Walking through the stands of Mondomusica, I stop in front of the stand n.79 “Negroni Massimo e Davide”. A violinmaker is carefully examining a violin under under the watchful eye of a young violinist. He is explaining to him how to clean the strings of his instrument. He explains with kindness, patience and passion. I wait for the end of the explanation and introduce myself. I tell him I’m looking for a luthier available to answer some questions about how to take care of a cello. He accepts with pleasure.
Negroni Massimo o Davide?
Massimo. Davide is my son, a luthier himself too.
I heard you were explaining how to clean the violin strings. Is that explanation ok to clean the cello strings too?
Certainly. When someone puts pitch on the bow hair, there is a risk that the pitch will remain on the strings. Alcohol is very good for cleaning, but it is important to avoid that drops of alcohol accidentally fall on the sounding board and damage the paint. Keeping the cello in a horizontal position, with the strings down, is always the best method for not taking risks: it is difficult for a drop “to fall” upwards …
And to clean the cello? Especially in the summer when your hands are sweating…
A cotton rag is always the best solution. Grandma’s old sheets are fine. Be careful not to listen to Grandma when she gives advice on how to clean your cello. It is true that your cello it is made of wood like the table in the living room, but it can not be cleaned with floor wax or oil (olive or walnut … every grandma has her own recipes: all equally unsuitable for the situation). And above all, the cello should be cleaned every day, when you stop playing, especially in summer, to prevent sweat and dust from forming a layer of dirt almost impossible to remove. Obviously a cleaning, at least yearly, made by the violin maker is always recommendable. [to be continued ⇒]