Learning the cello can be tricky, but it’s worth it! The cello can seem intimidating if you’re an adult who’s never played a string instrument before. It’s so big! And those four strings are just too many to keep track of, and then there’s all that bowing.
But you don’t have to be discouraged! We’ll walk you through different details, from choosing the right cello for your body type to finding your best position on the instrument, to playing your first song!
Know first the right cello size and type for you
You can know the right cello size and type for you by determining your height, weight, and age.
There are three main types of cellos: 4/4, 3/4, and 1/2.
Typically, the standard recommendation for kids ages 8–11 is a 3/4-size cello. For beginner cello players of adults who tend to be taller than children, 4/4 or full size is generally recommended. If you’re still growing or tall for your age or have big arms, it’s best to settle on the side of caution and get a larger-sized instrument.
Meanwhile, when choosing a cello type, there are two main things to consider: traditional vs. modern; and acoustic vs. electric. It will all be based on your preferences, but we recommend getting an acoustic cello for adult beginners. But if you want an amplified cello, then go for an electric one.
But no worries because you can still ask at your local store what brand and type would suit you.
Learn the proper posture
The good news is that playing the cello is not hard. The bad news is that it can be uncomfortable at first if you don’t know the right way to hold your instrument and position yourself while playing it.
Luckily, there are some easy ways to get used to how it feels when you’re playing and make sure that you’re doing everything right.
- Your back should be straight, but not too much, so you want to relax your shoulders.
- You also want your head up, looking forward toward the audience rather than down at the floor or sideways at other musicians in your ensemble, if there are any/
- Make sure to keep your arms close to your body with your elbows bent upward. This will help keep them from getting tired during long rehearsals or performances.
Enroll in Cello Lessons
Enrolling in cello lessons is an effective way to kickstart your journey
But how can it help?
- Cello lessons are an efficient way to improve your playing and technique.
- They also allow you to learn from an expert who can help you understand how to play the instrument better.
- You can connect with other musicians who share your passion for music.
- You can get thorough guidance from a professional instructor.
- You can save time.
Listen to cello music.
Listening to cello music is one of the fastest ways to learn how to play an instrument. The reason for this is that your brain is often able to translate what you hear into action. For example, if you hear someone playing a song on their guitar, you can imagine yourself playing it on yours and then trying it out.
It can also help you learn both how a piece sounds and what notes are being played at any given moment. You can see where all the notes are located on your instrument and what fingerings will be needed for each note or chord.
Some cello music you can listen to includes the following.
- Symphony Theme by Brahms
- The Scientist by Coldplay
- Walking on Sunshine by Katrina & The Waves
Have a consistent practice
The good news is that consistency is key in practicing music. If you can make room in your schedule for practicing your instrument even for 10 minutes every day, those 10 minutes will add up over time. Before long, you’ll find yourself making progress toward improving your technique and playing skills!
Learning the cello is a fulfilling and rewarding experience, and it can help you connect with other musicians and lifelong friends. You can also use your new skills to perform with a community orchestra or start your own musical ensemble.
Whether you’re just starting out or are searching to expand your musical knowledge, we hope this guide has helped get you started on your journey to learning the cello!