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- 1 Introduction :
- 2 A brief history of cellos :
- 3 Parts of the Cello:
- 3.1 • The scroll
- 3.2 • The pegbox and the tuning pegs
- 3.3 • The Nut
- 3.4 • The neck
- 3.5 • The fingerboard
- 3.6 • Bouts and waist
- 3.7 • Bass bar
- 3.8 • Strings
- 3.9 • The Bridge
- 3.10 • The soundpost
- 3.11 • The fine tuners
- 3.12 • The f-holes
- 3.13 • The top and back
- 3.14 • The tailpiece
- 3.15 • The purfling
- 3.16 • The ribs
- 3.17 • The endpin thumb screw
- 3.18 • The tail Gut
- 3.19 • The saddle
- 3.20 • The endpin spike
- 4 What is the best cello for a beginner?
- 5 Best cello brands for beginners :
- 6 Best cello for an intermediate player :
- 7 Best cello for advanced students :
- 8 Conclusion:
Cellos are among the few musical instruments we have that are considered as huge investments. Their worth increasing with time and for this reason, owning one can be very lucrative. More people are also learning to play and enjoy the instrument every day. Therefore the best cello for beginners is a crucial issue.
Unlike other musical instruments, each type of cello can only be enjoyed and played by a specific group of people. That right! There exists a cello category meant for beginners, another one meant for intermediates and the last one made specifically for advanced students.
Each cello is tailored to favor its category and therefore will not be any use for any other category. For this reason, a beginner can only handle a beginner’s cello.
However, not all beginners’ cellos will be suitable for the specific individual. To find the most suitable, each category has to consider a number of factors that will often differ according to the specific category.
For example, to determine what the best cello is for a beginner, the factors involved will not be similar to those that will determine the best cello for an intermediate or advanced student.
This article will outline some of these key factors in every category. The article will also outline some of the best cello brands for beginners.
It will be very important to understand the importance of selecting the right cello brand for beginners. Each category will be handled separately for better understanding and comparison.
But first, let us understand how cellos first came to be….
A brief history of cellos :
The history of cellos started during the ancient evolution that only knew and used stringed instruments like a harp. These instruments would produce very sweet and warm tunes that made music and sometimes were accompanied by poetry.
the ancient evolution
Progressively, the bow was discovered and included. By this time, the violin was a very common musical tool that was grouped according to the different modes of playing them.
Thanks to Andrea, de salo and Maggini, by the 16th century, the first-ever cello named the bass violin and later violoncello was designed in France. Attaining low pitches were, however, a challenge and for that reason, the size of the bass was very large. Later on, involving metal wood strings gradually decreased their sizes.
In the year 1710, Stradivari Antonio started developing cellos that were equal to the original two sizes in measurements. This got other designers imitating him in Europe and later, facilitated the emergence of virtuoso players.
The players could now incorporate better tunes on the instrument making the cello a very common solo musical tool. Domenico Gabrielli and Giovanni Battista Degli were among the first composers of serious solo songs for the cello instrument.
The initial cello method was written in 1741 by a man named Michel Corrette. According to Bach’s Six Suites, different designs of the cello continued to emerge from the 1800s until the early 1900s.
Some of the players of non-traditional cello songs included The Portland cello mission, Ray Brown, Apocalyptica, Hanks Roberts, The electric light Orchestra, The piano guys and Zoe Keating.
Later on, Luis and Clark built their first cello from carbon fiber rather than the usual material wood. The company has now sold over 1000 cellos made from carbon fiber, Yo-Yo Ma being among them.
These sounds were known to be among the warmest and heartfelt melodies ever played at the time. Other greatest cellist of all time where Mstislav Rostropovich, Pablo Casals, Jacquline du Pre, Mischa Maisky, Paul Tortellier and Gregor Piatigorsky.
The intrusion of the endpin was among the major and conspicuous changes done on the cello design. It was meant to make the cello easier to balance when holding and playing the instrument.
the modern time
Today, the cello continues to be enjoyed by many and facilitated the emergence of cello rock that specializes in gothic sounds. It takes the shape and function of the violin but with a bigger body and played differently.
It is now placed between the knees and a bow squarely positioned behind the musical tool. Every beginner will require to know and understand the normal parts of a cello and their functions.
It will also be very valuable to learn how these cello parts can be removed and replaced before actually learning to play. The beginner is likely to get better and enjoy the instrument faster if he or she is familiar with each of them.
Parts of the Cello:
The parts that now constitute the current cello we use…
• The scroll
This is the decorated carved wood section at the far end of a cello. This carved wood section extends to form the pegbox, another major part of the cello.
• The pegbox and the tuning pegs
The pegbox holds four tuning pegs enabling easy wrapping around of the strings for tuning. The player can easily adjust the hold of these pegs to either tighten or loosen the string tension for a higher or lower pitch. Beginners must be very careful to avoid any tightening to avoid breakage.
• The Nut
The nut is located at the top end of the fingerboard. It holds the strings in correct alignment and height to enhance the cello’s tone and playability. Four tiny notches are made into the top of the nut and strings placed into them before twisting about the peg.
• The neck
This is the cello’s extension of the body that provides grip to the strings and fingerboards. It is typically carved from a strong maple.
• The fingerboard
Made from a very firm dark wood, the fingerboard provides a firm surface that allows the strings to be pressed down so notes can be played. It also requires professional planning to vibrate freely without vibrating against the cello’s surface.
• Bouts and waist
The bout and waist describe the distinctive shape of the cello. This is the cinched-in section in the middle whenever the cello is held on standing position.
With the bouts and waist, the bow can pass over the strings at a series of angles without touching the cello’s body. There are two bouts on the upper and lower side beyond the waist.
• Bass bar
This is the thin strip in a standing position mounted on the left top of the cello. The strip is usually seasoned by spruce and in line with the strings. The strip will also go from one end of the cello’s body to the other. The bass bar affects the bass tone and the lower register.
These are basically the four strings on every standard cello. A bow is normally drawn across the strings to produce single notes and other tone effects.
A string must always be replaced if it loses its ability to stay in tune or starts to snaps. Once the strings vibrate, the buzzing is transferred to the cello’s body for amplification.
• The Bridge
Between the f-holes notches, the bridge is the small carved section located on the top. The bridge normally holds the strings away from the cello’s surface allowing the string to freely vibrate and transfers the vibration to the echoing cavity of the cello’s body. The height of the bridge is also adjustable depending on the player’s specifications.
• The soundpost
The soundpost is a small wood, normally made of spruce that connects the top and back of the cello from the inside. The bridge is used to transmit vibrations for a maximum tone of the cello greatly increasing its resonance.
• The fine tuners
The finer turners are located on the tailpiece of the cello, often on the A-string. They are either single pieces fixed to the tailpiece or built-in to the tailpiece. They ensure a more detailed tuning of each string.
• The f-holes
These are the small holes made on the top of the cello to increase the power of the melody emitted by the cello. These small openings assist in shaping and directing the sound of the cello.
They are also considered to have a huge impact on the tone quality just by allowing the free movement of sound from the interior of the cello to the listener.
• The top and back
The top and back are two large pieces of wood held together by the ribs. Two distinctive holes that cut through can be seen on the top when the cello is resting on its back. The back is made up of a resonant wood and does not have any holes.
The quality and age of the type of use on the top and back greatly affect the quality of sound from the cello. Therefore, with the proper care and maintenance can improve remarkably with age.
• The tailpiece
The tailpiece holds the strings to the cello’s body on the lower end. Some tailpieces may be built-in fine tuners for all strings. Moreover, other than the usual black color, the tailpiece can appear in other colors and make from a variety of woods or compound material.
• The purfling
The purfling is the attractive edge of the cello that prevents it from acquiring any cracks, especially on the top and back. It also makes the cello look good.
• The ribs
The ribs allow enough space for sound development. They hold the top and back of the cello apart creating an echo that produces the cello’s tone.
• The endpin thumb screw
Basically, hold the cello’s endpin in location. With the screw, the endpin can be easily adjusted and removed if need be. It must, therefore, be handled with a lot of care to avoid damaging the endpin or any threads of the thumbscrew.
• The tail Gut
The tailgut of the cello holds its tailpiece to the endpin collar. Any detailed adjustment of the tailgut will have a major effect on the quality of sound and tone the cello produces. Regular adjustments are often required when the cello is new but the tailgut settles over time.
• The saddle
The saddle is a tiny often rectangular piece of wood that helps reduce the pressure exerted on the cello’s body from the string tension. It is also used to support the tailgut and is located in front of the endpin.
• The endpin spike
This is the thin rod of metal seen to emerge from the bottom of the cello. There is a rubber tip on the end of this rod that is used to hold the cello in position while playing.
The spike’s height is also adjustable to suit the player when playing. This rod is very delicate such that a small bump could cause damage to the entire cello.
What is the best cello for a beginner?
Having learned about the different parts of the cello and their function, the beginner should now be ready to try out the cello. To find the student the best possible cello to get started, we will have to understand what makes a cello the best cello for beginners.
Below are some important factors that will be very helpful in figuring out what is the best cello for a beginner.
Remember, acquiring the wrong cello will not be any value to the student and therefore will only result in huge losses. Therefore, before any purchase, ensure the cello is well suited for a beginner.
Some of the main factors to look out for include
The size is one of the major factors that determine how best the cello will serve the beginner. Different cellos will come in different sizes. Each is meant to favor the specific size and height of the cello.
Therefore, as a beginner, the first step would be to figure out what size you are. You will later be required to get a cello that will match your size. With the right size, the beginner will be able to hold and play the instrument with a lot of ease.
Comfort is key and therefore, the best cello will ensure enough is attained. As a beginner, consult your teacher to find out the right size for you.
Even the best cello for a beginner cant attain its high-quality notes when the wrong accessories are involved. The cello’s accessories will normally have a very big part to play.
For quality sound, you will need the best accessories to complement your best cello. On that note, for a beginner, the best cello should come accompanied with all its accessories.
This is because, unlike an advanced student, a beginner may not be able to hunt for the best accessory that would best match his or her cello.
It can also be a very long and frustrating process for any beginner to handle. It can also be quite a confusing process, especially when it comes to choosing the right bow for the cello. Therefore, to get the best cello, ensure it comes with the entire package altogether.
In addition, ensure a good and hard bow case is also included in the package. The best cello for a beginner should contain the important elements to ensure it is not prone to any damages.
For a beginner, the best cello will be the lowest-priced cello available in cello shops. Since you are only getting started, as a beginner, you may not enjoy or like the whole idea of cellos in time. This is very possible and tends to happen every time.
For this reason, beginners are recommended to rent or hire their cellos at least for the first few months. To hire, the beginner will only require a small initial investment to access and practice the cello.
Moreover, the vendor caters for any damages or replacements in case of any accidents occurring. The beginner can also, later on, own the instrument through the rent-own-programs available when renting. This makes renting a very good option that will ensure the bigger spends a minimal amount of money during the purchase.
Therefore, spending the lowest possible amount on a cello will be the best choice. In case you do not end up liking the instrument, you will not have pent and hence wasted too much.
Moreover, the lowest cost of the cello will be easier to learn and play as a beginner. For those reasons, the best cello for a beginner must be the cheapest and if possible a rented cello for the best results and financial concerns.
IV. Type of cello
Cellos exist in different types. Depending on the area of specialization, pick the cello that will be best suited for you. For example, if you are a beginner looking to venture more in cello rock, then the electronic cello will be more preferable.
Similarly, if you are a beginner looking to just enjoy the instrument the normal traditional way, you will need the traditional cello.
With the right type of cello, the beginner will be more able to familiarize with the instrument with will be very important and valuable. This also makes the learning process easier and faster to pick up the skill.
Sometimes, quickly learning the instrument is what makes the whole experience great. Therefore, the right cello for a beginner will be the right type. Make sure to first make the tough decisions before deciding on the type of cello to get.
V. Cello materials
Different cello is made from a different type of materials. The spruce and Marple are among the well known and trusted materials that would make the best cello for a beginner.
The type of wood of the cello can greatly affect its quality of sound. The grain must be of high quality to attain the best possible tone.
Therefore, a beginner must be very cautious to ensure the cello’s material is the best for the desired results.
To check the quality of the material on your cello, ensure you can see a series of frames on the back part of the cello. These frames will be a clear determinate that will indicate how effective your instrument will be.
Therefore, ensure the material of the cello does not compromise the quality of the cello. In other words, the best cello for beginners will be from the best and quality materials.
VI. Cello brands
As a beginner, there will be a number of cello brands that you should avoid. For instance, brands that will not be ready to help in case you encounter a problem with their purchased cellos should be avoided.
Moreover, brands whose reputation for producing quality instruments is questionable, might not be the best, especially for a beginner.
For this reason, taking enough time to carefully consider all the available brands in the market will be very helpful. This will get you exposed to a series of options and opportunities that are very important.
In addition, comparing the brands, ensures you get the best possible deals which are what we all want. Take enough time and research and learn more about the different kinds of brands in the market. This way, you will be in a better position to find the best one for you.
Finding the best dealer will be very cost-effective and beneficial for you. Therefore, the best cello for a beginner will come from the best dealer. I took some time to outline some of the popular dealers we currently have that would be best for a beginner.
Maintenance For Beginners cello :
I really hope all this information stored and got you interested in these instruments. Please make sure to adhere to the outlined guidelines for the best possible results. Also, make sure to heavenly invest in the cello’s proper care and maintenance.
The instrument is quite fragile and can be easily damaged by just the wrong storage criteria. For example, High temperatures and humid conditions can greatly tamper with the quality and worth of your cello.
Therefore, for a lifetime investment, make sure the cello is properly handled and maintained to reduce the chances of any damages. Any repairs and replacements must be handled in the same way.
If you notice any dysfunction on your cello, ensure the best luthier takes a look to fix the problem. Even if you are not sure, it will always be safe to ensure your cello is in its right state.
Best cello brands for beginners :
There are currently a number of cello brands that are specifically tailored for beginners. Below is a list of brands that I would recommend for beginners.
However, each of the brands will differ in the price level, experience level and a couple of other search methods. In any case, I hope it provides a good baseline on what are the best cello brands for beginners.
Cecilio has slowly grown to be among the famous brands in the world. It is popularly known for producing musical tools of very good quality within a very fair price range that would perfectly suit a beginner.
They are aimed at providing them with a complete starter kit that will include all accessories the beginner might need to get started.
This brand would, therefore, be the best choice if you are looking to own a beginner cello instead of opting to rent. Cecilio would however not be the best cello for intermediates and advanced students.
Examples of cellos from Cecilio include
- Cecilio CCO-100( the student cello outfit)
- Cecilio CCO-500 (A handmade solid wood cello)
Meran is among the best cello brands that are designed for students models. This brand has developed a very good reputation for availing quality musical tools that are also cost-friendly.
For this reason, they have grown to be very popular among schools and used to serve the beginner best.
The brand also produces their cellos in a variety of attractive colors to ensure your cello stands out from the rest. The Merano cellos would surely make a very good starter pack for any beginner.
Examples of cello models from Merano brand include
Merano MC400 a solid wood cello
Merano 1/16 Size Black Cello
Before transferring on to an advanced cello, the Stentor brand is among the best beginner cello to start with. They are well known across the whole from their good quality instruments at very friendly prices.
Their products are manufactured in China and must be thoroughly inspected to fit the required quality before they are shipped into the United States.
Some examples of Stentor good products include
Stentor 1102, the student cello
Stentor 1108 student cello
From 2001, the crescent has grown to be among the best beginner cello producing brands online. All their musical appliances come with all the necessary accessories the beginner would need to get started.
They are also very accessible since all crescent products are available online. Their prices are also quite welcoming. I would highly recommend these cellos if you are focused on saving the money other than renting.
Crescent 4/4 beginner cello starter kit is a very good and reliable example of a quality crescent cello brand.
beginner cello–Crescent 4/4
Yamaha is among the biggest manufactures of musical tools across the world. The company produces all kinds of instruments, electronics and sports pieces of equipment as well.
They are also very popular and most of the people in Japanese would recognize their brand. This makes them a very reputable brand to get involved with particularly for beginners who wish to learn electric cellos. Their electric cellos are the best to start with an advance.
Some good examples of Yamaha products include
- Yamaha Silent Series SVC-210SK Electric Cello
- Yamaha SVC-110SK also known as the silent electric cello
- Yamaha SVC50SK Silent Compact Cello.
Cremona is yet another best cello brand for beginners. Their instruments are made in China and later assembled in the United States.
From their origin, you can easily tell that the brand only produces high-quality instruments. What’s more, their prices are very affordable for any beginner looking to find the best cello.
Generally, a lightweight cello case will be included if purchased. Cremona is among the best cellos now made for beginners and can also serve an intermediate.
Two examples of Cremona cellos include
This is a very popular brand that offers beginners a series of instruments to choose from. It is among the few cello brands that actually inspires brand loyalty.
Beginners who started off with these beginner cellos end up upgrading to more advanced levels from the brand. This brand would, therefore, be a very good option for a beginner.
Some common examples of the D’Luca cello products include
- D’Luca MC100, known as the Meister student cello
- Handmade cello (D’Luca Meister)
Primavera will also be a very good brand if you are just getting started. Their products are basically of very good quality and many opt to buy rather than rent them. They only use quality spruce and maple during the manufacturer.
A few examples of the best products from primavera brand include
- Primavera Prima 90
- Primavera prima 200
The knilling brand is among the few brands that stand out from the many from their perfection pegs. Their cellos can also be customized to suit the beginner’s special desires.
Since the years 1922, Knilling has been developing and managed to build itself a tremendously trusted reputation. A few examples of the best of
products from the Knilling include
Knilling Bucharest Model
- Knilling Maestro cello outfit.
Best cello for an intermediate player :
Getting the best cello for an intermediate player is also not among the easy tasks. Being more familiar with the cello instrument, the intermediate player should be more keen to ensure he or she gets the best cello possible.
In most cases, intermediate players looking to advance their skills and to make that possible, they will need just the right instrument for the job.
Moreover, by now the intermediate player would be looking for an instrument he can play for a longer period of time. The player should also be very keen to find the best cello brand for an intermediate player.
The right brand will be more capable of understanding the desires of the player and hence help to achieve them.
In addition, the intermediate player will be exposed to better opportunities and offers during purchase. The best cello brand for an intermediate player must, therefore, regard all these factors in the best way possible.
Below are some of the key factors to consider for the best cello for an intermediate player. This is a very critical stage and therefore the player must not rush through the purchasing
• Quality of material
The quality of the material will be very important. In this stage, a low-quality sound cello will not be of any use to the player by all means. Inspecting the cello’s material before purchase will, therefore, be very essential.
Being an intermediate player he should be more familiar with the flames on the back of the cello and ensure the grain wood furniture is of the best quality. This will translate to a higher quality cello which would be the main goal for the player.
In most cases, intermediates will always be advised to test the cello’s quality before making a purchase. If not certain about the quality, seeking help from an expert or involving your teacher will be very essential.
The price of the best intermediate cello will also be a very big issue. Generally, as the quality of a cello increase, the price will often tend to increase as well.
For this reason, the intermediate player should be ready to pay a little extra for the improved cello. In most cases, considering the prices of the cello will help avoid purchasing any low-quality instrument.
However, remember that it will not be always the case. A sure way would ensure the quality of the cello matches its price tag. Make sure the two correspond in the best way possible.
Lastly, planning for the money in advance will always be an added advantage to the intermediate player. This way, the player will not be forced to settle on less quality due to financial reasons. A cello is an investment and therefore how much you give in will definitely affect what you get.
Unlike cellos meant for beginners, the best intermediate cello will rarely come accompanied by its needed accessories. The intermediate player will, therefore, have the task of sourcing for the right accessories for the purchased cello.
The best intermediate cello will have the right accessory that will best complement the cello. Similarly, the wrong accessory will not utilize the maximum the full potential of the advanced cello.
To avoid trouble, the player must never rush the search. A lot of patience will be needed to ensure the player gets the right accessory particularly the bow and is very comfortable with it. Comfort must also be never ignored.
Moreover, taking enough time to completely test the accessory with your cello will make all the difference. This way, the player will be in a better position of acquiring the right tools that will, in turn, facilitate growth which is what most of them want.
Do not forget the importance of rosin and a good hard case. Without the proper care and maintenance of the cello, all the struggle and money put in will all be in vain. Therefore, make sure you get the best accessories for the best intermediate cello.
The size will always be an issue when it comes to the cello instrument. The musical tool is reasonable quite huge and therefore, may easily compromise the comfort of the player.
The best intermediate cello must, therefore, be of the right size and height for the player to hold and play. Anything less will affect the cello’s play-ability and only cause fatigue to the player using the instrument.
Therefore the intermediate player must never ignore the size of the cello. Testing the cello will always allow the player to gauge the sizes for better results.
Best cello for advanced students :
This category of players includes professional and the masters of the cello instrument. Surely, their specifications will defer from the intermediate and more so the beginners.
Usually, these types of cellos are very expensive and really difficult to manipulate. Finding the best cello brand will thus be very helpful for the advanced student.
Make sure to consider the brand’s reputation and experience before acquiring the cellos. Remember, cellos for advanced students are very rare and quite costly to acquire.
Therefore, the risks involved in getting the wrong type of cello for advanced students are higher. For this reason, absolute caution and keenness will be required especially when selecting the best cello brand.
To attain the best cello, you will need the right dealer. So what constitutes the best cello for advanced students?
The origin is among the key factors that rate the quality of the instrument. Cellos from reputable and recognized states like Italy, Germany, and China are among the trusted cellos when it comes to quality.
As I had earlier mentioned, the quality of these types of cello is key and is what makes these instruments stand out.
Therefore, the best cello for advanced students should come from a well known and highly trusted source. It is believed that these states have among the best and highly experienced luthiers that personally carve the cellos to their ultimate quality.
For this reason, sourcing the cello from these great nations will guarantee the quality of the cello.
Nevertheless, advanced students looking to purchase the best cello must always ensure a thorough test of the instrument. Make sure to first understand the instrument in and out to avoid any quality mistakes. A lot of money is involved and therefore, no room for mistakes.
The price of the best cello for advanced students will definitely be a huge aspect that must be handled with a lot of caution. In most cases, the price of the cello will represent the quality of the cello in every possible way.
Rarely will you find an advanced cello that is cost-effective? This makes the best cello for advanced students overly expensive and not affordable in most circumstances.
Thorough planning ahead is therefore recommended to ensure you attain the best possible cello for advanced students.
Furthermore, to get the cello personally handcrafted by a highly experienced luthier, you should be willing to pay the extra. Nevertheless, all the money invested in these cellos is always worth it.
Age is also a very big deal when it comes to acquiring the best-advanced cello for students. Normally, the older an advanced cello the gets the more quality and worthy the instrument becomes.
Generally, it would be true to conclude that the best cello for advanced students will be among the oldest cellos around. With the proper maintenance and care, the quality and worthiness of an advanced cello for students only improve. This means the tones produced get better and better as the cello ages.
Therefore, to attain the best cello, be sure to pick the oldest cello around. It might be the most expensive but in case you will have to resale it, the profit will be more. This is actually what would make a very old cello for advanced students to the best option to go for.
Cellos are very beautiful and among the few admirable instruments, we currently have. The sweet melodies produced by the cello have attracted and will continue to attract a huge number of people. Surely, the future of the cello instruments in the music industry is vast.
The instrument’s effort to support beginners is also a huge factor that will continue to push the cello instrument to greater heights. More cello schools are coming up every day to ensure the skill is learned, perfected and modified to create and innovate a lot in the industry.
What’s more, people are making more articles such as this to help create awareness and encourage more people to engage and try out this new exciting instrument. For all I know, I am already fascinated by the instrument already.
For instance, the article outlines a number of factors that would assist any beginner to acquire the right cello. If these factors are closely and seriously considered, the beginner is more likely to attain the right instrument and hence more likely to upgrade to the advanced level.
Additionally, with the list of the best and recommended cello brands for beginners, as the learner, you are more exposed to the great options and opportunities to take advantage of. There are also a couple of guidelines when upgrading your cello instrument for intermediate and advanced students.
Lastly, make sure to enjoy and explore the greater heights in the musical industry. Cellos are really wonderful instruments that could get you across the whole.
Therefore, as a player, ensure the will to play and the enjoyment of the instrument if felt whenever you are playing. This makes the sound warmer and more pleasant to the listener.