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Anyone here play cello as well as DB?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Ron Plichta, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    Leave it to the wife to give me another hare-brained idea. I was practicing the DB one day when the missus strolled by and asked me if there's an instrument a little "smaller".

    "It's called a cello", I replied.

    "Don't you want to play that instead? That thing you're playing looks so big".

    So after I stopped myself from making an obviously sexist retort regarding size, I tried to explain the other differences between the two. But then, it got me to thinking - why not? I know there's the tuning (4th vs. 5th) and probably a lot of technique differences, but the cello looks like fun.

    So I 'm wondering if anyone else here has done both and what words of wisdom can be imparted. My bass instructor also teaches cello, so that wouldn't be an issue.
  2. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    I'd love to learn cello but have put it off until I am happy with my level of playing on DB. My wife actually said the opposite after I came back to music after years of not playing. I was really looking into taking up cello and she said "just get a bass again" you know the basics.

    Cello is on my list next, hopefully in a couple of years. Larry gray I know is extremely accomplished on both cello and DB. I am sure there are many others, but I can't think of them right now.
  3. jazzkid17


    Jan 16, 2011
    I played cello and then switched to DB. Mostly because I fell in love with jazz. It is pretty confusing in the beginning because of the tuning being in 5ths instead of 4ths like bass and also you have to retrain your fingers to use your ring finger instead of your middle finger. If you played with the bow on your bass at all, playing with a bow on your cello will be a breeze. You hold the bow the same way it's just much lighter and smaller. Other than the fingerings and the string tuning, you use the same hand position. Ultimately, it's a pretty easy switch, just takes some getting used to, like most things. Also it's much easier to get around so that's a plus!
  4. yes, I play DB, bass guitar, and cello. As stated above, it's not that huge a leap into cello and you'll likely find you'll really like playing in 5ths. I've come to appreciate arco all the more on DB thanks to cello. And that's great your teacher is versed in both instruments :cool:
  5. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    Thanks, guys. I'm giving it more thought. I might consider renting one for a few months and see how it goes.
  6. The only issues I have with cello is 1) for certain notes you have to stretch your fingers further then we've ever had to on bass. I found that very hard to play in tune and it hurt.
    And 2) bowing. With bass, you have to move your bow slower across the strings. But cello you have to get use to moving it faster or it will sound scratchy, which messed with my bowing technique.

    But the tuning in 5th wasn't that hard to figure out. I found that the easiest to adjust to. You just have to use your brain. :p

    Other then that, cello is a lot of fun and easy to pick up fast. Those are just tiny obstacles that you have to get over for any instrument.
  7. I don't play the Double Bass, but I do play Cello and Electric Bass.
    I started on cello when I was 7. I first started on Violin, and the first time I saw a cello I said to my mum that I wanted to play the cello instead. So mum told me (thinking I'd give up on violin) if I practiced hard on violin, I'd get a cello for christmas. Throughout the year I moved from the back desk of the thirds to the front desk of seconds :D

    As I got a little older I started to not enjoy the cello as much and made a deal that if I passed grade 7, my parents had to by me a bass. That was when I was 12 and I've progressively played less and less cello since I started playing in bands. I still played in an orchestra where I was the head cellist until I finished school though.

    I think Cello and Bass go hand in hand, although they aren't tuned the same the lines and style are quite similar. I picked up the bass very quickly and I'm sure you'll do the same with picking up the cello.
  8. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    I took the plunge today and rented a cello from a local violin shop. It's costing me $43/month and the fee can be applied to the purchase if I want to go that route or an upgraded cello. I bought a basic instruction book to get started and then I'll talk with my instructor if I'm sure I want to stick with both.
  9. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Well it sounds like you are on your way! I play cello and electric bass now, but I played upright for years as well (and will again someday...). It's not that huge of a shift in terms of physically playing, but cello can play a much more melodic role as well as harmony. Also, I have never met a girl who didn't like the fact that I played cello. It's the sexiest classical instrument hands down.
  10. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    I mentioned the celllo to my instructor last night and she agreed to work with me on the fundamentals for now. Bass will still be the primary focus, but I'm leaning towards having an inexpensive cello around the house as a change of pace instrument.
  11. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    Well I'm about a week into the cello and doing fine so far. I'm learning that the intonation is more precise,but I'm getting used to it. I'm scheming of ways eventually buy one after I get my orchestral bass issue solved.
  12. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    Today is New Cello Day for me. I turned in the rental and found an Ivan Dunov Superior with an Alfred Knoll Brazilwood bow in great condition. The price was good and so I jumped on it. I'm having my luthier do a few tweaks and rehair the bow, but I'll post pics when I get it back.

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