If you are wondering to yourself, “Is it hard to learn the cello?” Then, continue reading.
To give you a brief answer to that question, it’s not hard to learn how to play the cello, but it’s important to remember that it is not a quick-fix instrument. As with anything, it takes daily-focused practice and discipline to learn.
How far you get with the cello is directly related to how much time you spend practicing it well. Even if you only practice for 30 minutes a day, you’ll see significant changes after a few weeks, no matter how old you are.
If you’re reading this, you should be proud of yourself for starting to learn the cello. At any point in your life, learning to play a musical instrument can be very rewarding, challenging, and fun.
Here, I’ll talk about your “first” cello lesson and give you some tips and excellent resources to help you get formally started. You’ll also know if it’s a good idea to learn cello as an adult, how hard it is to learn cello after violin, and more.
Table of Contents
- Is Learning The Cello Easy?
- Can You Learn The Cello On Your Own?
- Is Learning Cello As An Adult A Good Idea?
- Should I Learn Cello Or Violin?
- How Hard Is It To Learn Cello After Violin?
Is Learning The Cello Easy?
Is learning the cello easy? It depends, is my answer. It depends on many factors, like if you are teaching yourself or already know how to play.
For some, the cello is one of the most challenging instruments to learn because this one won’t give you immediate satisfaction, unlike percussion instruments.
The cello is easier to play if you know how to read notes and rhythms. Cello music is seldom taught by ear. But with some patience, you can learn the language of music even if you have never heard it before.
To learn and play the cello healthily, you need a teacher to help you through the beginning stages. This will let you play the instrument for the rest of your life.
Can You Learn The Cello On Your Own?
There are a lot of famous cellists who taught themselves how to play this instrument. However, hiring a teacher is usually best if you prefer a formal setting and hands-on learning.
You can teach yourself how to play the cello, but it will take a lot of practice and time. The best way to introduce this instrument is to watch videos of lessons and players, study sheet music, and put in the time and effort.
But how long will it take to learn the cello?
Most beginners will need two to five years to play the cello. However, this can be different depending on several factors.
How much time do you have to practice? Do you know how to play other kinds of instruments? Do you want to play the cello well, or like to learn the basics? These things affect the length of learning the cello, whether you do it on your own or with a teacher.
But to speed up your learning, here are my tips:
- Pick a cello that’s the right size for you
- Find out how to tune up your cello
- At least at first, don’t worry if you have trouble with some sounds
- Warm up before you play
- As you start to learn the cello, buy an anchor
- Make sure your bow is in good shape
- Regularly practice scales and strings
The most important thing? Keep yourself motivated and keep things interesting by listening to and writing about new things. Think about taking cello lessons whenever possible, so you have something to keep you on track.
Learning Cello: Online Resources
When it comes to starting to play your new cello, there are a lot of ways to learn. If you need to, several resources on YouTube and other sites can help you get started on your own.
To learn the cello basics, I found this YouTube tutorial by Tina Guo very helpful.
This cello course for beginners comes highly recommended. There are a lot of courses available to choose from, but this one is amongst the best reviewed.
But if you prefer books over online courses, below are my recommended books on Amazon:
- “The ABCs of Cello for the Absolute Beginner” by Janice Tucker Rhoda
- “Hymns for Beginner Cello” by Hannah C Sheats
- “24 lessons A Practical Method to Learn the Art of Cello Playing” by Chihiro Takeuchi and Martin Stanzeleit.
But aside from these resources, I must say that technique, like good posture, is a crucial part of learning to play a stringed instrument. You can check online to see if you’re in tune and on time, but at some point, you’ll need a professional to watch you and give you this critical advice.
If your posture or technique is wrong, you may have trouble with your intonation for a long time. You could also hurt your body and wallet over time. So, when you start playing the cello, you should see a teacher for proper posture and ensure it’s not causing you any pain.
Is Learning Cello As An Adult A Good Idea?
The most common question I receive is, “Have I left it too late?” My answer? It is never too late to start.
If it’s something you’re passionate about and can spend time on every day, even if it’s just 15 minutes, why not?
Even though it’s usually easier to learn a new skill, like a language or an instrument, when you’re young, age doesn’t affect how hard it is to play the cello. Instead, it’s how much time and effort you put into it (I’ve been saying this repeatedly, so I hope you already get it).
Young people often have boundless excitement about learning an incredible new instrument and a flexible mind that lets them soak up information like a sponge.
This excitement makes them want to practice more independently, and their ability to remember things quickly helps them make quick progress in their studies.
But it can be challenging for young students to analyze their playing critically. So, they need someone to help them figure out what is bothering them, whether it’s their intonation, posture, tone quality, or something else. Plus, young beginners tend to be less coordinated than adults until they reach puberty.
Adults who are just starting have their benefits. First, they have a better handle on their bodies, making it easier for them to change their technique and posture quickly. Also, they are good at analyzing their actions and understanding how they want to sound.
A good idea is to try and tune into a sense of childlike wonder. Be open minded and don’t be afraid to experiment.
Should I Learn Cello Or Violin?
Both of cello and violin belong to the violin family. So, they appear and sound alike, and their play is comparable.
But keep in mind that neither one is better than the other. Each has its unique qualities. Everything depends on your point of view. It typically varies depending on your taste and how much money you have.
The violin is better if you like clear, high-pitched sounds and soloing. But if you like soft, warm sounds and don’t want to focus too much on playing solo, the cello is an excellent option.
When comparing instruments of a comparable level, particularly for a beginner, the cello typically has a higher price, so if you like both but have a small budget, choose the violin.
How Hard Is It To Learn Cello After Violin?
The violin and the cello have significant characteristics, but the biggest difference between these instruments is how big they are.
Even though the cello and violin are not precisely the same, a violinist can learn and play cello without trouble. A violinist has usually obtained the skills they need to play the cello. So, if you already know how to play the violin, you can also learn the cello.
But still, to gain mastery of another string instrument, of course, you need to invest time and do a lot of hard work.
I hope that the tips and resources here will help you as you start to learn how to play the cello. If you start with a comfortable and complete set-up, you’ll be able to learn more quickly and easily master more advanced techniques as you go.
Remember that learning to play the cello requires an open mind and patience. It also means evaluating what you think are your limits so you can go beyond them and set new goals to reach.
And when you learn to learn efficiently, eventually, you will have the ability to be your own guide and recognize precisely what you are hearing and what you want to hear. So the key to mastery is to stay committed and learn efficiently!