A Cello is a string instrument that is played using a bow. It has 4 strings, tuned to C, G, D & A and the sound produced is an octave lower than that of a viola. Replacement strings are readily available. The Cello can be played as a solo instrument, or in string ensembles as the bass member of the violin family.
The cello is a large, wooden string instrument that sits between the player's legs and rests on an end-pin that balances it on the floor. You can also purchase an anchor that attaches to the chair and prevents the cello from slipping. Generally made of varnished maple, the cello is an attractive instrument with the grain of the wood often clearly visible.
Cellos are available in a range of sizes to suit any player, from children to adults. Available sizes are 1/10 (4-5), 1/8 (5-6), 1/4 (6-7), 1/2 (8-10), 3/4 (11-13) and 4/4 (14+), which is full size. There are online tools available to help you choose the right size, but, as a rough guide, the age ranges have been included in brackets.
A good quality bow produces a good quality sound. Cello bows vary in weight from 65 grams to over 80 grams, with lighter bows being easier choices for inexperienced players. The 'stick' of the bow may be made from Brazilian hardwood, carbon fibre or fibreglass, and the fibre that comes into contact with the cello strings is generally made of horsehair. Cello bows are also weighted differently, some having a balance point closer to the tip and some closer to the 'frog' (the part used to adjust fibre tension). Bow type, balance and quality is a personal choice that becomes more important with experience.
Cases and bags
Safe storage of a Cello is important in order to keep it in great condition. If your cello doesn't come with one, cases and bags are available to buy separately in all sizes.