We Make it Easy to Rent Cellos in the St. Louis Area!

Have you experienced the commission-based sales staff at other stores in St. Louis? Don’t worry: none of our team works on a commission basis! We are here to help you…

We are a local St. Louis stringed instrument store that specializes in selling, renting, and repairing stringed instruments. If you are looking to rent a cello, you are in the right place. Our cello rentals start as low as about $30 a month (when paid annually), and our top-of-the line carved cellos rent for only $60 a month (when paid annually). Those prices are when paid annually (which gives you the lowest monthly cost), but you can also pay quarterly or monthly if you prefer.

This page is LOADED with information about our rental cellos – including price details (and even your first month free). You don’t want to miss anything!

Also, feel free to stop by one of our stores, give us a call, or send us an email (we respond to emails) if you have any questions! We do not work on commission: we are here to help you.

If you stop by our Maplewood store you have to meet Ted! He's one of our co-owners, and you'll typically find him at work in our workshop. Whether he's painstakingly repairing an antique instrument or setting up a schoolchild's rental cello - he loves people, music, and instruments.

Why Rent your Cello from Top Notch?

Insurance Included!

Every rental includes insurance against theft & accidental damage! Enjoy your instrument without being stressed or worried about it.

3 Years Worth of Rent...

3 full years’ worth of your rental payments can be applied to the purchase of your rental instrument! Avoid the “is-it-better-to-buy-or-rent” decision when you rent from us.

Replacement Strings

If a string breaks (it will eventually happen), not only do we not charge any labor to replace the strings, but our rentals also include 50% off the cost of the replacement strings (D’Addario).

Would you like your first month free?

Our Rental Cellos Include:

  • Ebony fingerboard and pegs
  • Quality, American-made D’Addario strings
  • Choice of either a brazilwood or carbon fiber bow with real horsehair
  • Lightweight padded bag
  • Rockstop (your choice of color)
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Rosin
  • Insurance against theft & accidental damage
  • Us! We’re here to support you!

Available Cello Sizes

1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, 4/4

If you are unsure of the size that is right for you (or your child) we can help make sure you are fitted with the proper-sized cello.

Some of the Top Notch St. Louis Cello selection

Select Your Cello Series

Our 1000 series entry level cellos are carved instruments made from aged maple sides and back with a spruce top. These are a perfect choice for a beginner who is developing their ear and technique, or for someone who wants to see if the cello is the proper stringed instrument for them.

Our 2000 series intermediate cellos are carved and made from carefully aged, lightly flamed maple for the sides and back. The top is made of spruce with a hand-applied oil varnish. The 2000-series is an affordable step up resulting in a higher-quality sound.

Our 3000 series advanced cellos are fully carved and made from 5+ year old aged, heavily flamed maple wood for the sides and back. The top is made from spruce and has an antiqued oil varnish. You cannot go wrong with a 3000-series cello. While a beginner may not be able to hear the significant tone difference between, say, our 1000-series and the 3000-series instruments, as they begin to play they should be able to tell the difference within 6-12 months of playing. We recommend the 3000-series to anyone who is planning to play the cello long-term and/or who wants to stand out in their orchestra or ensemble.

What Does it Cost to Rent a Cello?

1000 Series Cello Rental


  • The annual rate translates to a monthly cost of about $30 and by paying annually you are saving 25% over the monthly plan.
  • Or pay quarterly $105 and save 10%.
  • Or pay monthly $40.

2000 Series Cello Rental


  • The annual rate translates to a monthly cost of about $45 and by paying annually you are saving almost 25% over the monthly plan.
  • Or pay quarterly $158 and save 15%!
  • Or pay monthly $60.

3000 Series Cello Rental


  • Due to the value of our 3000 series cellos we can only offer them as a $720 yearly rental (which is about $60/month) and we do not offer a quarterly or monthly payment option.

All rentals are automatically and conveniently renewed by credit card.

What is the Process for Renting a Cello?

All you need to do is stop by one of our conveniently-located stores in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The process is simple:

  1. Size: we start by helping you select the proper-size instrument for you or your child.
  2. Series: you select the series (1000, 2000, or 3000) of cello that is best for you or your child.
  3. The one: next you select the specific instrument within that series. Within a specific size and series we often have several instruments to choose from. Children LOVE picking out their instrument!
  4. Paperwork: yes, a little bit of paperwork. The good news is that it isn’t complex: we’re not lawyers, we’re artists and musicians! After that, you’re set.

The average amount of time from when you walk in our door until you leave with your instrument can be as fast as 15 minutes up to perhaps an hour. We are not in a hurry and are here to help you be successful.

Photo of Sanford in our instrument repair workshop
Sanford, one of our master craftsmen, at work in our Maplewood location workshop.

Caring for your Cello

  • We include an instruction sheet with each rental but we also want to include some care tips here on our web site.
  • The cello’s bow hair should be slightly tightened before playing, and slightly loosened after playing and for storage. The bow strings are tightened by turning the screw below the frog. Your cello teacher will help you with this, and we can also show you how to do this.
  • Cello bows need a small amount of rosin applied to the hair for sound. Don’t worry: we include rosin with your rental! The amount of rosin to apply is something your cello instructor can help you with (and you’ll get a feel for how much and how often to apply over time) – and we can also get you set with the first rosin application before you leave the store.
  • Each time you are done playing your cello we recommend gently wiping the strings and the top of the cello to remove any rosin dust. And yes, we include a cleaning cloth with your rental. Gently wiping the cello helps to avoid building up rosin on the strings or the instrument itself. Over time you will find out that not enough rosin is a problem, as it too much!

While we also sell new cellos and provide cello repair, our primary focus here at Top Notch is to provide rental instruments to members of our local community. We love seeing our cellos being used in local schools and orchestras in the St. Louis area. Yes, because that means the cello was rented from us, but more than that it means someone else is experiencing music and falling in love with it the same way we have. If you have any questions about renting or buying an instrument from us, contact us today!

Don't Forget!