1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Giving some serious thought to switching to cello

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Ron Plichta, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    I've been working on classical DB for the past year after over a decade of electric bass. I was going to transition to jazz, but my heart's not there compared to classical and so I've been studying arco technique for the past year.

    I bought a cello to knock around on last summer and I pick it up every now and then. Well I've been at it a bit more the past few nights and honestly, I think I'm starting to like it over DB. Easier to lug, not physically demanding (size-wise) and I like the tone. There's more repertoire for cello, too.

    I'm thinking about stopping my DB lessons and taking cello lessons for a year to see how things go. I'll keep the DB for now and put less emphasis on it until I decide if this is a fleeting thought or something longer-term.
  2. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Go with your heart. Just be sure, if you end up going the cello route, to strive towards getting as big and deep a tone out of the cello as you would out of the bass. One of my favorite cellists is David Soyer and a big part of that is because of the depth of tone he was able to get out of the instrument. Granted, I wasn't fortunate enough to have heard him live, but I get fooled (sometimes) into thinking he's playing double bass about every time I watch this clip.

    Full disclosure: part of (or all of?) my post (and I apologize if I've derailed this thread before it even got started) may have had me ranting a little due to my experience playing in orchestras where the cello "section" was comprised of whiny soloists each doing their own thing instead of a full, big toned, for the common good section sharing certain parts with the bass section (i.e. providing the fundamental support for the rest of the orchestra/melody).
  3. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    The cello is one of the most beautiful instruments on the planet.
    I wish I had taken it up.
  4. tbplayer59


    Jan 20, 2013
    I've heard that this is because the cello is in the same musical range as the human voice. Don't know of it's true or not but I always found it an interesting theory.
  5. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    Gave this some more thought over the past few days and realized that I was acting in a fit of frustration. A few days and deep breaths later, I've decided that I'm going to stick with the double bass as my primary instrument. However, I'm still going to keep my cello and work on it as time permits.
  6. pnchad


    Nov 3, 2005
    me too! but actually you can play a lot of the same repertoire on DB - I know it's more demanding but maybe a bit more rewarding too - definitely more unique

    just tonight I got inspired (and I'm a jazz guy) to start playing with some arco motifs - thinking about composing some solo pieces

    I've also been playing some jazz standard melodies lately with the bow - I think they are real accessible - folks know them - and they lend themselves to nice interpretations

    good luck either way
  7. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    Call me fickle - I've decided to try cello lessons to see how that works out. I've been practing pretty regularly on DB, but not entirely "comfortable" yet given I've been at it a year.

    In a perfect world, i'd give full effort to both, but that's not entirely possible with a full time job and family. Getting in 90 minutes of practice a night is about what I can manage.

    One comment I hear from folks on another classical forum is the lack of bassists in community orchestras compared to cellists. I don't know what everyone's experience is here, though.
  8. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    It appears that the double bass won't release me from its grasp just yet. I spent a good part of the weekend working with it since I have a recital this upcoming weekend and I'm enjoying it again. I managed to get some time in on the cello as well and guess what - I like it, too. Each one has its own appealing voice and it's become tough to really pick one over another.

    The real issue seems to be that patience isn't one of my better virtues. I e-mailed my bass instructor regarding dropping bass lessons and he commented that he thought I was making decent progress for someone who had limited time to practice compared to his college students. That comment made me reflect on the reality that I'm not going to get anywhere fast and I will have to accept that many days I'll sound like I'm strangling a cow until I achieve my goal.

    However, I've already signed up for cello lessons and so I feel as though I should follow through with that. I think what's going to happen is that I'll find a way to work both into my schedule and play DB in the orchestras and cello for personal enjoyment. After all, there are lots of opportunities to play both around the Washington, DC area.
  9. pnchad


    Nov 3, 2005
    well I got one of the originals from the early 60s in an evilBay auction

    developed for Percy Heath and Mr. Brown - the thing looks like it was on the showroom floor yesterday

    very cool with miniature 2+2 DB tuners (instead of typical cello friction pegs) so it was made with the intent to handle fourths strings EADG bass style - just ordered the Helicores designed just for this application

    need a looooong endpin but thats it and we're off

    it's been fun trying to think in 5ths like a standard cello tuning with the strings on it but that's a mind bender for this old DB/EB player

    I love the bow

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.