Monday, June 14, 2021

Cello Stands- Show Off Your Cello!

 By Andy Fein, luthier at Fein Violins and Ivana Truong

Keeping a cello out and more readily playable can encourage more frequent, shorter practice sessions. In fact, with the right set up and care, storing a cello on a stand can be relatively safe and easy! 

Three of our cellos on König & Meyer rubber/cork cello stands

We are frequently asked questions about how to store cellos outside the case. With good reason! 

Cellos take some extra work just to open the case (6 or more latches!) which can discourage players from reaching for their instrument. The more readily available your instrument is, the more you'll play it. Plus, cellos are beautiful, so having them outside of the case can be a nice aesthetic addition to your home. To keep your cello out and accessible, you'll need a good cello stand (and a proper place to put it).

Keeping your cello in a cello stand is a good idea. But we have a few caveats first!

Once in a while, we hear horror stories about cellos that are left out of their cases. Changes in humidity  can cause some damage-- but pets, falling or thrown objects, or even a rogue roomba can wreck an instrument. So, if you choose to keep your cello out, make sure that it is in a safe place away from these household dangers. Here are some things to keep in mind... 

Climate control is always important for any wooden instrument, but when the instrument is sitting in a room, it can require a little more maintenance. Using a dampit is still a good idea, but there isn't enough water in a dampit to humidify an entire room! The whole room should also be kept at about 35-55% humidity using a humidifier. Humidity that is too low can result in a whole range of problems like cracking, open seams, warped bridges, and falling sound posts. Temperature is more flexible, but still should be kept around 65°F-75°F. Fluctuations in temperature can cause the wood to expand and contract, leading the pegs to get stuck (unless you use Wittner Pegs, which we recommend for all our instruments!). 

Stability is one of the most important factors to consider in a stand. The stand should fit the instrument well and not be easy to tip over. There are features that can offer additional safety, like latches that close over the neck to prevent the cello from slipping out. There are a few general styles of cello stand. 

A small, foldable cello stand 

Some of the smallest and most portable stands are similar to guitar stands (pictured above). They are usually made out of steel or aluminum tubing with some parts padded with foam, rubber, or cork. Within this category, there are shorter and taller stands. They both have little brackets that support the base of the instrument. We typically recommend these stands for smaller-size cellos because they are lightweight and typically a bit less sturdy than the larger ones. The cello stand (pictured below) is available on our website. 

Smaller portable cello stand

Shorter stands frequently don't have a spot to store a bow. Bows are very easy to break, so make sure you still have a safe spot to keep your bow if you go for this option. Taller stands often have a tube that goes behind the cello back and has a place to support the neck. Some have a hook on the back for storing bows or are tall enough to store a cello with the endpin out. 

König & Meyer make stands for many instruments with bow hooks, including some nice cello stands. One of our favorites is the Deluxe Cello Stand (pictured below). It is sturdy, secure, and the cork/black color emphasizes the beautiful tones in your instrument's wood. Plus, it is adjustable and can be folded away when you aren't using it. 

Stands can get pretty fancy! We've seen some that have music stands on the back (Jolly) or fold into chairs for playing. These stands are made from wood and are designed to look like a piece of furniture. 

Jolly cello stand with music stand on the back

Cradles are a simple way to store your instrument. They are basically a wooden box lined with velvet or another fabric. They will frequently have a space in the box for a bow to be stored upright. These stands are pretty stable and will look nice sitting on the floor. These images are of violin cradle stands, cello stands are larger and would have to be on the floor.

In our shop, Andy, our luthier, has made cello racks out of wood boards and latches. It can be a pretty effective way to store multiple cellos since it takes up less space than multiple stands. Just make sure to mount onto wall studs so it's sturdy enough! 

If you look online, there are also forums where people share pictures and plans of their own DIY instrument stands. 

This shelf holds our cellos that are awaiting set-up or repair

If you have the proper stand, climate control, and no roaming roombas (or other dangers), getting a stand may be a good option for you! 

Instruments are meant to be seen and played, and having a stand is one way to help with both.

A König & Meyer cello stand makes a great pair with our
König & Meyer music stands, which were made exclusively for us

Interested in purchasing a violin, viola, or cello stand?

Check out our instrument accessories here!

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