Violin or Cello?

December 6, 2013 at 07:42 AM · I have recently come into a difficult dilemma. After fifteen years of playing violin, I'm really seriously thinking of taking up the cello. In the years I have played violin it has been an on and off relationship. Taking often long breaks from it to raise my son. After all those breaks, my violin playing is well, not what it used to be, though I still enjoy and love to play anyway.

Now that my son is older I can now consider taking up lessons to brush up on my technique as I have the extra time and money to do so. The problem is, I have always wanted to learn cello for as long as I can remember. Even before I started playing the violin. I can only afford lessons for one instrument and am really torn between the two. I am leaning more towards the cello lessons but really love the violin as well. This is such a hard decision. I have been recently looking at a decent cello on the Shar music site and have fallen in love with it and really want to purchase it. I feel so torn. Opinions anyone?

Replies (21)

December 6, 2013 at 08:39 AM · Maybe cello is your calling. You would forever regret if you didn't at least give it a try. And with a violin background, you should be able to pick up cello much faster than the average person. You can always go back to violin if you don't like it.

December 6, 2013 at 12:13 PM · At least you are not contemplating the viola!



Go for the cello!

December 6, 2013 at 12:40 PM · Try the cello. Never leave room for regrets.

December 6, 2013 at 12:48 PM · Go for the cello. And get lessons - right away so that you don't make the mistake of using your violin technique on the cello. It is quite easy for a violinist to take up cello. There are no unnatural positions involved in playing cello - at least compared to the unnatural positions require to play violin (and viola). "Real cello" playing, such as virtuosos do, is something else again because far more position changing is required, even for relatively simple passages,than for violin.

I was a violinist given a cello to play when I was 14 and spent the next 3 years of high school playing cello in the community orchestra and concertmaster (violin) in the high school orchestra.

I played the cello for about a month after I got it and before my first lesson - even played as substitute cellist with an adult string quartet after the first week. At my first lesson my teacher had to correct all the violinistic postures I was applying to my left and right hands on the cello.

These days (64 years later) I still play both instruments (with a rare viola thrown in for bad measure) with other people in chamber or orchestral groups - always have.

I say go for it - you will never regret it - it might even bring you back to violin as well.


December 6, 2013 at 01:17 PM · As a cellist/violinist (in that chronological order) I entirely concur with the previous responses.

December 6, 2013 at 02:12 PM · Try it, see if you like it.... otherwise you'll spend the rest of your life wondering. But I would strongly suggest that you rent before buying.

December 6, 2013 at 02:13 PM · I agree. Try it. No reason not to. No reason you can't play more than one instrument either.

December 6, 2013 at 03:01 PM · Go for the cello--you won't lose anything on violin. If a person doesn't chase her dreams, she's missing a lot of possibilities. Either borrow or rent a decent-sounding cello (you aren't an 8-year-old, after all, but a discriminating person with respect for sound...right?) and give it a year.

December 6, 2013 at 03:45 PM · Why not find a teacher that does cello and violin, that way you can alternate lessons ?

December 6, 2013 at 06:09 PM · I agree with the previous poster to find a violin teacher teachers cello as well. My violin teacher knows enough cello to give lessons on it for beginners to intermediate.

One day later one, maybe I will take it up, but right now isn't the time :/. Violin is hard enough on me! One thing that kinda puts me off on it is learning another clef. I first learned bass clef, and now know treble, but might as well throw in alto & tenor clef eventually.

Good luck!

December 6, 2013 at 07:03 PM · Or you could hold the violin like a cello and have the best of both worlds :-)

Holding the cello like a violin would also kill two birds with one stone, but would be a bit harder.

December 6, 2013 at 08:02 PM ·

December 6, 2013 at 11:44 PM · Seraphim,

Taking that thing to orchestra rehearsals would be a bear. I'd also like to see them do ricochet bowing -- it would be entertaining to say the least.

December 6, 2013 at 11:50 PM · If they simply got the Tonareli case with the wheels on the bottom, it wouldn't be a big deal.

December 7, 2013 at 02:24 AM · It depends on what you want out of it, but I tend to disagree with finding someone who teaches both. Why sacrifice on either one? The chances that they are qualified to teach on both would seem slim. I could see that they might have ideas on transitioning between the two, but is that a really common combo for people to get to the level of mastery where they can teach both?

December 7, 2013 at 01:39 PM · Re: The World's Largest Violin, a few questions come to mind,

1. What is the varnish?

2. Is a mute provided? Such a mute would presumably require two additional assistants to manhandle it into place, and later remove it.

3. Do any of The Big Three make a set of geared pegs for it?

4. What is used to hair the bow? I don't know of any equine species with tail hair long enough for that length of bow.

5. Is a specialist rosin needed? - this needs to be addressed if the bow hair isn't equine.

6. Do Warchal make a specialist set of strings, or are they perhaps working on it?

7. Are there any wolf notes?

8. Have all the H&S issues been identified and resolved?

I note that there is no chin rest or shoulder rest. Good thing, too.

December 9, 2013 at 09:18 PM · I appreciate all the responses folks! I really like the idea of finding a teacher who does both as some of you mentioned. That is what I will be searching for. If I can't find a teacher for both cello and violin, I might have some regrets if I don't at least try cello out. It seems that is the route I will be taking. Thanks again for all of your helpful replies, it has really made me think!

Best wishes to all!


December 9, 2013 at 10:15 PM · Greetings,

it's a late comment but my immediate reaction wasn't hay this really is a no brainer. It's written right whee wot you wrote, as Ernie Wise would have said. you like the violin but you are not following your real desire which is the cello. this happens quite a lot I think. people have certain ranges of pitch and sonority that they prefer yet get stuck with the wrong instrument and although they do well they are always niggoed by slight doubts. this is especially true of even good violinists who actually don't enjoy the upper registers so much and the lucky ones have the courage to change to ther viola and never look back,

just my six cents,


December 10, 2013 at 01:15 AM · @ Buri: "just my six sense..."

Inflation? or intuition?

December 10, 2013 at 05:18 PM · I think he's charges per idea/comment rather than post. so there must be 3 ideas/comments hes charging us >:| but...

Order now and you can get this advice/comment for only one low payment of $19.99 if you order in the next 10 minutes we will double the offer! thats TWO advice/comments for the low price of $19.99! Call now because we can't keep this offer going on all day!

December 10, 2013 at 10:06 PM · Greetings,

I am always ambidextrous about meanings



This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine