May 18 2012, 03:23 PM
My daughter has a Stentor Student II Cello, and is hoping to take grade 8 within the next year. Her teacher has said we should consider having the bridge either altered or replaced, lowering the strings a little. It was a second hand instrument, and as far as I know has whatever it was originally supplied with. It will require two round trips of about 150 miles each to the nearest workshop, who have quoted about ?70.
I am wondering whether this sort of amount is a good investment for what I presume is a pretty basic student instrument. I don't get to meet the teacher (a local authority peri) so I'm left wondering what difference this work might be expected to achieve. Will it make a real difference to the sound or the ease (or otherwise!) of playing, or is there some other reason to change a bridge? I am not in the position of being able to consider upgrading to a better instrument.
All comments/advice welcomed!
May 18 2012, 03:33 PM
Yes, putting a higher quality bridge fitted correctly is the single biggest change that can be made to the sound produced by a student instrument. After all, every vibration of the strings passes through it - if it's made from higher-quality wood and the feet are rock-solid on the belly, and if it's thinned down appropriately, the dampening effect on the vibrations is minimised. If you're not in a position to upgrade to a better cello, then definitely get it done.
Having it lowered is more to do with ease of playing when going high up the strings, with less force needed to stop the strings, than it is to do with the sound.
May 18 2012, 03:46 PM
The luthier should be able to do it while you wait though it may take a little time. It would be better that two trips. Just make the arrangement with the luthier before you go.
May 18 2012, 04:01 PM
Agree with the above - the bridge is very important and having the "action" at the right height makes it much easier to play in higher positions.
I had my action adjusted - which required adjustments to the fingerboard and nut as well as the bridge. I left it with them for about two and a half hours. I'm sure if you explain your position, tehy'll work aroudn that so that you can do it same day.
May 18 2012, 04:42 PM
agree with all the above; I had the bridge replaced on my cello and the 'action' lowered which made a big difference to the ease of playing it and the sound. From my limited cello experience, it is well worth doing. I wish your daughter good luck with Grade 8 next year!
May 23 2012, 07:17 PM
Many thanks for your comments - we will be on the road with a cello at half term. I am looking forward to hearing the difference!
May 23 2012, 09:18 PM
Just a thought but have you considered looking into the Benslow instrument loan scheme to see about possibly borrowing one from them?
May 24 2012, 03:58 PM
I hadn't heard of this, so thank you for the idea. Off to google now ...
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