January 06, 2011
When we moved into our new house three weeks ago I was looking forward to having enough floor space to keep my cello out in the room between practice sessions. Our previous house was comfortably cozy and I ended up keeping the cello in the front coat closet.
By leaning the cello, bridge first, toward an unused corner of the closet I was able to store it safely, and as it turns out, in a stable climate. Twice in the first week in our new house I had to retune use the pegs as cold, dry air had loosened one or more of the strings.
In our new house I had hoped to keep it in a corner of the living room, directly behind where I sit when I play. During the first couple of days when we were still moving in, a prolonged period of the front door being open in chilly 40º temperatures gave all four of my strings a fairly wobbly tension. And after the majority of the move was completed and the front door wasn't open for long periods of time I still have had lose string problems. I suspect due to changing temperatures in that corner. The late afternoon sun just reaches the cello for a few minutes, and I suspect the warming up that occurs then, followed by cooling off is what caused my C-string peg to let go.
So once again I am keeping Chester in the front coat closet. The new coat closet is twice as big as the old one, but also considerable colder. Its rear wall is the garage wall, and while it is insulated the closet is noticeably colder than the room. Last night I put a thermometer/hydrometer in the closet with the cello and after 24 hours or so of acclimatizing it reads 64º and 40% humidity. The house is kept at 68º during most of the day, and 64º at night.
So my question is, where should I keep my cello when I'm not playing it? In its case (a soft sided affair that is somewhat bothersome to use)? In the closet despite the temperature? Out in the room, but away from sunlight or other extremes of temperature?