For those that play cello in addition to violin......
Particularly if you learned violin first, how difficult was the leap? Did you struggle with feeling like everything was “backwards” in terms of playing and if so how were you successful in over coming it?
As a long time violin player I’ve always admired the cello as well and wished I could play. I’m not getting any younger and giving it serious consideration for a project in the new year. I would have access to a terrific teacher online so I would not be completing “winging” it on my own.
However even when I try to play violin in cello position, haha it is such a backwards feeling me! My hands just do not want to cooperate with what I’m trying to get them to do. Even when discussing this with the teacher she warned me it may seem very difficult at first as my brain is very much wired to play the violin but if I could overcome this it would be very much worth while.
Just looking for some first hand experiences with this to see if this is a challenge others successfully over came as well!
I learned violin first, and had no problem when starting cello; maybe that was because I learned violin left-handed and cello the usual way (could not rent a left-handed cello!). Unfortunately, that is probably not an option for you, but keep at it, I have confidence that you can learn both. P.S. viola will be next...
Kim, I was 14 (almost 15) when I started cello but 4 (4-1/2 for first lesson) on violin.
Thank you to both of you for your encouraging stories!!!
Go for it!!! Knowing the violin helped a lot. I heard it's easier to play cello after learning violin, than learning violin after cello.
As a lifelong violinist taking up cello as an adult (mostly self-study), it took some getting used to but I was able to get used to it. I had the benefit of some basic knowledge about common errors that violinists make when attempting cello although I don't pretend to have corrected everything! I had some upper back discomfort earlier on from not being used to engaging those muscles in that way. Now if I hold my violin in cello position, I "think in cello fingering" except of course the spacing is off, and if I'm in violin position and looking at bass clef, it feels slightly odd (despite that I play piano too and am fine with bass clef). There is definitely a "switch" that flips depending on posture cue. My biggest difficulty is knowing with my musician sense what I want it to sound like but not being able to do it immediately - don't know where the note is or how to get there efficiently, unrefined bowing technique, etc.
Rebecca thank you for your kind words of encouragement and sharing your experience. I would love to update if I do venture down this road!
Thank you Kim! I wanted to add too, that from my experience it wasn't easy at first (but it was easier because of playing violin aleady), and it was (and still is) a lot of work, physically and mentally. But it's fun work. It is definitely possible though, and totally worth it if you put the effort into it.
Kim, I'd like to add that since you also play viola I think you should have little trouble getting going on cello.
Haha Rebecca I was wondering too if my husband may perhaps compare me to some form of dying bovine when I get started as well! When my boy was first learning trumpet for school band....that was a bit hard to listen to getting started!!! Our neighbours are not very close to us so there was a few times I told him he should go outside and practice and let the neighbourhood hear is progress as well....haha!!! He did it quite a few times and enjoyed it and wondered what everyone thought.;) Oh the growing pains of learning a new instrument!
So my route was more circuitous. I studied bass in High School as a second instrument and tried cello a couple of times. The fifths strings, the bow hold (coming from German), and fingerings were too different. I then spent years playing violin and viola in community ensembles and play-in chamber groups. When I picked up cello to fill in groups at chamber play-ins, the issues I encountered were:
The Anna Magdalena manuscript containing both the S&Ps and the Cello Suites, must either have been meant for keeping at home or for sale to someone who played both!
I think cellists who want to try violin have it harder if they try playing cello in violin position...
I thought I’d update since many of you were thoughtful enough to give such inspiring replies!!!
How nice! Don’t tell us much more... since you’re making me jealous and I can’t fit a cello at home (and I should learn to properly play the violin before...)
Thank you for the update! That is so exciting, and I think you will absolutely love it!
Judging by the previous posts I'm evidently living my life backwards. Started on the cello at 12 (I had already been learning the piano since I was 5), but left it until I was 62 before the violin came along - it was a family heirloom that I was urged to learn to play.
Sounds great! And in another 10 or 20 years if you find your creaking bones, joints and muscles getting too old to play the violin the way you want to you can just switch back to cello :-)
Nice Kim! It sounds like you might have just met a good lifelong friend. I just finally bought an MPC sampler for making beats, after thinking about it for years. Here's to a year of new musical exploration!
Well good for you, Christian, sounds like fun!
Since it hasn't been brought up, and since I really do enjoy bringing up controversial topics...
It's interesting to see that so many here find cello easier than the violin. I have found the opposite. However, it's also interesting that the people who find cello easier started on violin - whereas I started on cello and took up violin/viola later. That might be key to the perception of which is easier - for me, the relative ease of bowing and tone production on violin were a revelation after years of cello playing.
Nuuska, Since you enjoy bringing up controversial topics, I wonder if a shoulder rest would help him hold it easier. ;) That was beautiful, by the way!
Well, after sitting with my Suzuki book 1 this morning I am now able to
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