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

Sources:

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.

BEWARE OF THE VSO!!!

BEWARE OF THE VSO!!!

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

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.




<<< THE VSO

(VIOLIN SHAPED OBJECT)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

VERSUS

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


THE VIOLIN >>>




 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!

BRING YOUR MOM TO KELLER STRINGS ON SATURDAY MAY 9th

FOR A FREE POTTED PLANT AND A SWEET TREAT!

wildflowers2010

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.

Don’t try this at home!

Sometimes better bows need to be de-warped (re-cambered). A magic old substance protects the wood from the heat!

Bow recamber

Get a Grip!

Get a grip! Wonderful old cello bow gets sterling silver winding with lizard. Do you know what is under the lizard grip? It is lead tape, used to add weight and bulk under the grip.

silver windingsterling with lizard grip