Viola Black Friday! November 20, 21, and 22nd!!

Viola Black Friday is happening this whole weekend!

November 20, 21, and 22nd you can take 15% off all things that begin with Viola

That means 15% off a viola case, a viola bow, your viola rosin, a viola outfit, etc!

INCLUDING the instruments themselves!

Does not apply to rented instruments.


prell viola

Markneukirchen c. 1925

Offered at $2,600

unnamed unnamed (1)

POP Viola Trivia Quiz!

1. Which composer “liked best to play the viola”?
2. Many agree that the viola has a deep, rich sound. What can a violist do to add to this deep sound?
3. What American Rock Band from the 1960s featured the viola? .
4. True or False – The viola is tuned exactly one octave above the cello?
5. True or False – Keller Strings carries a wide selection of violas in all sizes, ages, and price ranges.
View Answers at the bottom…

Here are some musical ideas for the violist in your life!

Deluxe PRO PAC Viola Case by ProTec
$210.00 (This weekend sale $178.50)
Utilizes an adjustable shoulder block to fit 13″-17.5″ violas. Water resistant Ballistic Nylon exterior & soft molded interior.

Jacques Remy Viola Bow
$299 (on sale this weekend $254.15)

Alll the features of a high quality bow for an affordable price.

Vision Solo Viola Set
Competitively Priced $115
(This weekend only $97.75)

Thomastik Infeld Vision Solo Viola Strings feature an advanced formulation to produce a blend of exceptional characteristics. Great warmth. Focus & clarity.


Which composer “liked best to play the viola”? J.S.Bach
Many agree that the viola has a deep, rich sound. What can a violist do to add to this deep sound? Use a wider vibrato to enrich the tone.
What American Rock Band from the 1960s featured the viola? Velvet Underground.
True or False – The viola is tuned exactly one octave above the cello? True
True or False – Keller Strings carries a wide selection of violas in all sizes, ages, and price ranges. True

Store Hours:

Friday & Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm

Sunday 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Bass Black Friday!! November 13th, 14th, and 15th!

Bass Black Friday!!!

November 13th, 14th, and 15th


Baronne Upright Bass $2,599 $2,079!!!

Baronne Upright Bass


Featuring our private label bass,”Baronne”, named for the Historic Baronne street in the American Quarter of New Orleans’ Central Business District. A “baronne” is a baroness. Baronne Street is named for María de la Concepción Castaños y Aragorri, wife of Luis Francisco Hèctor, Baron de Carondelet.

A sturdy name for a sturdy, great sounding bass, and affordable too!

TAKE $20 OFF A BASS BOW REHAIR! $65 $45!!!

One bow per customer, and no rushes please!



1920s Flat Back German Upright Bass

This bass can fill a room with it’s resonant voice!  Comes with a letter of appraisal from Shank’s Strings, who appraised it at $12,000! We’re offering it for $10,000!

Flat Back vs Round Back? 

There are many opinions on the characteristics, value and desirability of flat back vs a carved back upright bass. One of the most common views is that it is less expensive to build a flat back bass because there is no need for the skill of a Luthier. While the technique is different, there is still required tremendous skill and knowledge in instrument making.

 There seems to be a wide range of opinions of sound quality with some saying the best sound can only come from a carved back bass.  Most agree that a flat back bass will be “punchier” with a quick voice. The assumption is that since the sound travels down the sound post directly into one of the cross braces,and the response is immediate. Such a response can be found in this wonderful instrument!

Here are some musical ideas for the bassist in your family:

Bass Bow Quiver by Reunion Blues
Valued $74.95
Attaches to the tailpiece, it is a necessity for the professional as parking for the bow.

Conrad Gotz Upright Bass Bow
Offered at $1,200
A German made French style bow. It was crafted circa 1950, and features an octagonal pernambuco stick.

Pops Bass Rosin
Our Price $18.95
Unwrap the paper a bit and use the very edge of the rosin. Small pieces may break off, but you’ll quickly form a little niche.The choice of how much rosin is needed to get a good grip is very much a players preference, but keep in mind that too much rosin will slow the bow stroke and dampen tone. Too little rosin will result in the bow ‘sliding’ too much to properly start (and control) the string’s vibration.

Spirocore Medium Tension
Priced at $240
They are the benchmark for a jazz string in so many ways: superior volume and sustain, good growl and a true bass fundamental. Give your mediums a week or so to ‘settle down’ for the most long term durability of any steel string we know of..

Sale Hours:
10-4 Friday-Saturday
12-4 Sunday

Month of Black Fridays!

Keller Strings’ Most Popular Month!

Black friday

Our “Month of Black Fridays” Sales return for the month of November each Friday, Saturday, & Sunday!

Check out our featured sale products beginning with….

Cello Black Friday November 6,7, & 8  – Take an additional 15% off all in-stock cello cases!

Bass Black Friday November 13, 14, & 15 – Keller Strings’ Baronne Upright Bass with adjustable bridge, bag & bow for $2,079. A deduction of over 500 dollars! Originally a $2599 value! PLUS take $20 off a bass bow rehair! (One bow per customer, and no rushes please!)

Viola Black Friday November 20, 21, & 22 – 15% off all things that begin with Viola.  I.e. viola case, viola bow, viola rosin, viola outfit, etc, etc! You could save over $100 on our H. Luger Viola outfit!

Violin Black Friday November 27, 28, & 29th – Take an additional 20% off on all in-stock violin bows! (Fractional bows included) You could save from $10-$400! PLUS 10% off all gift items for the music lover in your life!

Sales prices may not be combined with any other offers. Sales prices valid only on specified sale dates. 

The Change in Weather is Upon Us!

Taking proper care of your instrument is beneficial in so many ways. The most obvious reason is that you will maintain the quality of  your instrument, and it will continue to project a great tone. Not to mention, you’ll be taking less trips to the repair shop! (Maybe we shouldn’t divulge this information after all…hm…)

Many people do not realize that extreme temperatures can damage an instrument. This is because a change in weather comes with a change in humidity levels. Too much humidity or even too little humidity can do some scary things to our beloved strings!

Here, in New Orleans, the biggest problem is our extreme heat! “Humidity, usually accompanied by heat, can soften the glue and the wood itself, causing the neck to drop, the sides to open, and the old repairs to give way under the constant tension exerted on the instrument.” (McKean 24) It can also melt the varnish on your instrument, as well as warp the shape of a bow. However, the cold, as brief as our winters may be, can cause harm to the instrument as well. “(dryness)… can cause cracks to develop as the wood shrinks, particularly on the top.” (McKean 24)

Here are some tips for creating the best environment for your instrument to thrive in!

For measuring humidity:

  • Hygrometer
    • An instrument for measuring the humidity of the air or a gas
    •  Some cases come with one built-in, but you can also purchase a small one separately
    • “Ideal humidity for string instruments is around 55%; anything below 40% may be cause for concern.” (Knilling 26).

For hot and humid weather (McKean 24):

  • Air conditioning will reduce the level of humidity
  • Dehumidifier
  • For violin or viola – arch protector
    • Wedge of cardboard made to fit between the underside of the fingerboard and the top of the instrument to take the strain off the instrument when you are not playing it
  • For cello – different bridges
    • Different bridges of different heights can accommodate for the inevitable rise and fall of the neck with the weather
    • “… if the seasonal difference is more than 5mm, it could indicate structural problems in the neck, the upper block, or the top.”

For cold and dry weather (Knilling 24):

  • Humidifiers are advised in rooms where instruments are stored
  • Individual humidifiers
    • Such as a Dampit (McKean 24-25) 
      • “A Dampit is merely a long sponge enclosed in a protective tube, suspended in the body of the instrument through the f-hole. Many musicians use 2.”
      • “…only work if they are damp! They will dry out quickly, so you’ll have to rewet them at least once a day.”
    • Must be properly and consistently used  
    • Make sure to wipe off any excess moisture before inserting into the f-hole
      • Moisture dripping down the inside of the instrument can cause regrettable damage


Knilling. Knilling String Refernce Guide. St. Louis: Knilling String Instruments, 1996. Print.

McKean, James N. Commonsense Instrument Care: How to Look After Your Violin, Viola, or Cello, and Bow. San Anselmo: String Letter Publishing, 1996. Print.



Ok, your first question is… what is a VSO?


VSO – (vee-es-oh, noun) Abbreviation for “violin shaped object.” A violin shaped wood box that produces noise. Tone of a VSO is much like that of a tin can.

Violin – (vie-oh-lin, noun) The instrument. Constructed of carefully crafted maple and spruce. Tone of a violin is likely to be pleasing to the ear.







 Truth of the matter is that VSO’s are not crafted with your best interests in mind!

The fingerboard and pegs are not made of ebony = Pegs will stick & slip. Staying in tune is almost impossible.

Bridge is poor quality wood and is usually uncut or not properly filed = Bridge can warp (bend) causing the strings to fall to the fingerboard, muffling their sound. It can be difficult – impossible – to play one string at a time.

Outfitted with off-brand strings = Whiney, tin-ney sound

Soundpost is too long, not set properly = Poor tone

Bow is straight with no camber, and is warped to one side =  It will be incredibly difficult to control the bow.

Horsehair very poor quality = Will create a scratchy sound, and rosin will not stick

Finish is “bullet-proof” = But its weight dulls the sound and tone of violin

It’s hard to stay motivated on a new instrument when no matter how hard you try, the instrument sounds terrible. Obtaining a great quality instrument for your little violinist is one of the best first moves you can make to ensure their musical journey is an encouraging one 🙂

Bach to School!

As the school year fast approaches, it is the perfect time for a visit to the violin shop for a checkup!

It may be time for a new size or maybe it’s time to start on the instrument of your dreams!

We want to make certain that your student’s instrument is in optimal playing condition. If you have been renting for a while, please let us check the size (especially if they have grown)! Additionally, we can check bow hair, strings, soundpost position, bridge, etc.

Also remember you can apply your equity toward up to 50% of purchase of a current or larger instrument. We have plenty of violin, viola, and cello outfits to choose from, including the fantastic Soniat outfit. Fractional violin outfits, which include violin, case, and bow, are going for $539! Find out more about it here! We wish to save you from dreaded VSO’s (violin shaped objects)!!!!!!

Curious about VSO’s and the danger they pose?! Read more here!


back to school

Happy 4th of July! & some spring… I mean summer… cleaning!

Keller Strings will be closed from July 2nd to July 6th for 4th of July celebrations, but also for some summer cleaning! We are going to take some time to rearrange the shop for efficiency and clean all the nooks and crannies while we have the chance. Please feel free to call us with any string emergencies! We are willing to do any repairs that need immediate attention.

Happy 4th of July! Have a safe and fun holiday weekend everyone!

happy fourth

Happy 25th Keller Strings! Anniversary Sale in celebration all week long!

Happy Anniversary Keller Strings!

We are celebrating 25 years in business this week! The celebration includes special pricing on outfits – case, bow, instrument and rosin. Bring your teacher and save an additional 5% on all in-stock products!

Check out the Andreas Eastman violin outfit here OR the Stefan Petrov viola outfit here!

More outfits are available in the shop!

ribbon cutting in Kansascelebration of anniversary

Pictured on the left is the ribbon cutting ceremony from the original Keller Strings in Topeka, Kansas (several hairstyles ago)! Current hairstyles are pictured on the right and can be seen in person in the shop any time!

Mother’s Day Promotion on Saturday May 9th!




Moms receive a FREE potted plant when visiting on Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.
Enjoy a sweet treat while you are in the shop!

Restoration of a fine old German cello:

the scream!

“The Scream”…Asking for a formal pose doesn’t always work. But restoration can! The sweet tone of this older German cello after restoration was so rewarding. Benefits of the job!

Paula and the German Cello

What a Blustery Day in New Orleans!

It certainly takes a lot of wind to blow our sign down! Most of New Orleans had a monster storm this Monday morning, however the instruments all safe and dry!
windy sign


Keller Strings visits Loyola University!

Today Paula and John visited University students enrolled in Dr. Montes’ String Methods class. Students in the class are music education majors, and all of them play various instruments from brass to woodwinds. So, Paula and John instructed them on basic string instrument upkeep!

Here’s their cheat sheet for all you educators out there:

Checklist for buzzing:

  • Cracks and open seams
  • Bad string
  • String adjusters
  • Contact areas for chinrest and tailpiece
  • Fingerboard hump(s)/low string height
  • Fingerboard loose toward neck bottom
  • Loose cleats or material inside
  • Wide bridge grooves
  • Wide Nut grooves
  • Material stuck at F-hole tips
  • Cello & Bass – loose endpin collar/cracking

Emergency Supply Kit

  • Peg drops – use for slipping (or stuck)
  • Peg compound – use for sticking
  • Tailpiece fasteners (nylon)
  • Violin polish (white)
  • Chinrest key
  • Sheet of thin cork (for chinrests)
  • Liquid Hide Glue (for cork)

Make sure to always consult a professional, like the folks here at Keller Strings, when available. Learn more about the staff here.