Cello Buying Guide: Understand the various types of cellos and the factors to consider while buying one.
Table of Contents
About the Instrument
Cello, pronounced as chel-oh, is the second-largest bowed string instrument in the modern chamber orchestra, the double bass being the biggest. It belongs to the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola and double bass.
Its a bowed string instrument with 4 strings tuned in ideal fifths. The cello is played either as a solo instrument, or as part of chamber music ensembles, string orchestras, and as a member of the string area of symphony orchestras.
Various Cello Sizes
Cellos and cello bows are available in different kinds and sizes, so you need to know what type of cello and cello bow you will require. The first thing to do is to determine what size of cello will be suitable for your body size.
Cellos are available in four sizes: one-quarter, half, three-quarte
r and full size (4/4). The smallest size are designed for kids whereas the full sized ones are for adults.
- Full Size Cello – This is the more popular version, a full size cello can measure up to forty eight inches. The strings of a full size cello square measure tuned C G D A, lowest to highest pitch.
- Carbon Fiber Cello – Carbon-fiber cellos by Luis & Clark are the most popular; these cello makers use a mix of carbon fiber and resin to create their cellos. These cellos are loud, sound unique, are less penetrating right in the front, but the sound goes out to all the sides, so you get a full-bodied sound.
- Small Scale Cellos – Smaller sized cellos can be referred to as 7/8, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, and 1/10. These cellos are convenient for children learning to play the cello, and players of smaller body frames.
Tuning the Cello
Playing the Cello
Cello players hold the cello between the knees while playing, and it leans on a ‘spike’ whose point sticks into the floor to stop the cello from slipping away from the player while the cello is being played.
Buying a Cello
In case you do not have the budget right now to buy a new cello, you can always buy a cello on rent. Leasing a cello will cost you around $50 per month, whereas new ones can be in upwards of $500 and go up to a few thousand dollars.
When buying a cello, look for one that has a rich, resonating tone. The more expensive ones have back and ribs made of maple and the front made of spruce, whereas the more budget variants could be made of plywood. Even in the case of cello bows, use the sound each one produces to help you decide which bow you want.
If you’re a newbie, request your cello teacher to accompany you to the store. In case you have decide to learn to play the cello, you need to own a quality instrument. Here, you will find a range of cellos made from reputed manufacturers.