Selecting a cello to fit your needs and goals

Your first cello purchase or rental will have a large impact on your progression with the cello. Buy an overpriced cello and you may find that you have far less funds to purchase others items needed to learn the cello like sheet music or lesson materials. Spend too little on a cheap cello and you may find yourself with an instrument that is hard to play and sounds far less appealing.

The good news is that you can have your own simple cello review once you understand how to spot a well made cello verses a cheap or inferior cello.

Often people will ask , “What is a good cello make or model?” Some approach the selection of a finely made wood instrument in the same manner as one would buy a mass produced car or appliance. The only problem with this approach is that the reproduction of a wood instrument even in a shop with similarly trained craftsmen will result in a different sound and playability. This is because the wood used in an instrument can never be exactly the same from instrument to instrument. Cuts and selections of woods, even from the same lot or forest vary enough to produce a unique sound and feel. If one reviews two cellos, they will find different thicknesses on the front of the two instruments due to the fact that good cellos are hand carved rather than machine made. The hand carving process by two craftsmen will produce small differences in the cellos which will make one cello sound warmer when playing a musical note and another sound brighter or more colorful.

Other contributing factors in the quality, sound and play-ability of a cello includes the bow selection and the type of strings that are used. Different bows and cello strings also produce different sounds when playing on the same instrument, so make sure that you try playing different bow with different cello to see how the sound differs. I tell everyone to “Trust your ear”, you know what you like to hear. Reviewing and selecting a cello yourself will produce a more satisfying, personal and rewarding experience.