"Is that a cello ?"

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by Don Higdon, Apr 13, 2000.

  1. The last 2 weekends I've played in a club in a wealthy part of the state, for people who presumably go out a lot. At least 6 times in 2 weekends, people have asked what instrument I'm playing, is it a cello, etc. I guess I'm astonished and admittedly disappointed that people with this much exposure to music as entertainment think that if it's not shaped like a Fender, it's not a bass. I guess this is what happens to cranky old purists. Then, to snap me out of my funk, a 10-year-old pointed out and named all the parts of my bass to his friend. You gotta love a kid who says "...and that's the scroll."
  2. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Don, endless source of frustration. My brother in-law, whose wife is a music major and music teacher, and whose daughter plays the viola, still refers to my bass as a cello!

    Brothers in-law, hhmmmph!

    [This message has been edited by Tim Ludlam (edited April 13, 2000).]
  3. Jake


    Dec 11, 1999
    I have always wanted to learn some easy string quartet cello parts and get a wedding gig with two violins, a viola, and myself to see how many people could tell the difference. If I sat really low I doubt they'd say anything!

    [This message has been edited by Jake (edited May 02, 2000).]
  4. Bud Rink

    Bud Rink

    May 5, 2000
    NYC, USA
    Somebody on the subway asked if my bass was a french horn! And this in the cultural capital of the world.
  5. JK

    JK Guest

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jake:
    I have always wanted to learn some easy string quartet cello parts and get a wedding gig with two violins, a viola, and myself to see how many people could tell the difference. If I sat really low I doubt they'd say anything!
    jacob, its very common for you to want to swing on the cello side as well. Much as you have already discovered with your sexuality, experimenting is o.k. And also no one cares about your stupid wedding gig so please shut up

    [This message has been edited by Jake (edited May 02, 2000).]

  6. Jake


    Dec 11, 1999
    Hey JK (aka James Kehler) (aka Crotch Taco):
    Don't you have anything better to do than to call people gay online? It's time to grow up Jimmy.

  7. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    and here i thought this side of town was for some reason more civilized than over in BG land.

    shows ya what i know. pretty soon you'll have threads like "MMW Suxxx" over here too.


    strings! strings! i need more strings!

  8. rablack


    Mar 9, 2000
    Houston, Texas
    I was just checking the board and noted several petulantly offensive posts by "JK." When I tried to check the profile of this guy I saw he was no longer registered.

    If the administrator bumped him from the group - BRAVO! This place is a great resource and I don't want to waste time with childish nonsense.
  9. SottoVoce


    Sep 16, 2000
    A real exchange that I overheard at our school concert last year:

    "Hey look at that great big giant violin!"

    "Um, that's not a violin, it's called a cello."

    "Oh! A cello."

    (It was a bass)
  10. My other favorite is, "Don'tcha wish you played the flute?"
    My usual favorite response is " You see any flutes on this Gig, pal?" The other one is simply, " Why would I want to play anything else?" :)
  11. I guess the disappointment or surprise increases when the people are better off and you expect them to know better. My latest, a few weeks ago, entering the lounge on a cruise ship, bass still in its cover: "Is that an oboe?" An OBOE???
  12. Have you seen some of the stuff people try to sell on eBay as double basses? Most mistakes occur when the item is a miniature or an art print. Haven't seen an oboe yet, but I've seen a number of cellos (at least, those are cello pegs in the pegbox).
    Some are obviously violins. Hmm, no endpin and has a chinrest! My double bass didn't come with a chinrest! Lemur doesn't seem to sell them...
    This baffles me. Since people have such trouble even identifying a double bass, why would they assume their items are more likely to sell if they market them as such?

    [Edited by double dad on 10-23-2000 at 11:36 AM]
  13. I am going to start playing gigs on an amplified half size bass and sort of expect to hear the cello question. By the way thanks to Don Higdon for comments made about basses in many different posts, my half size bass came out a lot better sounding than I expected.
  14. AlexFeldman


    Jun 18, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    > My other favorite is, "Don'tcha wish you played the flute?"
    My response to that question is, 'I do.' My Yamaha C flute fits nicely into the doghouse's gig bag. Too bad no one wants to hear me play it...

    Band Leader: 'You play anything besides upright?'
    Me: 'The flute! I can read treble clef and everything! I have it right here in my-'
    Band Leader: 'Err, don't you have an electric or something?'
    Me: 'Well, yeah, but I've always wanted to play flute in a-'
    Random Sax Player: 'Hey bass dude, I'll give you one hundred bones for that flute!'

  15. Tell 'em it IS a cello, on steroids. Or maybe its your brother in there and you're sneaking him in. See if they look in the f-holes.
  16. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Hey Don, Electric players don't have it any easier. People keep thinking we play guitar or that it's easier because there are less strings in some cases. Check the threas "Why do most non-musicians have no clue of what a bass is?" in the Bass Guitar Miscellaneous forum.

    Here's a handy link:

    Will C.:cool:
  17. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Ok, I'm not an upright player @ most i might be taking lessons this summer so i can play 4 instruments for my high school [electric {note the name}, cello & guitar]. WHen i have my cello people call it a guitar, violin, or that big thing. When i'm carrying my jazz people say is that your guitar? can i play it?...when will they learn. ok time to go back to BG land. thats all
  18. The other standard dumb remark: "Wow, that's a really big guitar!" and then they double over laughing as if I NEVER HEARD that before. I handle this by giving a perfunctory smile, saying absolutely nothing in response, and then going about my business in a professional manner. That's a good time to pull out the bow and start warming up with arco exercises, all the while totally ignoring the witty person.
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Actually as I mentioned on the other thread cited above, we are probably more recognised than some instruments. I play in a band with a trombonist and do some Jazz stuff with him. Just recently he was very excited as he had finally decided to move to regular trombone after 20 years of playing Bass Trombone - but he was mortified when nobody noticed the difference and he realised that not one person he knew apart from me had been aware that he actually played bass trombone for all those years. And that was only because we had a friendly rivalry about who could play the lowest note!
  20. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I once had someone ask me if I was playing an oboe.

    Another time I had someone tell me I was playing a cello. When I corrected them they insisted they knew someone who had a bass and mine was much to small to be one!