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bing4505

How to Prevent Bad Cello Accidents?

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I just got my cello back from the shop after experiencing a bad accident at community orchestra practice a month ago.  It was lying on its side, next to my chair.  Pretty much out of the way, but a bass player misjudged where the neck was and knocked it over.  Bad! Fortunately, no sound post crack, but it needed a new bridge and some ugly knicks and scratches to be repaired.  Has anyone else experienced this kind of accident?  Is there anything that I can do to prevent it from happening again?  Any ideas or tips are welcome!

Edited by bing4505

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19 hours ago, bing4505 said:

...Pretty much out of the way, but a bass player misjudged where the neck was and knocked it over...

If the bass player knocked it over, it wasn't out of the way.

 

19 hours ago, bing4505 said:

...Has anyone else experienced this kind of accident?...

Yes, lots of people have.

 

19 hours ago, bing4505 said:

...Is there anything that I can do to prevent it from happening again?...

Don't leave your cello where people can trip over it.  Bring a folding cello stand to rehearsals so you can leave it standing up rather than on its side.  This will make it more visible thus less likely to be blundered into.  It will have the added benefit of not wearing the edges of the cello on the floor.

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If you are this disciplined then,,

1.When it leaves your hand it goes in the case.

2.The latches are latched,  because if the case gets moved or you forget,,, and pick it up, it can fall to the floor before you know it.

3.The  value your instrument has to you, will directly influence the adherence to rule #1.

4.You might use a cello stand if a rare but dangerous accident is worth the chance you take for the added convenience.

5. Refer to rule's # 1-4

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I agree fully with Evan on this. At first you might think it is an exaggerated procedure to put it away every time in the case and close the case but in the long run it will save your instrument from worse damage. You may have been lucky this time getting away with only having to get a new bridge and some retouch.

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15 hours ago, bing4505 said:

I just got my cello back from the shop after experiencing a bad accident at community orchestra practice a month ago.  It was lying on its side, next to my chair.  Pretty much out of the way, but a bass player misjudged where the neck was and knocked it over.  Bad! Fortunately, no sound post crack, but it needed a new bridge and some ugly knicks and scratches to be repaired.  Has anyone else experienced this kind of accident?  Is there anything that I can do to prevent it from happening again?  Any ideas or tips are welcome!

Hi Bing4505 - my commiserations. However no tips are required. I promise that you will always be very, very aware of where your cello is - at all times.

In the days when gents trousers featured turn-ups, the conductor called for a break/leg stretch - whatever. I placed my cello down on it's side with the peg still extended. A fellow cellist walked past, his turn-up caught on the peg in mid-stride and with a loud scraping,  bang, screech and death-rattle, my cello  took flight as, flying in the opposite direction, the sound-post took off through the belly - leaving a 40mm gaping hole where it had "burst forth"... The rattle was the D-string peg unwinding and falling off at right angles to the flight paths of the cello and peg. The bang was the corpus trying make like a bass drum. The screech - I'm not too sure - might have been me...

I was distraught.

Initially the inletted sound-post patch (we couldn't find the missing piece of the belly) was a near invisible repair. However over the next 50 years the varnish has faded and the well-fitted patch appears to have shrunk slightly. Lately I've been idly wondering whether the sound-post isn't winding up to make another break for freedom.

From that moment I have always been very aware of where I place my cello. The safest place that I know of, is when my left arm is firmly cradling it against my body.

It also marks the exact time when I first began thinking about making an instrument.

I am truly sorry for your cello.

cheers edi

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Those of us who have been in the repair business have seen this a lot. In an orchestra setting, instruments go in the case, not on the floor, or on a chair, or on the music stand. A further precaution with a cello is to lay the case down, rather than leave it standing. Cellos can be badly damaged when the case falls over.

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Thanks everyone for the sage advice.  Many excellent suggestions and I will try to be disciplined enough in the future to put my cello away in its hard case, and lay it on its side, whenever I am not holding or playing it.  BTW, a friend called my attention to something called the CELLOGARD which she says is supposed to hold cellos up on their sides?  Does anyone know about this?  Or seen or tried it?  Does it work?

Thanks.

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This should be a no-brainer.  The reason you paid $$ for a hard case is to protect your cello.  Use it.  The cello is ever only in one of two places: in its case or between your legs.

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15 hours ago, bing4505 said:

BTW, a friend called my attention to something called the CELLOGARD which she says is supposed to hold cellos up on their sides?  Does anyone know about this?  Or seen or tried it?  Does it work?

Thanks.

The CELLOGARD might be a little better than nothing, but nowhere  close to the level of protection from stowing the instrument in a hard case.

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I'm also an advocate for instruments going right back in their cases unless you have a secure room in your studio. For some reason people can't seem to resist stepping over or near instruments on the ground and inevitably something happens. Just not worth the risk. I've seen things like a shoelace or pant leg catching an endpin as someone goes by, thus flinging the cello into chair legs or walls, someone not seeing it on the floor and kicking it, someone stepping over a cello and their foot catching the fine tuners, thus wrenching the cello by the tailpiece, flinging the bridge, etc... 

Also, I insist that if an instrument goes in the case at least one latch gets closed (2-3 on a cello case with multiple latches). The reason for this is that I've seen accidents caused by people picking up closed cases thinking they're latched and instruments come flying out. One violist set her viola in the case with the top open while she took a quick break to take a call or something, when she came back the top had flipped closed and she forgot it wasn't secure. She grabbed the case, and flung the strap over her shoulder and the viola flung out of the case head first into the floor behind her.

Point is, make good habits for securing your instrument when it isn't being played, and stick to them.

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1.  Take careful note of all the sage advice you've been given.  FTR, the first cello neck graft I ever did was because of something stupid I did to the poor cello.

2.  Avoid bad cellos.

3.  Avoid bass players as well.

4.  Make certain your cello is cleared before you return it to the rack......oops, wrong checklist. ;):lol:

 

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16 minutes ago, Rue said:

...what's a good cello accident?...

One you get paid $50K to repair.  :ph34r:

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I left my cello out in the doorway and i went upstairs to get something. This was christmas. I went back in the room and I stepped on my cello. My cello now has many many cracks on it.  

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13 hours ago, ic3paw said:

I left my cello out in the doorway and i went upstairs to get something. This was christmas. I went back in the room and I stepped on my cello. My cello now has many many cracks on it.  

That's why so many people put their instruments into protective cases any time they are not actually playing them. It's a hard lesson to learn, considering the many amateurs who will leave their instruments on stage during a break, so it can seem normal.

You'll almost never see this with a top-flight pro orchestra.

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Why does Jacob's "taming of the shrew" related comment no longer appear? I thought it to be both insightful and clever. 

I will readily acknowledge that not all behavioral characteristics can be sorted by gender , but I also think it's fun to have fun with various stereotypes, including male.

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6 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

 

Why does Jacob's "taming of the shrew" related comment no longer appear? I thought it to be both insightful and clever. 

I will readily acknowledge that not all behavioral characteristics can be sorted by gender , but I also think it's fun to have fun with various stereotypes, including male.

You're in the wrong thread because you failed to stop and ask directions, https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/344871-has-anyone-stepped-on-their-instrument/   :P:lol:

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I suppose it begs the question; if Katherina had smashed a Burgess violin over Hortensios’ head rather than a lute, would his “pate” have made it’s way through the instrument, or would he just have got a great big bruise. Experiment probably necessary:blink:

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