Care of your Cello
This simple maintenance routine will keep your cello playing and looking its best for many years.
Before you play
- Lift your bow out of the case by its frog (the grip at the end). (Avoid touching the hair as it will absorb oils from your skin that will keep it from playing well.)
- Tighten the adjustment screw at the end of the bow until the hair is about the width of a pencil from the bow stick.
- Apply rosin to your bow hair if it needs it. (You shouldn't need rosin every time you play and too much rosin will leave a powdery mess on your strings,cello, and bow.)
- Lay your bow across your lap.
- Lift your cello from its case by its neck. (Handle it gently as it's made of thin wood and can break easily.)
- Adjust your endpin to the playing height you prefer.
- Holding the cello by its neck in your left hand, move it into playing position. With your right hand pick up the bow by its frog. You're ready to play.
- If you take a break, put your cello and bow on its side against a wall or in a safe place so they don't get bumped, knocked off, or kicked.
After you play
- Set your bow in its case or on your music stand temporarily while you tend to your cello.
- Use a soft cloth to wipe the rosin dust off your cello and each of its strings. (Rosin will eat into your cello's finish, and excess rosin on your strings will dampen their sound.)
- Adjust the endpin back into the cello.
- Put your cello in its case or bag. (Most cello damage occurs when it's left out on a table, a chair, a bed, or on the floor. If you'd like to leave it out, use a cello stand.)
- Pick up the bow by the frog and loosen the adjustment screw until the
hair just goes slack. (Loosening the bow lets it rest and keeps it from
- Use the soft cloth to wipe the rosin dust off the bow stick.
(Careful not to touch the hair.) Put the bow in its compartment in the
- Put your rosin, tuner, and any other small items in the pockets of your case or bag so they won't bounce into your cello and damage it.
- Put your lesson book and music in the pocket on the outside of the case or carry them separately. (Don't put anything (music, paper, tuner, etc.) on top of your cello in its case as it might knock the bridge down or crush your cello.)
- Fasten the case latches or zippers. If you want to leave your cello out, don't lay it on the bed or the floor or stand it in the corner; that's how most cello damage occurs. Use a cello stand.
- Store your cello inside where the temperature and humidity are stable. (Never leave your cello in a car on a cold night or hot afternoon since temperature changes can damage your cello's finish and cause cracks in the
- Clean the finish of your cello with a cello polish cloth. (A cello polish cloth contains enough polish to remove fingerprints and impurities, and is preferable to liquid polish which can harm the strings and bow hair.)
- If you get a build-up of rosin on your cello, use liquid Fiddlebrite or a Miracle Cloth to remove it.
- Wash out your cleaning cloth or replace it with a new one.
- Bring your cello to the Amro repair shop at least once a year or whenever you feel it's not playing its best. We'll inspect and test it free of charge, usually while you wait. And if you have Amro’s Maintenance & Replacement plan, any repair and adjustments it needs are free. (A properly working instrument can actually make you a better player.)