bass? cello?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by LOST, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. LOST

    LOST Guest

    Aug 10, 2010
    I have been beaton up on forums before so lets git this clear i am asking a ? since i know nothing on the subject.Can you play bass lines on a cello?I know you can pluck it i thinks its called pizcotto (and no i am not 5 just cant spell).I know it wont be as low as a double bass and is tuned differnt.But looks like it would be alot easier to git around and cost alot less.I play electric bass and just looking for an acoustic sound that can be heard jamming with my wife and family hate having to drag out a amp.And for what it is worth seen a couple of youtube vids were they pluck i think it sounds awsome!
  2. chrisbass0013


    Apr 16, 2010
    kind of bass strings are in fourths and chello strings are in fifth so you would have to change where on the fretboard
  3. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    Anything can be done if you want to take the steps to make it happen.
  4. If you wanna play cello by all means.... you will need to relearn scales and positions...
    If you wanna play bass then get a bass...

    You can bow and solo on both...

    A bass might be better if you wanna do the traditional 1 5 type grooves folk americana/bluegrass/or walking Jazz etc... it will be deeper and provide more foundation..
    If you are looking to solo and play melody lines a cello might be fun...

    What about a smaller 1/4 or 2/4 bass??

    That way you can keep your fingerings and knowledge from your bass and will be a natural transition..

    Check out J Sypher Vids he does alot of great stuff on da bass...
    He doesent let the size affect the playability for him... : )
    He supports and solos, plays melodys like a mad man...

    This being said, get what you want...and have fun shopping...

    I hope this was constructive and helpful

  5. i would suggest you get a bass as we all know here that cellists are lesser individuals. also, their "instruments" are smaller.
  6. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    I started on cello as a kid and played for years. I got into bass through cello; actually through playing bass lines on cello.

    Yes, you can play any bass line you want on cello. Some great bassists (both living and no longer in this life) tune(d) in 5ths. There are some great things that can happen in that tuning. Lots of discussion here on 5ths tuning on basses, if you are interested and care to search.

    My limited experience is that some types of pattern playing will simply "lay better" on a bass tuned in 4ths because folks played the patterns, to some degree, because they were convenient within a 4th tuning setup.

    Some bassists have done some playing on cellos tuned in 4ths.

    Yes, yes, yes, notes are notes; if you can sing it, you can play it; on bass, cello, whatever. You may have a hard time getting a cello to sustain the same way a bass will (if setup for jazz playing), the pizz style if different, generally, and you will simply run out of low notes as you try to play in the low register. You will also never anchor a group the way a bass does; there is something powerful about those low tones.

    On the other hand, the cello register is a nice correlation with a lot of singing voices, so it might feel more natural.

    I say, like Jason, go for it! I well remember sitting my room, as a 13-14 year old, playing along with bass lines on the radio, on my cello.

    Warning: you may get a hankering for a double bass. My gateway was cello to electric bass to double bass. It can happen...
  7. It has been done in jazz before (I just can't recall who at the moment). The only thing you'll have to consider is the difference in registers from double bass to cello.
  8. TheBasicBassist


    Jan 8, 2009
    Newark, DE
    Endorsing Artist: Rosado Guitars
    Oscar Pettiford. :bassist:
  9. That was my progression too.

    OP, you can also check out the album "Jazz cello" with Ray Brown (very famous jazz bassist playing cello). I say, if you like the sound of the cello played pizz, pursue it!
  10. You're right. It has been a long day...I even forgot my wife's name (this could be dangerous!).
  11. LOST

    LOST Guest

    Aug 10, 2010
    I play electric bass now so going to either one will be a new process for me anyway.I will look into 1/2 basses i have never seen one let alone one for sale used.Cello just seems like it would be a nice tone with an acustic playing root notes embelished here and there.more of a folk style i guess?My wife writes here own music guess you could compare to jewel?other than that jamming with family to neil young,johnny cash, jim croce that kinda stuff.i can git used on criags list student cello for 225 for 1/2 to 500 for 4/4 so $$ seems to be alot cheaper than an upright.
  12. Paul Warburton

    Paul Warburton In Memoriam

    Aug 17, 2003
    Denver, Co.
    Plus.......Red Mitchell, Percy Heath, Sam Jones and I did it a bit....all in 4th tuning an octave up from the bass and entirely as a solo instrument.
    No walking. No bottom.
  13. ramerez


    Jul 27, 2006
    i tried to tuning a regular cello string in 4th and the 2 lowest string ripped, which cello string fit to 4th tuning?
  14. Classickbass


    Aug 15, 2010
    Kingston, TN
    Pizzicato (Italian) means plucked. Arco is playing with a bow. You can play cello lines on the bass, check youtube for 'Bach, bass' and you will get a full compliment of musicians putting their spin on cello pieces.

    For a basic understanding, cello's are strung C-G-D-A whereas bass is strung G-D-A-E. So there will be differences in playing cello pieces on bass or vice versa. Mind you, all of these differences can be overcome with a little imagination and creativity. I hope this little bit of information is useful. And do let us know what you decide upon, cello or double bass.
  15. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    I would say get the big boy, but if you want 1/4 DB is closest you'll get to electric bass scale (35"). Cello sounds like a good match for you as well.
  16. biobass

    biobass Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2007
    Princeton NJ area
    Check out Mark Summer from the Turtle Island String Quartet. They are very jazz influenced and play improvisatory music. He plays very idiomatic basslines on cello, enough so that I once asked him if he tuned in fourths...he looked at me as if I was from another planet and said, "No, this is a cello!" I've seen them quite a few times, when he is playing the bass part he usually uses an amp, when he is soloing he turns the amp off, via a volume pedal.

  17. LOST

    LOST Guest

    Aug 10, 2010
    Not to sound stupid but i do not know much music theory i understand notes and mostly play tabs and root notes with patterns to a strumming guitar so tuning in fourths and fifths is a little above my head.In a perfect world i would learn to read sheet music and just go git a 4/4 double bass.But in my world cello is much cheaper and small enough to git it around if i can learn the notes and git proper intonation i think i could do enough to acustic jam and play with the wife.I know with out learning all of this music theory ill never git every thing out of an instrument that it can do but i like simple clean music and think i could get enough with my crude methods.hardest thing for me will be finding notes with out frets!
  18. Paul Warburton

    Paul Warburton In Memoriam

    Aug 17, 2003
    Denver, Co.
    People are dropping hints and coming right out and saying it.
    The cello will be an octave above the bass so there won't be any bottom in your lines........but, go ahead. There won't be any foundation. :eek:
  19. bribass


    Jan 25, 2006
    Northern NJ
    Endorsing Artist; Arnold Schnitzer/ Wil DeSola New Standard RN DB
    ...and don't forget all the GREAT Oscar Pettiford recordings w/ him on cello!
  20. Paul Warburton

    Paul Warburton In Memoriam

    Aug 17, 2003
    Denver, Co.
    I didn't, Brian. Read the quote in my post

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