How To Buy Your First Cello

How To Buy Your First Cello

When it comes to buying string instruments, it is certainly a jungle out there. What should you be aware of when buying your first cello? Fiddlerman answers a few of our questions.
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How do I know that the quality and sound of the cello is good enough?

First of all, you need to consult a professional when it comes to picking your first instrument. Either a music teacher or a good music shop with great knowledge of cellos. They can help you sort out how to get the most for your money.

It’s always a good idea to go to a string instrument shop to test different cellos, if possible. Don’t forget to read reviews online and maybe talk to other musicians.

How much money do I need to spend on my first cello?

You can get a brand new cello for $150-400, but spending too little money in the beginning can backfire. Cheaper instruments are harder to play, which makes it easier to get discouraged and quit. The sound is often poor in an inexpensive instrument.

For a decent beginner cello, you will have to pay around a thousand dollars. This should include the case, bow, and rosin. On top of this, you might want to get extra strings, sheet music, and a music stand.

Browse our selection of beginner cellos here.

Should I rent or buy?

Do you think you will play for many years, or is there a possibility you might quit after a few weeks? Since it’s a big investment to buy a cello, you have to compare the cost of renting to what you would lose if you had to resell an instrument that you hardly played on. Most shops charge a minimum of $40 a month to rent out a new cello, depending on its value.

One thing to consider is that cellos don’t depreciate all that much in value, if you decide to buy one and need to sell it one day.

Should I worry about buying a cello online?

Read reviews of the online businesses and pick someone you can trust. Make sure that they have a flexible return policy and ask about their upgrade policy, in case you want a better quality instrument in the future.

Can the business test some cellos for you and send you a comparison video? Do they set up the cello carefully before shipping it to you? These are important questions to ask, especially if you are a beginner and don’t have much knowledge.

How big of a cello will my child need to start with?

Cellos come in different sizes. 4/4 is a full size cello and suitable for cellists that are taller than 5 feet. There is also a 7/8 size cello, sometimes used by smaller size adults.

Other common sizes are 3/4, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8. Usually you need a 3/4 cello if you are around 4.5 to 5 feet tall, and a 1/2 size cello if you are 4 to 4.5 feet tall. But these are just approximate measurements. The best thing is to try the cello in person.

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