Questions tagged [cello]

The "baritone" member of the string or violin family, played upright between the legs. Short for violoncello.

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24
votes
13answers
8k views

Are very cheap cellos acceptable for a beginner?

I'm looking at getting a 1/2 cello for my son. My options are either rent a mid-end one for 50$ a month, or buy a very cheap one (there seem to be some online for 150$~200$). My experience with ...
19
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3answers
7k views

What does this symbol mean in cello music?

Klengel Technical Cello Studies Vol. 1, Triads through three octaves. I'm referring to two separate symbols. I looked here but nothing really matches. First is the 0 with the dash beneath it. At ...
18
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3answers
8k views

Should I loosen the tension on the bow for a break?

According to Violin for Dummies, we should loosen the horsehair before put violin back in the case. However, I always give myself about an hour break after I play violin for 1 to 2 hours. Should I ...
18
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1answer
1k views

What is this upside down square fermata?

I was wondering what this marking means, it looks like an upside-down square fermata or an upside-down down bow marking with a dot. I found it in a piece for cello by Nadia Boulanger.
17
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5answers
667 views

Is it acceptable to play the same note simultaneously on different strings on cello?

For a piece I am performing with a local school orchestra, a final open A is to undergo an "insane" crescendo to a Fortissississimo, which our conductor interprets as "as loud as possible." A fellow ...
17
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2answers
8k views

What are some qualities to consider when purchasing a cello?

My wife is a Suzuki-method violinist but wants to dabble with some cello pieces. I'm a rock guitarist--so I have absolutely no clue what to look for in a cello. It's clearly not a Les Paul so any ...
15
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1answer
901 views

What does “silonveut” mean?

I am typesetting a Cambini Quartet. In the score for the cello part I see the following phrase: What does it mean? It appears to say "silonveut". This is the context (I don't think the piece is ...
13
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2answers
674 views

What's this rectangular notation symbol?

I recently encountered a symbol in a Violoncello score which I was not able to identify. It is shown in the image below after the p (piano). I looked for it in the Musescore documentation and in the ...
11
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5answers
2k views

Chord in the Bach d-minor prelude

I'm playing the prelude in Bach's d-minor suite. My teacher and I were wondering what the third to last chord is. We didn't find that A, E and D form a chord, but do they? Is the D maybe a "queuing" ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Can I play the cello without pronation of the bow hand?

I would like to learn to play cello, but I have a mini-disability that prevents me from turning my right hand down (palm-down, or pronation) or up (palm-up, or suspination). How much is this going ...
11
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2answers
765 views

Do pegs for stringed instruments require holes?

We bought some new pegs for a cello but they came without holes. As a result, it seems impossible to tighten the strings as they keep slipping. But there must be some use for pegs without holes, ...
11
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4answers
1k views

How to avoid excessive bow-hair damage when playing “scratch percussion” on string instruments?

Prominently featured in Bluegrass fiddle playing, the ever-so-feared noise of a bow "squaking" over the strings can be used to produce distinctive, yet surprisingly sweet percussive accents if well ...
10
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7answers
7k views

Why do string players tend to breathe heavily in performance?

Recently, I've started to develop an interest in classical music, specifically chamber music and, more specifically, piano trios. Having listened to a few performances now, I can't help but notice ...
10
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5answers
9k views

Is it common to play several strings of a cello simultaneously?

I am toying around with some cello Vst having basically no experience with playing any string instrument and realized that the sound of my generated sounds is quite artificial which underlines the ...
10
votes
3answers
903 views

Intonation of string instruments in chamber music

Recently when playing in a piano trio as a cellist, my teacher told me that a note can have a small range of correct pitches depending on the chord. Shouldn’t everybody try to play exactly in tune ...
10
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3answers
570 views

Cello tuning by harmonics: Just intonation vs ET

Since fifths in just intonation (JI) are 2 cents wider than ET fifths, should I expect an electronic tuner to tell me that my D, G, and C strings are flatter (and getting progressively flatter) if I ...
10
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4answers
7k views

Loosen strings for long-term storage of violin?

Of course the bow should be loosened so it doesn't warp or break, and the violin strings should not be loosened so much that the sound post falls out, but should they be loosened at all for long-term ...
10
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2answers
948 views

What changes were made to Dvořák's Cello Concerto by Wihan?

Dvořák's Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, B. 191, is a standard part of the modern cello repertoire, probably even the most popular concerto on the instrument. For the most part the version played ...
10
votes
1answer
964 views

What kind of edition and tuning to use to study Bach's fifth cello suite ?

As is well known, this suite was composed for a cello with a scordatura tuning C-G-d-g instead of the classical C-G-d-a. I have seen almost every possible combination: edition for specially-tuned ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Can the double stop E natural F sharp be played on cello?

I'd like to find out if it is possible to play the double stop of E natural and F sharp on the cello. Thank you
9
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2answers
1k views

How to pluck fast 16th notes on cello

I play the cello, and in my orchestra group, we are playing The Planets by Holst. There is a passage with about 20 bars of 16th notes, at about quarter note = 120. They are played pizzicato on the ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Playing cello, should my left hand thumb clamps the neck like pliers do?

I just started learning cello for about 40 hours, I am really puzzled about whether my left thumb should press hard on the neck, in the same way pliers clamps something, meaning that the thumb apply ...
8
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1answer
3k views

Upside-down down bow

On my Cello Salut D'amour by Elgar score, it has upside-down down bow symbols on it. Does this just mean up bow? I have this on other pieces too: Salut d'amour, Op.12 (Elgar, Edward) Mainz: Schott, ...
8
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2answers
2k views

What is the difference between accent and sforzando?

In particular, on cello. I got the impression that both are strong (either by pressure or speed) at the beginning of the note, followed by quick release of pressure/speed. What is the difference ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the safest way to set down a cello?

In my orchestra group, all of the cellists set their cellos on their side on the floor next to their chair during break. However, one cello coach told us that since it's easy for the cello to fall ...
7
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2answers
378 views

Tuning cello in 4ths

I want to learn double bass but I don't have the budget to buy an instrument yet; however, I do have an old cello lying around. Is it ok if I tune the cello in 4ths so that I can start learning finger ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Breaking In New Cello Strings?

I changed the strings on my cello about a week ago, and it seems that these new strings just aren't as "slick" as the old ones. It feels as if they stick to my fingers, and I have to fight to shift ...
7
votes
1answer
419 views

Solo Cello Composition: Double Stops Question

Can the G or D strings be muted by Cellist so that a double stop can be played on the G and A, or C and D strings? Would greatly appreciate a response.
7
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2answers
3k views

Cello: Is it possible to play a double stop of a major 9th on the I and II strings?

The cello is using scordatura, the tuning is Cb Ab Eb Ab (from the fourth to the first string). I want to know if the following passage is possible, tempo is around 220~240 quarter notes per minute: ...
6
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3answers
10k views

How to count 6/8

How do I count with metronome for 6/8 measure especially for this music? Thanks, Nader
6
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3answers
797 views

What are some technical considerations for transition from violin to cello

I am currently learning cello after playing violin for about 7 years. I was self taught on violin for the first few years but I eventually took lessons with different teachers. Now I am taking cello ...
6
votes
2answers
147 views

Harmonic stop on cello without fingers

I'm writing a solo cello piece, and I'd like one of the strings to stopped at the first harmonic (specifically, the G string) for the duration of the piece; The trick is, I need this to be done ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Which instruments to physically familiarize with to become a better orchestrator?

Physically familiarizing with which two orchestral instruments would be a good compromise between having to buy all the instruments and gaining leverage in orchestral writing? My own opinion is ...
5
votes
7answers
948 views

Most efficient practice schedule

As a Student, I have limited time to practice. But overall, I have approximately 1.5 hours on the weekends. So should I do 1.5 hours in one sitting or 45 minutes in 2 seatings?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Which direction to play chords cello

I’m practicing a simple cello exercise to fill in gaps in my knowledge and, well, I found one. It is a simple passage with pizz. Which direction should the chords be played? From lowest to highest ...
5
votes
1answer
248 views

Upside-down up-bow

I have a piece here, that uses upside-down up-bows, that I have never seen before. Since I know other editions of the same opus, I can tell that they have the meaning of a normal down-bow. Does anyone ...
5
votes
2answers
981 views

Tips for bowing in the Spiccato-esque part of Tchaikovsky's Pezzo Capriccioso on the cello?

See this video, about three minutes in, for details: I'm having difficulty achieving the 'spiccato' sound at sufficient speed, and am looking for tips on the bowing ...
5
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1answer
2k views

What are the differences for left handed person when playing electric cello?

If I decide to buy an electric cello, should I look for a special one for left handed people, or I will even have to order a custom one?
5
votes
1answer
409 views

Why does the first note is the second Bach cello suite(Prelude) sound like C#?

Suite 2 in the Bach suites is in D minor howcome the first note sounds like C# even though its written on the 3rd line(d)?
5
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2answers
775 views

'Cello mute: how to store on strings w/o altering sound?

I finally (procrastinator me) put a 2-hole Tourte mute on my axe, and noticed that if I leave it below the bridge but seated on the II and III strings, it modifies the sound compared with a fully-open ...
4
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7answers
2k views

Is it possible to play jazz on a cello?

I'm writing articles for a website about music and musical instruments. Usually, our team writes about topics that have already been conceived. But sometimes we can suggest our own topics as well. I ...
4
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2answers
320 views

Music engraving - chord with different note lengths (half and quarter)

Another engraving question arised from the same book Sebastian Lee; Op. 70 In Nr. 40 there are two chords, containing half and quarter notes: since this is a cello score, and you can not play three ...
4
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4answers
175 views

How do I progress without a cello teacher during COVID lockdowns?

I’ve been playing cello for four years now and I want to get better, but I don’t know how. I started playing when I was placed in the wrong course at school and I ended up in the experienced class ...
4
votes
3answers
896 views

Fingering of cello double stops

Could someone provide me with the fingering for this sequence of double-stops (it's bass clef)? I put together a quick shot on "When I'm 64" for my daughter, but since I can't play cello, I can't ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Is it safe to use thumb position in lower positions on cello?

A piece I've been playing has a notation to use the thumb in 2nd position on cello (with thumb on the D-string F# specifically, where first finger would go in normal 2nd position). I tried it out but ...
4
votes
2answers
446 views

Metalic sound on cello G string

I am new to the cello and have been experiencing a sound on the G string that I can't quite pinpoint the cause of. Everywhere I have looked online appears to be specific to wolf tones or rattles, and ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Learning the cello with limited money and not much help

This is for a friend of mine, but I'll speak in first person to make it less awkward to type out. I'm 23, almost 24, and I recently acquired a cello (an electric cello to be precise to keep noise ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Creating a cadenca (Boccherini Concerto No 3 in G Maj)

I need to create a cadenza (A virtuoso passage inserted near the end of a concerto movement) for cello for the first part of Boccherini Concerto No 3 in G Maj (Allegro, starting at measure 98 in my ...
3
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6answers
2k views

How do I tune my cello to play the second Bach suite(prelude)?

None of the videos on youtube are is concert pitch.
3
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2answers
2k views

Limitations of String Instruments

Clarinet is my main instrument, but I also play the alto saxophone. I, a woodwind player, am attempting to compose a string quintet. My question is this: what are the physical limitations of the ...