1 East Diamond Ave. Ste F Gaithersburg, MD 20877
301.330.2606

Quick & Easy Repairs to Do in an Emergency


Slipping Pegs: There are several reasons for slipping pegs.

1. The pegs do not fit. No matter what you do you cannot get the peg(s) to hold. To tell if this is the case, take off the string and see if the peg wobbles in the hole, if it does - get professional help for the instrument.

2. The string hole is too close to the peg box wall. When the string hole is too close, the peg cannot be pushed in far enough to hold tuning. Solution: pull the string off, remove the peg from the instrument, and drill a new small hole in the peg (appropriately sized to match the string thickness) and set the string back in place. Lashof Violins does this adjustment for free, so if you're squeamish about drilling into the peg, bring it in for adjustment.

3. The peg may just need to be lubricated. - A little LAVA brand (bar) soap put directly on the peg where it rubs in the peg holes will do wonders for both slipping and sticking pegs. Pegs also dry out due to too little humidity during the winter. Protect your instrument; humidifying your case will offer the best protection against the pegs drying out.

Click here to learn more about Slipping Pegs!

Buzzing

1. At the nut-the string has worn a groove in the nut down to the fingerboard. Remove the string and slip a thin piece of leather or piece of paper under the trouble spot.

2. The string buzzes all the way up the fingerboard. The bridge is too low or the fingerboard is warped, also check the string windings. Take a piece of compressed cardboard (like the kind that comes inside a new shirt). Cut a couple of thin strips of cardboard and place them under the bridge feet while being careful to not let the soundpost fall--a little light pressure on the top of the instrument above the soundpost should suffice.

3. A woody sounding buzz.- First check the chinrest and make sure it is not touching the tailpiece; this is a common problem with center-mounted chinrests. Next check all around the edges to see if they are tightly glued. If you find an open spot, put a slip of paper in the opening to stop the rattle. Also check to make sure there is no buildup of funk (most likely a hardened rosin residue) in the "f" holes at the points. Use a business card to gently clear the debris.

4. A metallic sound. Check the fine tuners and make sure they do not touch the top of the instrument. If there seems to be a lot of play in the threads of the fine tuner screw, remove the screw and apply candle wax, Lava soap, bees wax, or crayon to the threads and reinsert. Also check to see if the little plastic tube that comes on some strings is loose behind the bridge. This plastic tube is a protector for the top of the bridge and should be placed as such.

5. Most times the fingering tape applied to the fingerboard causes buzzing. The fingerboard has a slight curvature to allow the strings to vibrate. With tapes applied, this curvature is compromised and the tapes act like a fret. We at Lashof Violins prefer to use a Silver Sharpie® Metallic marker to apply dots between the strings as this does not impede the strings from vibrating. The Sharpie® marks can also be applied and reapplied easier and removed with less damage to the instrument than tapes. Another common problem with fingering tape is that the adhesive breaks down and the tapes actually shift, causing the student to play out of tune. The Sharpie® marks do not in any way hurt the surface of the fingerboard and we are comfortable enough to mark all our stock bows with the same marker because of the ease of removal.

If buzzing still persists it could be a number of other things - see a repairman.

Your Fingerboard Falls Off

Loosen the strings. In a pinch, wet both gluing surfaces with warm water, put together and tape the edges (on the unvarnished portion of the neck) for as long as possible. Tune up the instrument at the last possible moment and remember to loosen the tension again when you are done. Do not attempt to re-glue or use glue on the instrument; the wrong type of glue will cause damage to your instrument and cost you more when your repairman has to remove the glue and repair/replace your fingerboard . See your repairmen as soon as possible and when not using the instrument, loosen the strings.

The Eyelet in Your Bow is Stripped

Remove bow screw and pull frog off stick. Being careful not to get the hair twisted, reinsert the screw in the eyelet and pinch the side of the eyelet with a pair of pliers. This will compress the threads and give you a few more days of use. You can also stick a thin piece of paper in the eyelet and re-thread the screw-this will take up some of the play in the threads.

You Hit Multiple Strings at Once When Playing

Your bridge is probably too flat. Put small pieces of tape (or small slips of paper) on the bridge under the string until it is high enough to work properly. As soon as possible, see a repairman.

Your Sacconi-Style Tailgut has Stripped Its Threads

Re-thread the brass nuts onto the tailgut; pinch the nuts with pliers and heat the ends of the tailgut (see image on the left) until they slightly balloon. Finish by adding a drop of Crazy Glue to the threads.

Having Other Troubles? Cracks? Strange noises? Not comfortable with the suggested temporary solutions? When in doubt, remember this phrase: If you have apprehension, just lower your string tension! Lashof Violins is not far away!

These repairs are to be done only in emergency situations and are not a replacement for repairs done by a qualified repairman/luthier. Lashof Violins does not accept responsibility for damage(s) done to an instrument or bow as a result of these suggestions.