The cello looks like the violin and viola but is much larger (around 4 feet long), and has thicker strings than either the violin or viola. Of all the string instruments, the cello sounds most like a human voice, and it can make a wide variety of tones, from warm low pitches to bright higher notes. There are usually 8 to 12 cellos in an orchestra and they play both harmony and melody.
Since the cello is too large to put under your chin, you play it sitting down with the body of the cello between your knees, and the neck on your left shoulder. The body of the cello rests on the ground and is supported by a metal peg. You play the cello in a similar manner to the violin and viola, using your left hand to press down on the strings, and your right hand to move the bow or pluck the strings.
Learning is actually a process of stimulating and strengthening certain areas of your brain, such as memory and comprehension, by combining various mental exercises in a structured manner. Additionally, learning the cello will stimulate and create lifelong connections.
- Best Reasons to Play the Cello
- 1. The Cello is Essential to Every Ensemble
- 2. Cellos Have the Most Stunning Solo Pieces
- 3. The Cello is the Most Versatile String Instrument
- 4. Playing Music is Good For You
- 5. The Cello Produces the Best Sound
- 6. You’ll Never be Too Old to Play
- 7. The Cello Makes you Stand Out
- 8. The Cello Has Become Popular Music’s Go-To String Instrument
- What Are the Benefits of Playing the Cello?
- Enhanced Scholastic Performances
- Lifelong Memory Enrichment
- Develop Marketable Skills
- Build Physical Strength
- FAQ for Reasons Play Cello
- Why do people like playing the cello?
- What is good about the cello?
- Does playing the cello make you smarter?
- Why cello is the best string instrument?
- Should I play cello?
- Is it difficult to play cello?
- Should I play the violin or the cello?
- Why you should choose the cello?
- What type of person plays the cello?
- How does it feel to play the cello?
- Why is the cello so popular?
- Why the cello is best?
- Is cello a good instrument?
- Is cello the hardest instrument?
- Is cello harder than guitar?
- Is the cello the second largest string instrument?
Best Reasons to Play the Cello
The cello is now experiencing a kind of renaissance, and this is well deserved. This tool has been around for at least 500 years, although it has changed a lot from its original design.
The cello is an amazing instrument capable of performing many musical roles, and this versatility is the reason that its rich timbre has penetrated almost every musical genre.
Why should you play the cello? In fact, there are a lot of reasons, but we will list only the main ones:
1. The Cello is Essential to Every Ensemble
There is no orchestra, chamber group, quartet, or trio without the cello. The same can be said about the violin and viola, but the cello fills a unique roll.
The cello balances out the loud, high pitch of the violin section, bringing the music back down to earth.
Playing cello means you get to play almost every part in the orchestra: the melody, harmony, and bass line, often all in one piece.
While the famous (…infamous among cellists) eight notes that make up the bass line of Pachelbel’s Canon might come to mind when thinking of ensemble cello performances, there’s a whole lot more music out there for cellists.
Beyond orchestral works you should check out Boccherini’s cello quintets, including Opus 10, La Magnifica Comunità.
Many cellists have entire careers doing ensemble work, playing at events like weddings to make money, and never play in orchestras.
There is always a demand for good ensemble cellists!
2. Cellos Have the Most Stunning Solo Pieces
Even if you’ve never touched an instrument in your life, been to a classical music concert, or sought out classical music you’ve heard the Prelude to Bach’s first cello suite.
It’s in movies, commercials, tv shows, and probably playing in the background at your favorite coffee shop. This piece is the definitive cello solo.
Learning the Bach Suites is a major milestone in every cellists’ study, and many can tell you that the first time they could perform the Bach Prelude was the moment they realized that they had truly honed their talent.
There’s so much more to cello than the Bach Suites. The list of great cello solos could go on forever, almost every major composer wrote pieces for cello.
Jaqueline du Pré, one of the most famous cellists in history, completely owned Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor.
Du Pré’s performance of the concerto has gone down in history as one of the greatest performances of all time.
Few artists have been better at portraying raw emotion the way that du Pré was.
To hear her play is to understand just how incredible the cello is.
3. The Cello is the Most Versatile String Instrument
One of the most incredible things about the cello is that it can become every string instrument in the orchestra.
The cello’s size, while big to some who’ve never played, means it can play in three clefs: bass, tenor, and treble.
You might even play in all three within one piece. There’s no limit to what you can interpret and learn.
Playing in multiple clefs can definitely be a challenge, but it becomes second nature over time.
Cellos can be almost unrecognizable in certain parts, their sound being easily transformed.
4. Playing Music is Good For You
Being a musician is amazing for your health, both physically and mentally. Numerous studies have linked playing an instrument and improved school performance.
Additionally, playing music can have long term benefits on your memory.
People don’t often consider the physical strength that develops from playing the cello. It requires good posture and strong back muscles, strong arms, and strong hands.
You’ll surprise yourself with the amount of strength you develop with regular practicing.
Also, you’ve got to stay in pretty good shape if you’re carrying one around all the time!
Additionally, as most musicians can vouch for, playing any instrument is good for your mental well-being. It’s a physical release through music of whatever emotions you’re feeling.
Boss was unbearable at work? Go play some Shostakovich. Sad? Bach’s second and fifth cello suites are there for you to let it all out.
There is no greater feeling in the world than pouring your heart into your instrument.
5. The Cello Produces the Best Sound
This argument might sound a little biased, but there’s some good evidence to back it up.
The cello has a special sound. Not as whiney as the violin, not too low like the bass, but deeply layered and rich.
People have compared its sound to the human voice for centuries, which is probably why it sounds so appealing to our ears.
The reason behind this is because the cello’s range is quite similar to a person’s vocal range. Its wide range means it can really sing. Just listen to Saint-Saens’ The Swan.
The cello is like a method actor, and it can take on any role. Saint-Saens’ is able to make an instrument truly embody a swan.
The cello’s complex tone allows it to become the music.
6. You’ll Never be Too Old to Play
The physical demands of playing an instrument eventually become too much.
A wonderful thing about the cello is its ease of playing – holding it is a lot easier on your body than a violin or bass.
While eventually we might all become too old to play, you see cellists playing regularly for years longer than other musicians.
The great Mstislav Rostropovich didn’t stop performing until 2005, at 78. Pablo Casals played into his nineties.
There’s no retirement age for being a cellist.
7. The Cello Makes you Stand Out
The music world is fiercely competitive. There isn’t an instrument out there that is “easy” to play professionally, but there are definitely ones with slightly smaller professional communities.
It seems like everyone played violin for a couple of years at a young age, often giving it up when their parents let them. Getting an orchestra position as a violinist can feel impossible.
Cellists face intense audition processes as well, but pale in comparison to the sheer number of violinists out there.
There’s definitely a little more room for a good cellist in the world.
Being a cellist is an identity. Meeting another cellist is an immediate ice-breaker. Within the music world every musician jokes about different personality types for different instruments.
Whether or not you fit the mold it’s fun to have a sense of belonging.
When people ask you if you play an instrument and you tell them you’re a cellist they’re often surprised.
Your talent is memorable. It makes you a little bit more intriguing. You get a great sense of pride from your instrument.
8. The Cello Has Become Popular Music’s Go-To String Instrument
Other musical genres have always utilized string instruments beyond the guitar and piano, but their go-to has become the cello.
The cello accompanies singers in such a complementary way. The Beatles’ were some of the first to heavily feature the cello, most iconically on Eleanor Rigby.
Since then numerous hits have featured cellos, including Oasis’ Wonderwall and Apologize by One Republic.
Game of Thrones’ awesome opening theme is another great one, and the Piano Guys on YouTube have taken the cello into styles and genres that nobody had previously interpreted.
There’s even an all-cello metal group, Apocalyptica. Yo-Yo Ma has frequently crossed over into popular music, working on the soundtracks of numerous major films.
The group 2Cellos have become the rock stars of the cello world, mixing brilliant interpretations of classical pieces with pop songs like Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson.
Have you always wanted to be in a band? Go on tour? Being a cellist opens those doors for you.
It’s a common misconception that playing a classical instrument means you can only perform classical music.
You can develop an entire career without playing another concerto, if you wish, although we doubt you’d want to!
Playing a huge catalogue of diverse repertoire is one of the greatest joys of being a cellist.
To conclude, there’s no doubt that once you pick up a cello you’ll never want to put it back down. There’s a certain thrill that comes with being a musician.
People don’t understand what an emotional, sometimes wild experience playing music can be. It will enrich every aspect of your life.
Don’t be intimidated by the process of starting from scratch, every artist has to earn their abilities. If we haven’t managed to convinced you to pick up the cello, nobody can.
So what are you waiting for? Don’t worry about buying an expensive instrument from the start – there are endless resources for renting instruments no matter where you live.
We suggest finding a rental and once you get serious consider buying your own. There’s nothing like the bond you have with your cello!
What Are the Benefits of Playing the Cello?
The cello is an extraordinary instrument, creating full, lustrous sounds that are truly sublime and very similar to the range of the human voice. And although it requires a bit of an investment, learning to play the cello is an extremely rewarding activity, generating benefits that last a lifetime. Not only will you develop the aptitude to produce music that comforts, excites, or moves someone, the actual learning process builds skills for the future and develops cognitive advantages in any age cello student.
Music education, especially one that involves learning a string instrument like the cello, is an excellent example of comprehensive learning. By combining mental and physical exercises in a structured way, music training stimulates and strengthens both your physical body and specific areas of the brain, such as memory, reading and math comprehension. Moreover, it also develops marketable skills that will serve you well into the future.
If you’ve recently decided to learn to play the cello or you’re still on the bubble about whether or not to take the plunge, this list of benefits can help you solidify your decision.
Enhanced Scholastic Performances
As briefly mentioned, learning to play an instrument like the cello is a comprehensive process. It incorporates visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles, making it easy for students to focus on their individual preference. As you practice and hear the results, your brain forges new connections that translate into other areas of your learning.
Particularly regarding math and comprehension skills. A number of scientific studies have proven the validity of music training’s impact on cognitive process. By building the ability to process sensory information, categorize information, and coordinate actions cello students develop pathways that improve scholastic performance.
Lifelong Memory Enrichment
In addition to educational enhancements, playing the cello helps develop the areas of your brain concerned with memory recall. Findings were reported at the 2013 Neuroscience Conference in San Diego, and detailed how the brain responds to music training, particularly when music education is started before the age of seven. This doesn’t mean that adult learners can’t benefit, it just states that the maximum advantages are achieved when training begins before age seven.
Three different studies confirmed the heightened sensory perception musicians have, as opposed to individuals who have never trained. In a second study, a group of adults, age 19-21 who had at least one year of early music training were tested. The results found that the regions of the brain relating to hearing and self-awareness were larger in those adults. But perhaps the most promising, researchers discovered that a music education helped stimulate and create connections across the right and left hemispheres, building a lifelong infrastructure that remains throughout adulthood.
Develop Marketable Skills
Playing an instrument like the cello involves developing a keen sense of timing, as well as working together with others. For music to sound harmonious, each member of the ensemble or group must perform their specific piece at exactly the correct time. Otherwise, confusing raucous noise results.
When you learn to play music on the cello, those skills translate into desirable job-market skills. Employers look for individuals who have the ability to work well within a team. Specifically, those employees who can perform their assigned tasks with excellence, creating an outcome that meets targeted objectives.
Moreover, playing the cello helps develop other, intangible strengths that are hard to measure but aid future career advancement. Performing in a group or during solo recitals helps students build self-confidence in their ability; and becoming proficient on any instrument involves the self-discipline to practice. This kind of capacity is severely lacking in today’s marketplace. Self-motivators who can take the initiative are worth their weight in gold to many of the top employers in the country.
Build Physical Strength
Lastly, learning to play the cello provides physical benefits. Although the cello is played while sitting, the muscle movements required to properly support the instrument and execute bowing techniques help increase upper body strength and promote good posture. Like any artistic endeavor or learning to play a sport, there is a specific form to master.
By copying a system that has been forged through centuries of musicians, new cello students start out right. Whether or not you develop your own unique holds later doesn’t diminish the benefits achieved through the (often awkward) initial demands of learning the correct way to hold and play the cello.
Playing the cello provides lifelong benefits. Students not only learn an effective way to reduce stress, express their feelings, or gain an artistic outlet, cellists develop mental and physical benefits that help them succeed in future endeavors.
FAQ for Reasons Play Cello
Why do people like playing the cello?
The way a person sits and wraps themselves around the cello is grounding, and it helps people feel that way in all areas of their lives. Many people who play feel a positive impact from the instrument throughout their lives.
What is good about the cello?
There are many ways to play the cello, but one of the most impressive features is that it can be used as every string instrument in the orchestra. Although it is large for some who have never played a cello, it can be played in three different clefs: bass, tenor, and treble.
Does playing the cello make you smarter?
Playing cello increases your mental flexibility and brain plasticity, which is a result of increased brain volume and mechanisms of use. You also develop your muscle memory in general as a result of the hard connections in your brain.
Why cello is the best string instrument?
The cello is a string instrument that creates rich, pleasing tones and has a very loyal following. It is said that this instrument sounds as close to the human voice as any other, or that it produces a more romantic sound. The expressive range of this viola is truly astounding, as it is octaves lower than the viola.
Should I play cello?
Playing the cello can have a positive impact on your mental and physical wellbeing in general. Playing an instrument such as the cello has numerous benefits, so you should seriously consider it.
Is it difficult to play cello?
During the first few months of training, it can be challenging to create sounds while leaning to play the cello. It is important to remember that every cellist has been through the same struggles. Keeping it in mind is all you need to do. You can tune your cello by doing “Do”.
Should I play the violin or the cello?
The cello’s deep sound, its comfortable playing position, and its ease of competition make it stand out among many other cellos. In any case, others may prefer the higher tones, the lower cost, and the convenience of the violin.
Why you should choose the cello?
String instruments such as the cello are versatile. The cello is often said to sound like the human voice because it can hit notes of all kinds, from very high notes to very low ones. Bass, Tenor, and Treble are all three different clefs that offer a wide range of repertoire options.
What type of person plays the cello?
Musicians who play the cello are called violoncellists or cellists.
How does it feel to play the cello?
It is an experience of fulfillment and pleasure to transfer the weight of the body onto the instrument. As I feel the instrument, I feel as if I am part of it. Playing has a very high level of sharpness and concentration, which is not easily matched by any other activity.
Why is the cello so popular?
The cello is having its moment in the sun. Nelson suggests that people may relate to the cello because it is similar to their vocal range. Musicians like Yo Yo Ma have helped the instrument break away from its traditional role as a bass-line support for violins, which has contributed to its popularity.
Why the cello is best?
Due to its midlevel range, the cello lives in the most warm and richest areas of music. In addition to being one of the most versatile string instruments, the cello can also play really squeaky high, and yet just a moment later, it sinks into a depth and causes the room to vibrate with its lowest notes.
Is cello a good instrument?
Those looking for a challenge will enjoy the cello. It is a challenging instrument both mentally and physically. The instrument is great to play, but it can take quite some time to master, possibly even years.
Is cello the hardest instrument?
There is a lot of dedication required to learn the cello, which is one of the most challenging instruments. Unlike percussion, this instrument won’t give you instant gratification. It is possible to learn cello, but it will require a lot of practice and dedication.
Is cello harder than guitar?
There is no way to teach yourself how to play cello, and it is more difficult than playing guitar. There are many ways to learn guitar, including watching YouTube videos and playing around, so you can do it without any lessons. I would recommend going with an instrument you prefer if you can afford to take lessons.
Is the cello the second largest string instrument?
As a stringed instrument, it is second only to the double bass in modern symphony orchestras. In this sense, the name “violoncello” had both the augmentative “-one” (“big”) and the diminutive “-cello” (“little”).