Friday, November 8, 2013


About twice a year I do a complete cleanup of my violin.  Of course I clean my violin after every time I play it, but here I am referring to detailing the instrument.  The first step is a cleaner that takes off the rosin buildup and dust as well as the oil and dirt that collects from the skin contact.  After that I use a special polish to protect and shine the violin's finish.  (Yes, both the cleaner and polish are designed specifically for stringed instruments, so don't get any ideas to try household cleaners!)  I do a few other things like getting the sticky rosin buildup off my strings, making sure my fingerboard is smooth, and also taking extra precaution to really clean the chinrest (if you don't, you just might end up with a nice infection under your jawline).  Although it can be a long and perhaps even tedious job, I really enjoy it.  Maybe this is the area where I am a perfectionist!  Actually I think it's just that I find it fascinating to work on (and with!) violins.  I've often thought it would be really fun to learn how to make violins... (could you imagine the Bethany Line of violins?!  Oh wait... they would probably end up being rather unpredictable...)  Since that might not ever happen, I take the time to give my violin a fine tuneup and offer help to any other person that might want something worked on.

I was so pleased with my work that I decided it would be fun to take some pictures of the finished product.

 This is my "before" picture.

Although I didn't really take pictures while I was working (I was working, duh!), I did stop to take this one picture because I'm certain there is some chemical reaction that occurs between the cleaner and the area where I have skin contact.  Just what it is I don't know, but it sure looks kind of strange!  (That whiteish part comes off when I rub on the polish.)

 And the finished work!!!
Doesn't the violin look great?!
(Well, it does in my opinion...)

 Solid back violins are awesome.

Someone once said they didn't recognize me because they saw me without my "appliance"!  I found that to be quite humorous.

 Currently I use a Dominate A, D, and G with a Pirastro steel E string.  One of these days I think I'm going to restring and give some Evah Pirazzis a try.  I have tried having all Dominates, but I wasn't too impressed with the Dominate E... but maybe that's because it was a wound E.

 As you can tell by the blue reflection on the left there, it was evening by the time I ended.  Can you believe it took me the whole day?!  (Okay, I'm just kidding.)

 The wood is beautiful.

Pearl inlay in the pegs... and they match my endpin too!

To the nonviolinist, this picture can look like a device of painful torture.
I don't understand why they don't understand that your chin, neck, and shoulder should fit it with--well, you might have to build up some kind of callous...
(Okay, so it is an awkward position.  Just don't tell anyone I said that.)
That's my second chinrest because somehow I managed to strip the threads and thus break my first chinrest (too much Czardas maybe?!).  And I really liked my other chinrest better!

Anyone ready to shift to the upper register?

 I really like the lightening and perspective on this picture.

Thanks to technology, I can write ƒ hole correctly.

 "Stradivarius Model, Geesman Violin Shop Portland, Oregon"
 Mr. Geesman is a fantastic violin maker and I love visiting his fine instruments shop!

My violin hangs over my bunk, right next to my piano medals.  It's great to be a part of both worlds!
No, I don't leave my violin there all the time... in fact, I only hang it up when I need to practice later or go through something at a different time, but having a violin hanger is really a wonderful thing to use.

I'm all ready for the Christmas Concert season.  Bring it on!


Madi said...

Part of both worlds? Excuse me?! Either you are all the way into the piano...or you're not. :P JK I don't see picture after picture of your beautiful piano on here! (And don't even begin to complain about how long it takes to clean a violin...just think how long it would take to clean my 6'2" black dragon! ;)

Bethany said...

Ha. Ha. HA!
I am too a part of both worlds! Hey, the head of the piano department of the college Jordan competed at (and I played Piano 2) thought that I played piano duets all the time. :D
I just haven't got to the piano post yet... and I've played piano twice and a tad longer than I've played violin. :)

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this post, Bethany.... I kind of like cleaning my violin every now and again, myself.... :)

(...even though I certainly do NOT play as well as you do! :) )

RE Parker said...

Even though I don't play the violin (nice instrument, just not my cup of tea ;D), I enjoyed this post! Love the stripes on the back of your violin!

Stefani Longo said...

I have also enjoyed this post!
Pirazzi strings are definitely my favorite!

Bethany said...

Savannah: Aw, thank you. I'm sure you are a much finer fiddler than I am. :)

Racheal: Yes, the wood is so pretty!

Stefani: I didn't know you were a fellow violinist! We should talk about this sometime. :)

Daniel said...

Ok, seeing the scroll on your violin reminded me of this video...this is part one of the performance

Bethany said...

Daniel: Thanks for the link! I'll check it out.
Perlman is awesome. My favorite violinist!

Stefani Longo said...

yes ! we should!