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Playing Cello vs Playing Violin or Viola
No, I am not trying to get a debate between which is best started. Just seeing why some people choose cello instead of violin or viola. I group violin and viola together due to their similarities.
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cid
November 13, 2019 - 5:50 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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I was wondering why a person chooses a cello over violin/viola, or a violin/viola over a cello.

I am so torn between all three. I am taking cello lessons, but would so much like to do all three officially. Tried for a little while with alternating cello and violin lessons. Two weeks later I was going beyond first position in cello beyond extending my fourth finger (technically was not leaving first position). I was also starting to do a trill. This required too much time to do both violin and cello officially with lessons, so I had to stop violin, and am back to playing the violin as a break from my cello, or when my back bothers me too much to carry my cello, acoustic or electric, to my chair,

Cello

PROS

I love the soulful sound of a cello, oh to be able to play that way! I also love the wild sound of a happier “jumpy” cello. So versatile. 

I love holding my cello. I love giving her her little hug before I start. I am thinking she does not appreciate my little hug because she does not seem to be cooperating fully with my shifting, or the newly added learning vibrato.

I get a kick out of the reaction of people who know me when I mention I have to “leave” or whatever to practice my cello or go to a cello lesson. It is so funny. Not the reaction when I mention playing violin or viola for some reason. 

It is fun.

CONS

The size. The cello is so large! I cannot see myself hauling it to visit my daughter. It is not a day trip. 

Strings are more expensive than violin or viola for the most part.

VIOLIN and VIOLA

PROS

They both have a lovely sound. The viola shares the soulful cello, but also has that lovely violin. Both can be played reflecting such emotion. Fiddle to sad classical romance pieces.

Portable. They are both smaller than a cello and able to be transported more easily.

Strings, for the most part are less expensive.

CONS

All the accessories. Chinrests and shoulder rests, if they are used. You have to keep buying them to find the best combination. Then you get it set up right and you change your hold, the way you stand, or you body just changes over the years. You have to start all over again.

I tire out quicker with my violin or viola than my cello. Why? My viola and violin, to me is more awkward. Holding it at my shoulder and lifting my arms so high are harder than my lower arm positions on my cello.

So, I guess, I love bowed stringed instruments, I just prefer my cello, but that preference over the violin and viola is ever so slight.

Of all three, my fingering is easier to get right on the viola. It seems to match my natural finger spread more easily. But, my cello still takes the edge.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Leaviathan
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November 13, 2019 - 6:39 pm
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My reasons for favoring the Cello are the larger fingerboard, and tone. I'm a bassist so I can relate to the Cello more. It's also easy to play upright as opposed to holding a Viola or Violin onto my shoulder with my chin. Speaking of chin rests and shoulder rests, I think I'm going with Artino magic pads on the top and back of my Viola, replacing both rests. It's very comfortable for me, I use the 3.5" and they're very affordable!

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cid
November 13, 2019 - 6:46 pm
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It is interesting that you find the cello more being upright easier to play. I agree with that. It is more comfortable. Doing all three, I do find it less contorting with the bow hold and bowing, also. The fingering is easier than the violin for me, but the viola is a better fit, but not that bad with the cello. Really hard for me with the violin.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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AndrewH
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November 13, 2019 - 9:58 pm
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Holding a violin/viola is certainly more awkward, and probably contributes to there being a lot more successful adult beginner cellists than adult beginner violinists or violists.

It's quite common in community orchestras for as many as half of the cellists to have started as adults, while only two or three people in the combined violin and viola sections of the same orchestra started older than 12.

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cid
November 13, 2019 - 10:22 pm
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@AndrewH That was neat info. It makes sense, actually. I never thought about how it differs when starting as a child or adult, or older adult where there are more aging factors to consider. 

I keep saying how much I wish I had had the opportunity to learn as a child. Ah, to be younger, if only for a time to get the basics of each instrument. But, I can see where age and physical well being may affect whether you choose cello or violin.

Another adult I know of started cello because she could not handle the violin or viola. She wanted the smaller instruments for portability, but had to go with cello. I don’t know her well, she does not live anywhere near where I live now, so we can’t get together.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Gordon Shumway
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November 14, 2019 - 6:10 am
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I played a cello for 5 minutes when I was 16 or so. It was easy to get a good tone out of it.

But there's a twoset video of them learning cello in an hour, and the intonation doesn't come easy!

t=545s

Andrew

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Leaviathan
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November 14, 2019 - 7:08 pm
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I think Violin is easier for children to pick up on as far as how you hold and play it. It's kind of like sitting Indian style, if you didn't do it as a kid it's hard to do now!

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GregW
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November 14, 2019 - 7:40 pm
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"I am so torn between all three. I am taking cello lessons, but would so much like to do all three officially."

YOU ARE!!  thumbs-uplaugh

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cid
November 14, 2019 - 8:13 pm
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GregW said
"I am so torn between all three. I am taking cello lessons, but would so much like to do all three officially."

YOU ARE!!  thumbs-uplaugh

Thanks. Well, I am not so sure since my lessons are cello. I have to limit The violin and viola. But I am thinking of setting aside time regularly for the violin. I can’t set time aside regularly for the viola because I am concerned I will confuse the alto clef used on the viola with the tenor clef of the cello, also the other way around. I am doing pieces with bass, tenor and treble clef with my cello, now. I just got the alto clef out of my system when looking at tenor clef music. I have to get more comfortable with tenor clef before I get back into alto clef.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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