Urge to have a bash at playing a cello!!!

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For the last few years I have fancied having a go at playing a cello.

Anyone had a go? Any experiences?

Maybe after playing guitar for 15yrs or so it would be a bit of a change.

Would guitar experience help or hinder?

What do you guys reckon

Price of cellos is a bit gobsmacking though Cheers

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Comments

  • vizviz Frets: 8290
    edited September 2013
    Go for it. Piece of cake. It'll be odd at first but will be good for your guitar playing ultimately.
    Anything that isn’t pentatonic is pretentious wank -  LastMantra
    more on the strength of my ability to own a PA than to play a guitar” - ICBM
    Be yourself. Everyone else is taken. Better to sound like an individual than a clone” - Merlin
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  • I had the same idea, back when I was about 13. Didn't work, bored the hell out of me and generally sounded awful. I went back to making awful noises with my guitar, because it was more fun.
    <space for hire>
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  • MyrandaMyranda Frets: 2925
    I keep having the urge to play cello (and drums ... heavens no!) but it's easy to resist as I can't afford it
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 20885
    I don't think it will help your guitar playing unless you are planning on doing a jimmy page! I don't know about cellos, but I've heard it said that if you don't start violin as a kid you have no chance.
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  • Wish I was still 13!!

    First chance I get, without buying, I'll give one a go.

    Porbably back to guitar straight off.

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  • DLMDLM Frets: 2285
    The missus (formerly known as DLM's Girl on MR, not on here yet) is a pro cellist. I've played her cello often, but I've not pursued playing it actively.

    Experience playing any instrument will help you learn cello, because you'll hopefully have a better idea of what and where the notes are. I notice the difference in speed picking the instrument between the missus' students who've played an instrument before and those who haven't – it's light and day. You'll need to adjust to the fact that it's tuned in fifths, mind.

    You're going to need lessons, so budget for that. Otherwise you'll hold the bow wrong and nothing will work. A good teacher will help you find an instrument, too.

    Yes, the price is gobsmacking compared to guitars, but you'll want to spend as much as you can afford when you hear the difference in sound that spending more buys. Bows cost a darned sight more than plectrums, too! ;) Oh, and strings are pricier than the most expensive bass strings, too, but you'll not need to change them so often.

    I'd suggest starting off by renting. That should help you start off with something playable, rather than the lowest price internet "bargain", which may be crap, unplayable or both. There are often rent to buy arrangements where the money you've already spent is deducted from what you pay to buy the instrument outright.

    Where are you based? Sourcing an instrument and a teacher in some parts of the UK might be difficult – we wanted to borrow something decent for the missus to practice on on our hols in the North East a few years ago and could find nothing in the area. We ended up collecting one from outside Cambridge on our drive up from Stansted, taking it back when we were on our way home.
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  • DLM: Live in Cornwall.

    Only thing local is a teaching school with reasonably priced lessons and possibility of instrument hire.

    I intend to organise something with them, to put me on the right lines so to speak or send me running back to guitar!!

    Found your comments vv interesting as Mrs DLM is a pro.

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  • DLMDLM Frets: 2285
    Cool. Give it a shot and let us know how you get on. When I was trying to source an instrument for the Missus everything seemed rather London or bust from the Net. Sad, really. Anyway, we're in Germany, so too far to be of much help, and we don't know anyone in Cornwall, I'm afraid.

    Check that the cello teacher from the school near you specialises in that instrument, if possible. Much better than a "generalist". It's very different from the other stringed instruments: different grip to double bass (German style), and tuned differently; held differently to viola and violin. When your teacher plays, it should ideally sound totally awesome to you.

    And it's worth having any instrument you play looked at by a luthier/violin maker: set-up is really important in getting anything out of the box.

    Do you tweet? Try finding some local pro cellist to guide you on Twitter. Just an idea. Folk can be accessible there where they aren't otherwise.
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  • DLM: I have googled cello for Cornwall and there is a guy about 20miles away that makes violins, cello's etc.

    For a cello his price starts from 10K.

    Out of my league!!!

    He may be worth a visit for a chat but......

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  • Funnily enough I've just seen a sh cello for sale in Oxfam, Burleigh St, Cambridge - £349 iirc. Appreciate that's not exactly local to you, but maybe Oxfam might ship it?

    Good luck with the learning if you do decide to take it up :)
    Stonevibe: 'The best things in life aren't things'.

    Trading feedback: Previous (+18) and Current

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  • Get a cheapo Stentor and go for it. Plus spend an extra couple of quid on some proper cello rosin when you order it. If it's anything like mine the stuff it comes with is effectively just orange glass that would not come off on the bow. I thought my cello was duff because it sounded like Baron Greenback's farts until I bought some not-cheapest-possible rosin.
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  • BasherBasher Frets: 933
    I think the hat is an important part of the guitarist-cellist crossover:
    image
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  • vizviz Frets: 8290
    My god look how he's holding the bow!! Terrible.
    Anything that isn’t pentatonic is pretentious wank -  LastMantra
    more on the strength of my ability to own a PA than to play a guitar” - ICBM
    Be yourself. Everyone else is taken. Better to sound like an individual than a clone” - Merlin
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  • Sounds like a classical mid-life crisis.
    My muse is not a horse and art is not a race.
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  • +1 for renting from a proper cello/violin shop. Got mine from Bristol Violin shop. Paid for 2 months of renting at £30 a month, and I could have the rental money off the purchase price if I decided I wanted to keep it. You at least get a Cello that is set up and functioning properly, and my one happened to have a much nicer set of strings on than what usually comes on beginner Cellos, as the previous intermediate level owner had fitted them.

    I didn't keep the Cello in the end. I did make some good sounds out of it and learned a few scales, but you really do need a teacher and a lot of patience. So its a big financial commitment and pretty much starting from scratch which can be frustrating when your used to easy street on your previous instrument. It's not the same as self learning on guitar either. You need to be taught proper bow habits and left hand positioning. I had a friend who was classically taught Cello examine my self taught skills off of youtube vids, he showed me the correct bow position and fingering and it felt horrible and alien. I would have never figured it myself. I figure its utterly crucial to nail these things right in the beginning, as it will be extremely difficult to unlearn lazy incorrect habits even a few months in. 

    Now I also have an urge to rent a Cello again haha! I picked up a hitchhiker who's mum happens to be a Cello teacher, think i've lost the number now though :(


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  • Daneff said:


    Now I also have an urge to rent a Cello again haha! I picked up a hitchhiker who's mum happens to be a Cello teacher, think i've lost the number now though :(


    Oh, that's easily sorted - just dig up the body, and charge up the mobile - her number's probably listed under 'mum' or something like that.
    You don't need much knowledge of anatomy to appreciate the fundamental ubiquity of opinions.
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 2285
    rolls1392 said:

    DLM: I have googled cello for Cornwall and there is a guy about 20miles away that makes violins, cello's etc.

    For a cello his price starts from 10K.

    Out of my league!!!

    He may be worth a visit for a chat but......

    Great! That's actually exactly what you need – for advice, not for a new instrument, at least not yet. He'll know where you can hire something playable, and will also have contacts to local players and teachers to get you started.

    Most violin makers can't make enough money just building, they live off repairs, maintenance, buying in cheap Asian instruments and setting them up to make them playable.

    Proper rosin and decent strings will obviously be a huge help, as others have said, and any pros (builders/teachers/players) will advise you not to skimp in those areas. I'd still say you should rent, not buy, if at all possible, though, sorry, Cat.

    Dan is right, the proper bow hold feels really queer, I definitely couldn't do it straight off (couldn't maintain it, either, can't do it now, but then, as I said, I've not practised, just tried it), you have to work on it and keep on being corrected by a teacher as it feels so alien, but it's essential to getting the thing to work properly.

    Deffo look into the proper hats, too. Sadly, my head size starts after hat sizes stop in this country, so I need a custom-shop hat, which I can't afford, and have to manage with stretchy one-size fits all wooly ones from the €uro shop, which give me crap tone. :(
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  • DLM said:
     I'd still say you should rent, not buy, if at all possible, though, sorry, Cat.
     
    What sort of twisted demon argues against owning junk you don't need!?
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  • DLM said:
     I'd still say you should rent, not buy, if at all possible, though, sorry, Cat.
     
    What sort of twisted demon argues against owning junk you don't need!?

    An undercover wife maybe?
    My muse is not a horse and art is not a race.
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 2285
    Lol, yeah, I'm on a revenge mission from Mumsnet!
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