Your fiddle / flute / guitar

All instruments need a certain amount of care and maintenance and very few can withstand serious abuse.  Looking after your instrument is very much  part of learning to play.  We have a few tips and hints to help you to look after your  fiddle, flute, whistle, guitar etc. and how to carry out basic maintenance such as changing strings.

Looking after fiddles

In time we will include some basic tips on looking after your fiddle. For now just do the obvious things.  Don't drop or bash it and don't leave it where someone may sit or stand on it.  When you finish playing wipe the strings using a soft dry cloth.  Don't let the fiddle get too hot (direct sun is a bad idea) and never get it wet. Clean off excess rosin every now and then as it can damage the varnish.  That should do for now.

So do want to change the strings? You should do this every few months really (but to be honest once a year is good enough.)  Here are some basic instructions but the first time you do it get help from someone who knows what they are doing.
How to change strings

Looking after bows

Same as fiddles - no dropping, bashing or sitting on (they make a fantastic snapping sound  - we know because it happened once, and the splinters shot off in all directions impaling innocent bystanders - very dangerous.)  When you finish playing always slacken the bow - if your leave it tight it may bend, but not in the right direction.

Care for your bow

Looking after flutes and whistles

Yep, nothing much here yet.  For starters, keep them clean and always wipe out the wet before you put them away. Wooden instruments can crack if left wet, or if allowed to dry out (in centrally heated rooms for example).  This is why oiling them is a good idea.  You can find help on the web and we will put something here eventually.  Metal and plastic whistles need very little looking after but they can get very unsavoury if not cleaned.  Personally I wouldn't touch a metal whistle with one of those wooden bits (fipples) in the mouth piece - nasty tasting, rough and generally not nice to put near your mouth.

Looking after guitars

This is even lower down the priority ratings but maybe one day there will be help here.  The changing of strings is of course a regular event for guitar players (or should be) and the link below will be updated as soon as possible.
Changing guitar strings

Local (to Blackford) Suppliers and repairers

Local fiddle supplies - since Wilkies of Perth closed we have to go further afield. Vintage Strings Dundee.
Accessories, other instruments etc.  Bandwagon Music Supplies in Perth can do all the basics.
Music - Concorde in Perth is good.
Fiddles - if you know what you are looking for try the Violin shop in Falkland. Take an experienced player with you (unless you are one!)  Prepare to barter. Otherwise Vintage Strings or Violin Shop (Glasgow).  Simpsons in Stirling may be able to help.  You'll get something nice and good service from Stringers of Edinburgh, but at greater cost than the same from other places.
Our very own Mr Gardner is good at fixing things.  email bfg for contact details. 

Support your local stores. Of course you can get things cheaper on line but in time that won't be true and your local friendly and helpful shop will have closed.

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