CELLO CARE GUIDE

 

General Care:

  1. Physical Safety.
    Always keep your Cello in its case when not in use. Store it in a safe place, away from younger siblings and pets. Never leave your Cello in a “high traffic” area.
  2. Temperature Changes.
    Avoid rapid temperature changes or temperature extremes. A good “rule of thumb” is never to leave your Cello where you would not like to be yourself. Always avoid excessive heat, cold, wet or dry! A helpful hint—your Cello case can help insulate your Cello from extremes and help make the temperature change slower if the Cello is brought in from a cold place to a warm place, or a warm place to a cold place. Leave your Cello in the case to allow for a more gradual warming or cooling.
  3. Cold.
    The only really dangerous element of cold for a Cello is a sudden temperature change. When going from warm to cold, or cold to warm, make sure the Cello is properly insulated. Sudden temperature change can make the wood expand or contract quickly, resulting in broken joints and seams and cracked wood. Never store your Cello over or near an air conditioning or heating register.
  4. Heat.
    Heat is a major menace to Cellos. Cello makers (Luthiers) purposefully use wood glues that soften when heated (145 F) so that a Cello can be disassembled for service when necessary. Direct sunlight can easily heat your Cello to glue-melting temperatures and/or weaken and/or destroy the joints and seams in the Cello. Never leave your Cello in direct sunlight, even if it is in the case! Never store your Cello over or near a heating register.
  5. Dampness/High Humidity.
    While exposure to some moisture is important to the health of your Cello, storing it in a “damp” place, or exposing it to excessive moisture is very bad for your Cello’s health. Excessive moisture will cause the wood in the Cello, including the neck, to buckle and warp. In extreme cases, the moisture may even affect the glue, causing failure of the joints and seams.
  6. Dry Conditions.
    Dry conditions is the main enemy of Cellos. When wood dries out it tends to shrink. The construction of a Cello demands that such shrinkage will result in either broken joints and seams or cracks in the wood. Day Violins strongly recommends the use of “Dampits” or other humidifying devices during dry conditions.
  7. Damage.
    You are responsible for loss or damage to the Cello. Day Violins offers an inexpensive and comprehensive “Strings to Scroll” maintenance plan that covers everything, including bow replacement/re-hair and replacement strings. The only thing not covered is damage caused by your intentional or negligent acts.

Daily Care:

  1. Each time after you are finished playing, remove any rosin and hand oils from the Cello with a soft (microfiber) cloth. Don’t let rosin build up on your Cello. It is difficult to remove if you let it set for any length of time.
  2. Strings will last twice as long if you wipe them down each time after playing. This also helps to keep the fingerboard clean.
  3. Each time you play, check the bridge. As the Cello is tuned, the strings tend to pull the top of the bridge towards the fingerboard. If the bridge tilts too much, it may fall over. This can break the bridge, or even crack the top of the Cello. It may also cause the sound post inside the Cello to fall. In proper position, the bridge should be parallel with the bottom edge of the fingerboard and the feet of the bridge should rest on the top of the Cello uniformly. If your bridge tilts for any reason, please contact Day Violins. Day Violins will make or help you make the proper adjustments to the bridge. Remember, unless it is done correctly, attempts to fix this problem may break the bridge and result in a costly repair.
  4. Do not attempt to tune your Cello unless you have been properly trained to do so. Improper tuning is the major cause of broken strings. So, get yourself trained, or let your teacher do the tuning!
  5. If you do tune your Cello, make sure the pegs turn freely with minimum pressure towards the peg box. Never force a peg into the peg box. If it slips or it is stuck, do not force it. Using force often results in a broken peg or damage to the peg box. Remember that dry conditions may cause the pegs to shrink and slip, and humid conditions may cause them to swell and stick. Also remember, that over time, pegs will go out of round and start to slip. If this happens they will need to be refitted in order for your Cello to be properly tuned. If you are having trouble keeping your Cello in tune, talk to your teacher or call Day Violins for assistance.
  6. Each time you finish playing, immediately clean and put your Cello and accessories into the case. Do not leave the shoulder rest attached to the Cello, or store music, clothes, school folders or other items under or on top of the Cello, except in the pockets designed for storage in the Cello’s bag. . Make sure the bow is loosened. Make sure the case is zipped and/or latched and stored in a safe place.
  7. If you have to put your Cello down for any reason while practicing or playing, place it carefully back into its case, or if that is not possible, place it on its side in a safe place.
  8. If something “rattles” inside your Cello—STOP! It is probable that the sound post has fallen and will need to be re-set. Call Day Violins immediately to arrange for the necessary repairs. Playing the instrument with the sound post down can cause the top of the instrument to crack.

Playing/Practicing Checklist:

  1. Are my hands clean?
  2. Am I in a safe place?
  3. Is my bow tightened?
  4. Is there enough rosin on my bow?
  5. Is my Cello properly tuned?

Checklist for Putting a Cello Away:

  1. Did I loosen my bow?
  2. Is all the rosin cleaned off the Cello with a soft cloth?
  3. Have I cleaned the strings?
  4. Is my Cello put properly into the case, with nothing stored inside the bag either under or on top of the Cello?
  5. Is my bow loosened and put away carefully?
  6. Are the accessories put away properly?
  7. Did I store my Cello in a safe, humidified spot?

ALWAYS DON’TS:

  1. Never store your Cello in direct sunlight.
  2. Never leave your Cello in a hot or cold car.
  3. Never store your Cello out of its case.
  4. Never put tape or labels on your Cello (except the special tape used on fingerboards). The finish on a quality Cello is softer than the finish found on furniture. This softer finish allows the wood on the Cello to “breath”. Any type of adhesive will remove the softer finish of the Cello.
  5. Never write on your Cello, bow or case.
  6. Never let your Cello dry out.
  7. Never put your Cello away dirty.
  8. Never try to tune your Cello without proper training.
  9. Never leave your Cello leaning up against something, or in a pile of other Cellos.
  10. Never store your Cello over or near a heating or air conditioning register
  11. Never store anything either under or on top of your Cello while it is in the case, except for the pockets designed for storage built into the case.

ALWAYS DO’S:

  1. Always store your Cello in a place with reasonable humidity or use a Dampit or similar product.
  2. Always clean the Cello and strings and bow before putting the Cello away.
  3. Always loosen the bow before putting it away. Putting it away tight will warp and ruin the bow.
  4. Always remove the shoulder rest before putting your Cello away in its case.
  5. Always check your Cello before playing/practicing. If anything seems wrong, call Day Violins before using the Cello.
  6. Always store your Cello in a safe place.
  7. Always remember that your Cello is valuable, and that you are financial responsible for its loss through damage of theft.

Violin Care

Viola Care

Cello Care

Bass Care

Bow Care