When selecting a cello, especially for a minor, it is important to take necessary steps to find the right instrument size. Arm length, hand size, and height greatly affect one’s ability to learn proper technique and muscle memory. Also, when playing a larger instrument, you want to make sure you are playing comfortably.
Choosing the Right Cello Size
Professional teachers will measure their students to establish the ideal cello size. If a musician requires the instrument and does not have a professional to help them determine the proper cello size, then he or she should sit with their knees bent at a 90-degree angle. The cello’s curve, which is under the lower bout corner, should touch the left knee. With a proper fit, the cello’s upper rim will rest on the musician’s breastbone while the lowest tuning peg will be by their left ear.
When a cellist plays a properly sized instrument, he or she can reach both sides of the fingerboard. Player can use an alternate sizing method, which involves a fitting yardstick. The measuring device features instrument sizes and will accurately size a musician. An assistant should place the end of the yardstick against the player’s neck and stretch it along his or her arm. Musicians should buy the cello size that is the closest to their palm on the yardstick.
General Cello Size Recommendations:
Tips When Trying Out a Cello
When trying out a cello, be sure to
- Sit up straight with good posture.
- Sit on a chair that is a comfortable height — not too low or too high.
- Plant feet firmly on the floor with the cello between your knees.
- Extend the endpin to a length that will bring the bottom of the bouts (the rounded edges of the lower half of the cello) to where they touch the insides of the knees. Then see if the pegs are at the height of the left ear.
- If the cello feels too large and the fingers overextending in first position, choose the smaller size.
How to Measure a Cello
There are two types of cellos: the European Standard and the Suzuki Standard. After measuring the instrument, performers can convert the results into their preferred style.
When calculating the size of their cello, owners should begin with the tape measure at the back of the instrument on the top portion of the cello. The next step is to measure down the center section of the base. The cello owner should then run the measuring tape down the middle of the instrument’s back to the base of the cello’s wood section. They should not measure the metal stand set in the bottom of the cello. While measuring their instrument, owners may notice that the back of the wood curves. However, the arched wood is normal, and musicians should add the curving into their measurement.
The next step is to measure the top of the back section where the curve supports the string pegs. Cello owners should then run the tape down the back of the neck and add this measurement to the cello’s body length calculation. To gain an accurate measurement, owners should also determine the cello’s widest area and include the results with the instrument’s other two measurements.
Playing an improperly sized cello will make reaching certain notes difficult, especially if the instrument is too large for the musician. Adults should not have much trouble finding the right cello size; however, younger or smaller musicians may have to be extra diligent in selecting among sizes