I'm a novice, I have yet to have my first lesson In the meanwhile, I've busted a string on my Gear4 beginners cello, I won't get into how, and I hope it's not a sign of things to come. Now I've been told to replace all its strings by my nearest Stringer, they said my strings have an undesirable 'metallic' sound

Should I go for soft, medium or strong tension?

Thank You!

  • Welcome to Music! Don't be embarrassed by rookie mistakes! If you don't tell us what you did wrong, how can we help you? Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


First thing: it isn't soft/med/strong tension, it's the weight of the string. There may be a slight difference in tension when in tune, but that is most certainly not your current problem.

Beware of things "they" say. If the strings are brand-new, they will sound metallic until broken in - as a beginner, probably 3 weeks of practising time.

A Gear4music cello is, pardon my French, bad. You can't get a playable instrument for less than a couple thousand $US. But you've got it, so just plan on trading up in a year or so (I like the Eastman Chinese series, but there are other good student models as well). If money is difficult, look into a rental from some music shop. That may work out better.

In any case, with a low-end cello like your Gear4Music, you might find some strings that are a bit less screechy, but it's really not worth it since you're a beginner. I would expect that your teacher will concentrate on fingering positions, bow hold, bow stroke, etc., and worry about tone quality rather later on.

PS - general note to all beginners: the most common cause of a busted string is tuning very sharp. Always tune from "below" to avoid overtensioning. (My personal shame is busting a C-string that I misidentified and tried to mount as a G-string. SNAP)

  • 1
    Maybe putting better strings on is a good idea. Now I am a violin player and teacher, so I can only talk from experience with violin. I once got a new student, an adult who had bought an extreemly cheap violin set. That is Violin, bow and case. Even a decent beginner's bow would cost more than the whole set. I nevertheless got the student to buy better strings, because the strings were really utter crap. With better strings the sound quality was so much better that he could hear it even he was a total beginner. So even that the cost of the new strings seems a lot it can really help. Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 23:39

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