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Thread: Want to take up the cello

  1. #26
    gardener catmandu2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to take up the cello

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtone2 View Post
    Or any hatchback.
    If you put down a rear seatback, and lay it on its back they will fit just fine. Same with bass, although I usually just slid it in on its side and had the neck between driver and passenger seat (Subaru outback)..

    *Oh, I responded before you added the rest - I'd thought you meant they won't fit in a hatchback

  2. #27
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to take up the cello

    Quote Originally Posted by Cornelius Morris View Post
    Thanks for all the encouragement--and helpful suggestions, many of which are very practical ones that I would not have imagined. I've spent more time staring carefully at my left hand, and flipping it over, while reading this than ever before. I know about Johnson Strings in Boston since a former student of mine was a violinist who spent lots of time (and money) there.
    I don't play cello, I play double bass, but the reason I mention the left thumb is that I see cellists converting to thumb position very early up the neck. Thats when you move your thumb from behind the neck to the fingerboard where you use the outside of the first joint to stop strings. Bassists use this position too, but not usually below the octave. It's not uncomfortable, but you have to develop sone strength and toughness there over time. It's a piece of cake.

    Very good cellists can make it sound almost as good as a baritone saxophone.

    Edit: Just like double bass, they shift to thumb position only when the body of the instrument gets in the way.

    Everybody who has ever thought about playing cello has seen this, I hope.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3uiUHvET_jg

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  4. #28
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to take up the cello

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtone2 View Post
    Or any hatchback. My Mazda 3 hatch can swallow a double bass, baritone and tenor saxophones, and a 2-10 GK combo and still have room for a passenger or maybe two if they are very friendly.
    It's amazing how much some cars can hold. My son had a Hyundai Tucson, and he fit an entire dining room set, table and chairs in there. I guess a large instrument would be a piece of cake for that car.

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  6. #29
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to take up the cello

    Cornelius M,

    Curious. Since you have the skillset for using a plectrum (pick), have you thought about getting a decent mandocello and trying it out for a while? You could still get some really beautiful bass tones from the instrument, and I would think the learning curve would be a bit less steep.
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  7. #30
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    Default Re: Want to take up the cello

    More power to you. I do love the cello, but even after 21 years of fiddling, I'm not afraid to admit that I find the cello intimidating! Especially for the ergonomic and playing up the neck aspects that were mentioned.

  8. #31
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    Default Re: Want to take up the cello

    Several other final points, Cornelius - Check the price of good cello strings like Helicore, Evah Pirazzi, etc. They're expensive, and they make a big difference, but should last a very long time. You don't get too many cellists swapping them like mando strings! Next, the spike - most cellos come with a metal spike with a somewhat rounded end (plus maybe a rubber cover), so kids don't damage themselves with them. If your house has hard wood or tiled floors, that kind of spike may not grip on the floor, especially as modern cello holds often lay the cello down more than the older more upright hold. However there are two good options to sort that. First, there are a range of devices like a cup with strings that loop round your chair legs quickly and hold the cello spike. Alternatively, there are carbon cello spikes availablable with wickedly sharp carbon steel spikes on the end. They're stick into anything but a tile, providing the owner of the floor doesn't mind. They can also improve the cello sound quite a lot - but like the Tone-Gard for mandolin, they don't work for everyone. If you get one, don't forget to put the runbber protector on the end for transport, they're really quite lethal.

    Hope all this doesn't put you off cello, it's a great instrument! I think you can now also get solid electric 5 string stick cellos (Steinberger?) if you get keen.

  9. #32
    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to take up the cello

    I love this thread! Besides all the music stuff, which is great, learning a new instrument, at an age, is good for our old brain! Being god is not the thing at all, what matters is the mental challanges, etc. It is VERY healthy for us to learn new things and they say learning a musical insgtgrument is at the top of the list. You are encouraging, thanks,

  10. #33
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    Default Re: Want to take up the cello

    ....oh, and learning cello rather than bass means you don't have to adopt Jazz facial hair and appropriate headgear. Some would say that being in possession of a double bass renders you Jazz without the option.

  11. #34
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to take up the cello

    I love cello but I doubt I would ever play one. I did have a mandocello for awhile but it is a challenge to play cello music on that. If I want the lower range I have a mandola and am checking out an octave mandolin. I leave my bowing to fiddle and viola which is hard enough. Playing upside down to me would be even harder.

    But if that is your dream, do it. However, IMHO learning any non-fretted stringed instrument, if you want to do it right, find yourself a teacher and hopefully one who is familiar and flexible enough to teach you what you want to learn. Basics of course and proper way to play so you don't hurt yourself.

    After playing mandolin for 50+ years if you really get into it check out what even an advanced student instrument costs, just to brace yourself down the line. Of course, I assume that these days there are decent mid-range Chinese instruments at a decent price. However, also remember that you will want to upgrade your bow as well if and when you get deeper into it.

    Oh, and more fun stuff: standard set of strings for a cello: $200 and up.
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  12. #35
    gardener catmandu2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want to take up the cello

    Certainly the OP doesn't need rationalization from me, but fwiw...

    No doubt the mandolin is a most convenient instrument, but there are good reasons to pursue others -

    Yes, you may get the same pitches with a m-cello, but there's much more going on with the cello - warranting the difficulty of learning. I would recommend for everyone to try a wind or string/bowed instrument at some point in life; if not for the potential of a musical epiphany, then at least for the experience and physical/mental challenge.

    They say learning is good for us - throughout the lifespan.

    *Oh, also, I would expect that there are used string sets commonly offered on the cello fora, just as on the bass forum, to help mitigate the costs. Getting into it shouldn't be prohibitively costly - there are tons of used instruments about; check your local CL and school orch rental shop.
    Last edited by catmandu2; Apr-22-2021 at 1:48pm.

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