Use a clean, soft, tooth brush to clean the bow hair. Run it in the direction of the bow, never across it, to dislodge excess rosin. It only needs a run in each direction and it should be done gently!
6, Finally you should occasionally (once or twice a year) polish your instrument. However, don’t just reach for the Pledge, you should only use a polish made specifically for instruments. Don’t do it too often, though, as it can damage the strings.
Although not a genre we usually comment upon, we are paying tribute to composer James Horner who died yesterday in a plane crash; he was 61.
For those not familiar with Horner, he was the Hollywood composer who wrote the Oscar-winning score for Titanic. He worked on three James Cameron films, as well as A Beautiful Mind, Braveheart, Troy, and Apollo 13; and won two Oscars for Titanic – one for the film score and another for its theme song.
James Roy Horner, born August 14 1953, was an American composer, conductor, and orchestrator of film scores. He was known for the integration of choral and electronic elements in many of his scores and for his frequent use of elements of Celtic music. Horner was an accomplished concert hall composer before he moved into writing film scores. His first major film score was for the 1979 film The Lady in Red but he did not establish himself as a mainstream composer until he worked on the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. His score for the film Titanic, mentioned above, is on record as currently being the best selling orchestral film soundtrack of all time.
Horner collaborated multiple times with directors Jean-Jacques Annaud, Mel Gibson, wwalter Hill, Ron Howard, and Joe Johnson, to name but a few. He composed music for over 100 films; won two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, three Satellite Awards, three Saturn Awards, and was nominated three times for BAFTAs.