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Someone I work with brought her cello for me to look at. She said she had enjoyed but just doesn't play much anymore. "A very nice one, paid a lot for it but would sell it for less, yada yada..." She didn't know the maker, but I saw it says Cecilio inside.
She assumed I would buy it just from looking at it in the case. When I said I was eager to play it, she became defensive. She said she had not played it in at least a year, so it might need to be tuned. (really? ya think?)
She didn't hang around while I tried to tune it. The plastic pegs slipped badly, and the 2 bottom strings rested firmly against the fingerboard. I went to get her to ask about this. She said "well I told you I haven't played it in over a year, so yes, you have to tune it." Hmmm. Well the bridge placement was right, centered at the inner F-holes, but it was turned the wrong way! I went to ask her if she had changed it. No. Has anyone done any work on it? No. Would it be ok if I turn the bridge around the right way? "Go ahead. Whatever you want."
I turned the bridge around, but then the top two strings were on the fingerboard! (Its a Romberg fingerboard.) I could see prior bridge foot marks way too high where someone had tried moving it up, but even this did not raise the strings to a playing height. It was obvious she has never played this. Or any other cello.
But since at least the two lower strings would now sound, I got the bow out. It was greasy and dirty in the mid part, only drawing a sound near the frog. Rosin was no help. I got her to come in so I could explain the bow problem. (She had wondered what that rosin thingy was...) But she wasn't concerned about the bow, because, she explained, she considers the bow optional. She finally 'fessed up that she had bought it on EBay for $100 and didn't care about the bow "because I just wanted to learn the chords." She still could not admit that she had thought she was buying a guitar.
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