Cello’s are big, bulky and heavy instruments, but they are as delicate as violins, and so they need the same amount of maintenance. Wood changes over time, so it is likely that yours has been damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced at some point in the future. If you don’t handle it correctly, or if conditions are too hot then cold or humid then dry, your cello can become structurally unstable and will require maintenance.
Believe it or not, fixing your cello isn’t as terrible as you may think and it won’t affect the sound that much if you take care of it properly. Here are some of the most common Cello-related repairs.
- Most Common Repairs for the Cellos
- Cello Strings
- Open Seams
- Sound Post
- Cracks, Scratches, and Chips
- Rehairing Your Bow
- Eliminate Wolf Tones
- FAQ for Common Repairs Cello
- What are the most common repairs for a cello?
- How do you fix a warped neck for a cello?
- What is bridge pinning for a cello?
- How do you know when to replace a bow for a cello?
- What tools will I need to make repairs on my cello?
- How do I know that my cello needs repair?
- How much does it cost to have a cello repaired?
- What is the average turnaround time for repair for a cello?
- Are repairs covered for a cello by my insurance company?
Most Common Repairs for the Cellos
Here are some common issues with string instruments – whether you have a beginner-level or professional cello, you will need to make these repairs from time to time.
Whenever your cello strings become too frayed, or break, it’s important to replace them right away. It’s a necessary part of maintenance rather than an actual repair. It’s worth learning how to replace your own strings, but if you haven’t yet learned you can take your cello to a music shop and have them change them.
It’s not uncommon for the seams on your cello to come apart. Things like higher humidity levels, or extreme changes in weather, can cause one of the two parts that make up your cello to separate from each other. If you spot a seam opening don’t try to glue it back together as this won’t work as wood glue is required.
You should take the item to a luthier as soon as possible so he can repair the damage. Leaving the seam open can cause wood to warp which will then require more time and expense to fix properly.
The sound post is a small dowel inside the cello that lets the tension in the structure stand. If it falls over, it will need to be repaired so it is standing up again.
Some examples of what might cause the sound post to fall would be changes in temperature or sudden tension, like when you loosen the strings all at once or drop your celloю
If this happens, take it to a luthier to have it set again. Sometimes a new sound post has to be installed. If you don’t fix this problem, the sound post will rattle inside your cello and the wood may warble over time.
The pegs on a cello are the most difficult component to regulate. They are sensitive to changes in weather, temperature and humidity levels. Sometimes pegs will get stuck and it’ll be really difficult to tune your cello. On the other hand, they could be really loose and hard to keep in place, making tuning your cello harder.
To fix your pegs, you don’t need to take your instrument to a luthier. There are products you can apply that will make them easier to move. One of them is tailored for cellos.
But occasionally, the variables are outside of your control. If the peg is too loose, try twisting it a little more inside. If it’s too tight, try pulling on it to help make tuning easier.
If the peg doesn’t fit, or it’s completely loose, it generally means you’ll need to go see a luthier. They may need to be replaced.
A bridge that holds the guitar strings to the neck is actually a crucial part of a guitar. Sometimes, it can bend. Eventually, it might break and need to be replaced. If you notice that the string is not aligned meaningfully, you should take it to a luthier.
Cracks, Scratches, and Chips
Your cello might have a crack because you banged it or dropped it. If this happens, you really need to take your cello to a luthier in order to fix it. If not, the crack may gradually get bigger and the instrument may eventually collapse. It’s difficult to try and fix it on your own, so I wouldn’t recommend trying!
Small scratches and marks are usually cosmetic and you can fix them on your own with paraffin oil. Larger marks, however, would need a luthier to make the repair. The cost does not get unreasonable.
If it’s a chip in the wood, you can take it to a luthier to have them fix it. If the piece of wood is lost, the luthier will have to carve a new one and this process is usually expensive.
Rehairing Your Bow
A lot of things can happen to archery bows. If you notice that the hair isn’t sticking like it used times before, or if the hairs are darker than usual, it could mean that you need a bow rehair. The bow should be replaced at least once every year if you play often.
The hairs on the bow can also come loose all of a sudden. Don’t freak out! All that’s happened is the wedge holding them has come off. You’ll need to take it to a specialist or someone who knows a lot about bows in order to fix it though.
Sometimes, the hair won’t tighten. This can be because the blind surgeon might be stripped. If so, you also need to get it replaced by a bow specialist.
Eliminate Wolf Tones
A cello wolf tone is a sound your cello produces when the vibrations of the string you played match with that of your instrument’s body.
This creates a sustaining artificial tone that enhances the original pitch. Usually, you’ll find that because there is an irregular shaking or stuttering effect in between the enhanced pitch, it sounds like a wolf’s howl.
The sound produced can be compared to the howling of a wolf, and can simply be called a wolf. As a matter of fact, it could also be called “wolf tone.” To learn more about how to eliminate Wolfe tones, click on this link. Instruments like the cello can suffer from a lot of worries. You can avoid them by not playing so much and being really good to your instrument.
Protect your instrument and you won’t have to worry about it. If you’re not 100% confident, it’s best to consult with a luthier or your local shop.
FAQ for Common Repairs Cello
What are the most common repairs for a cello?
The most common repairs for a cello are:
- Re-glueing the bridge
- Replacing strings or tuning pegs
- Mending cracks in the body of the instrument
How do you fix a warped neck for a cello?
The process of fixing a warped neck for a cello is very simple and can be done at home.
1) Put the cello on its side, with the peg box facing up.
2) Place your weight on the peg box until it touches the floor.
3) Apply pressure to the neck with your hands, using your thumbs to push down on the neck in small circular motions.
4) Repeat step 3 for about 10 minutes.
What is bridge pinning for a cello?
Bridge pinning is the process of securing a cello bridge to the body of a cello.
A bridge pin is inserted through the holes in the bridge and into corresponding holes in the top of the cello. Bridge pins are typically made from ebony, but can also be made from other types of wood or metal. These pins are usually glued into place, but sometimes they are screwed down for extra security.
Bridge pins are necessary because bridges need to be secured so that they don’t move around when you’re playing your instrument.
How do you know when to replace a bow for a cello?
A bow is a thin piece of wood that is used to play the violin, viola, cello and other stringed instruments. It is an essential instrument in the stringed instrument family. The bow’s main function is to cause the strings to vibrate on the instrument creating a sound.
As with any product, bows will eventually wear out and need replacing with new ones. They need replacing because they become less flexible over time, they lose their grip on the hair, or they cannot produce clear sound anymore.
The bow must be able to produce a clear and well-projected sound. It needs to be flexible enough so that it can produce different sounds by pressing it against different parts of the string or using different amounts of pressure. The bow also needs to have a strong enough grip on the hair at its end so that it does not slip off when you are playing your instrument.
What tools will I need to make repairs on my cello?
The most important tool for repairing a cello is the bow. The bow is used to fix any cracks in the instrument and to tighten the strings.
The next most important tool would be a rosin, which is used to coat the bow with a sticky substance that helps it grip the strings better. This will help create more sound when you play your cello.
You will also need a screwdriver, which can be used to tighten or loosen screws on your cello. A tuning fork can also come in handy if you want to make sure your instrument sounds good before playing it.
How do I know that my cello needs repair?
Cellos are fragile instruments and they need to be taken care of. In order to determine if a cello needs repair, one should consider the following factors:
- The age of the cello
- The number of hours it has been played
- The humidity levels in the room where it is stored
- The condition of the bow and strings
How much does it cost to have a cello repaired?
The cost of repairing a cello can vary depending on the extent of the damage, the type of repair needed, and the skill level of the person doing the repair.
The most common types of repairs are:
- Strings: $20-$100+
- Bridge: $100-$250+
- Sound post: $150-$200+
- Bow hair replacement: $25-$50+
- Bow rehairing: $75-$150+
What is the average turnaround time for repair for a cello?
The average turnaround time for repair for a cello is about 3 weeks. The turnaround time will depend on the type of repair that needs to be done.
Some repairs are more difficult than others, and some repairs require parts that need to be ordered. This can lead to longer turnarounds.
Some companies have a faster turnaround time than others so it is important to compare prices and turnaround times before making a decision on where to go.
Are repairs covered for a cello by my insurance company?
No, repairs for a cello are not covered by insurance companies.