INSTRUMENT POOL CO-OP POLICY
Rent in the instrument pool (where everyone puts in an instrument he owns to be rented, and uses others’) costs $40 a month. This perhaps seems high to people renting violins, since one might be able to rent a used violin for 20-$30/month, but basses from Summerhays rent for $85 a month, and the better quality basses rent for $138/month. The basses in our instrument pool are, for the most part, carved hardwood, not laminated plywood, with quality machines and strings. They sound excellent. There are a couple of exceptions, but for nearly 20 years we’ve been able to rent better quality basses for this incredibly low price.
We ask that you add them to your homeowner’s policy for insurance, and give the owner proof of insurance. Please don’t leave this for me to ask you, or for the owner to request it. Treat the instruments with special care, since the user is responsible to replace them if they are destroyed, or repair them if they are damaged, and the basses are expensive to replace or repair. Hang the bass bag on the back of a chair when not on the bass, so it doesn’t wear out or get dusty. Get a bass stand so it’s out of danger. Always carry the instrument upright, with your arm wrapped all the way around it, never horizontally like luggage, and use both hands, with one on the edge of the C bout to steady it. Go upstairs backwards, downstairs forwards. Never leave a bass down in a traffic area in your home or orchestra, where someone could trip and knock it over, (use an instrument stand); and especially don’t leave it a car in the cold or sun, or overnight; leave it only where a (live) person J could survive comfortably. Don’t drag it up from a lying down position to vertical, rubbing the ribs and edges on the carpet. This friction rubs off the heat-soluble varnish on the edges, and gradually splinters the wood on the edges. It needs to be “rolled” up to stand on the endpin. Endpin MUST be in the IN position when bass is being moved or left on its side (ribs.)
ALWAYS wash your hands with soap before you practice each day. Instrument specialists say sweat and dirt seep into the string core and destroy it faster than any other thing. Don’t leave the bow where a child with dirty hands could touch the horsehair, and never leave it on a couch, chair, bed, or floor. Don’t let children “sword fight” with the bow or touch the tip to anything. Procure a quiver to keep the bow safe during pizzicato. Get a cello/bass stand or cello/bass box to keep the bass safe when not in use. Don’t leave the bass on the floor in your home, and DON’T stand it against a wall, where it can fall sideways. I recommend an Ingles stand from Shar Products. Alexander has used it for years. It works for fraction sizes and full-sized basses and celli.
In an orchestra situation, at breaks I have my children put their instruments horizontally over against the wall, far away from any other students, or, for cellos, violins, and violas, right back in the case, never left on a chair or hung on a music stand, or w/ the cellos lying next to a chair, and NEVER in traffic areas. Cellos and basses are too easy to knock over, shattering the bridge. Don’t leave hard cello cases standing up w/ cello in it. We’ve destroyed a cello this way, when someone brushed by it and knocked it over.
Please teach your children all of these care guidelines and reiterate often so they will remember. Make a big deal about an infraction.
We do rentals with an auto pay plan through PayPal. Rent will be deducted from your checking account on the 1st day of each month.
This new instrument maintenance plan will be accomplished by the families paying $50 up front, and then approximately $9/month. After I replaced several strings and rehaired two bows (which costs about the equivalent of two months’ rent) for people who used my instruments, I felt that at such low rental price, it wasn’t worth it to rent them out, and pay for the upkeep. I hadn’t used my 1/4 bass for nearly 15 years, but it was in very sad condition for all the wear and tear of renters when I got it back. The owners have purchased these wonderful instruments at great personal sacrifice and expense, and have paid the interest on the loans for years, and now are giving us the opportunity to use an adequate and even fine instrument for ridiculously low rent, and they should be compensated for their sacrifice. If you are not willing to do this, please don’t rent from the instrument pool co-op.
We also ask that when families have finished using a rental, they return the instrument in better condition than they received it. Mrs. Willey will determine the need for some kind of upkeep, so check with her before you decide; examples: rehair the bow, replace the strings (Helicore) or bag if needed, and repair the dings that have appeared on the body (or which were there when you got it,) have the seams mended, etc. We estimate that it will amount to about $120 per year or so, so you can give back a clean, mint-condition instrument for the next person. When your student has grown out of the instrument, renter keeps paying rent until the maintenance is finished and the instrument is back to Mrs. Willey and available for the new renter.
The renter is responsible to pick up the bass at my home, and deliver it back to Mrs. Willey when he is finished, in order to determine the maintenance needed. Please don’t drop off basses with Anthony and expect me to call the owner, unless you make specific and considerate arrangements with him and me beforehand. Before you return the instrument, make all repairs, and then we will determine what needs to be done for “upkeep.” The renter will take it to the shop, and the bass pool will pay for the upkeep. Then the renter brings it back to Mrs. Willey.
When you get an instrument, examine it carefully, and, if needed, make arrangements with the previous renter to repair or replace. Call me about repairs. For bass repair, I HIGHLY (exclusively) recommend Stan Hooper at Peter Prier’s in SLC. He has the most experience w/ basses of anyone in Utah. For ding or scratch cover-ups, (“facials,”) Charles Liu’s is the most economical. Tim Stephensen on the Avenues in SLC is great for bow work; I go to ONLY him for rehairs. J.P. Lucas in Sugarhouse has been FABULOUS about restoring fine instruments to perfect condition.
When you rent instruments, I will give you the address of the owner, and you will send him the insurance certificate.