converting a cello to a bass viola da gamba

Please put any questions about repairing your instrument or the finish on it in our Repairs section.

converting a cello to a bass viola da gamba

Postby craig cowing » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:56 pm

I'm working on a project to convert a Cecilia C100 4/4 cello into a bas viola da gamba. I'm curious as to whether anyone else has tried this. Thoughts?
craig cowing
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:55 pm

Re: converting a cello to a bass viola da gamba

Postby Fred Battershell » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:37 pm

It all depends on the shape of gamba and whether you are going for the slanted back(among other things!). You are in for a lot of almost fruitless work. If you just want to play your cello like a gamba, you should remove cello strings(replace them with gamba strings),install frets on the fingerboard,lower the height of the nut and bridge,get rid of the cello endpin and make or install a new gamba style tailpiece and tail gut. PS: don't forget to always bow underhand!
Best of luck to you!
PPs: You should also get ahold of as much viol-related literature(especially containing pix) so that you will become acquainted with the differing shapes and sizes of viols as they have morphed thru time.
Fred Battershell
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:23 pm

Re: converting a cello to a bass viola da gamba

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:04 am

Since the biggest differences are in the neck and pegbox (because of the additional strings) I would be inclined to pull the neck and make a completely new one. The cello neck could be saved. The same would apply to the bridge and tail piece, which would also need to be replaced. You may eventually want to make a more period correct body to go with the neck and appurtenances you will be making for the "conversion" so saving the original parts would allow you to put things back as they originally were and also have a cello.
Clay Schaeffer
Posts: 1361
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: converting a cello to a bass viola da gamba

Postby Calvin Buenavides » Wed May 22, 2019 3:27 am

That surely is an interesting yet challenging project. I hope that you will be able to keep us updated with the progress.
Calvin Buenavides
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:54 am

Return to Bowed Stringed Instruments and Bows

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

Your purchase from these sites helps support the MIMForum, but only if you start at the links below!!!
Amazon music     Amazon books     Amazon tools     Rockler tools     Office Depot    

The MIMF is a member-supported forum, please consider supporting us with a donation, thanks!
 • Book store • Tool store • Links •