#1
hey guys,
so im a self taught guitarist (i would class myself intermidate)
lately i have been looking at cellos a lot and i would love to buy one
is it an instrument you can learn by yourself ?
#2
you can learn any instrument yourself
but only if you know what you are doing
keep in mind you need a very good ear for intonation though
since unlike guitar it is not a fixed pitch instrument .
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#3
I don't see why not...? I mean, it's not like the first person to ever make a cello didn't.
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#4
If you studied it extensively. It's not easy but if you have a grasp on the instrument it's not impossible by any means.
#5
All of the viol instruments have a very steep learning curve. Much steeper than guitar...

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#6
Quote by Banjocal
If you studied it extensively. It's not easy but if you have a grasp on the instrument it's not impossible by any means.


it is harder than guitar at the very least

like if i had to make a 1-10 list with one being easiest

1. guitar zither
2. recorder
3. mandolin
4. guitar
5. keyboard
6. cello
7. accordion
8. violin
9. pedal steel guitar
10. bagpipes
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#7
In the end, you have no other choice but to teach yourself everything you know in your life. You can expose yourself to information 24/7 and still never learn a thing.
#8
Quote by theogonia777
it is harder than guitar at the very least

like if i had to make a 1-10 list with one being easiest

1. guitar zither
2. recorder
3. mandolin
4. guitar
5. keyboard
6. cello
7. accordion
8. violin
9. pedal steel guitar
10. bagpipes
if this is true I feel so so so sorry for the fellow in Swans cause Gira is a monstrous director and he has to go nuts on that thing
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#10
Quote by Banjocal
if this is true I feel so so so sorry for the fellow in Swans cause Gira is a monstrous director and he has to go nuts on that thing


it's probably the most involved instrument there is physically

left hand needs to have good intonation which often means having to compensate slightly by slanting plus doing vibrato and muting

right hand you gotta pick plus palm block and pick block

and then you gotta do the pedals with the left foot (which is significantly more involved than the pedals on piano) and then the knee levers which are like more pedals but you need good reflexes plus memorizing all the changes

and then being able to slide evenly while changing the pedals evenly while still using the volume pedal on the right foot

and that's not even taking in to consideration keeping everything in tuned and well tempered and working smoothly
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#11
Get a teacher for at least a month or two. Like Xiaoxi said, the learning curve for that instrument family is fairly steep.
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#12
Cello's way hard to learn, yo. Definitely get a teacher.
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#13
and in addition to the the learning curve as everyone has mentioned there is also a major lack of learning resources for learning like online videos, self teaching books, magazines, etc compared to guitar
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#14
Why cello may appear to be harder than guitar is because it's mainly used in classical music and classical musicians tend to have a better technique (on average) than for example rock musicians. You can become a decent guitarist pretty easily because guitar is so common. Even those who can play it a bit better than "basic level" kind of stand out because most people can't play more than basic chords on it. But to become an "average cellist", it requires a lot more than becoming an "average guitarist".

On guitar you can play simple rock riffs or just strum chords and it'll sound pretty good - you could even make a living with just that. And that doesn't really require almost anything. But on cello I would guess most pieces are harder than that.

But yeah, any instrument can be learned with or without a teacher. You are the one that learns, nobody can learn anything for you. Of course a teacher will help. A teacher can immediately tell if you are playing something wrong. You don't have to figure that out by yourself.

But yeah, if you just want to learn to play some cello, just start playing it. If it feels too hard to play on your own, start taking lessons.


So to become a "good guitarist" is easier than becoming a "good cellist". You can be a good enough guitarist if you just know the basic chords (especially if you are a singer songwriter kind of guy). But to become a good enough cellist it just takes a lot more skill. That's because the best cellists are so good and there's really no need for not that great cellists. Same applies to almost any mainly classical instrument.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jan 10, 2015,
#15
Quote by theogonia777
it is harder than guitar at the very least

like if i had to make a 1-10 list with one being easiest

1. guitar zither
2. recorder
3. mandolin
4. guitar
5. keyboard
6. cello
7. accordion
8. violin
9. pedal steel guitar
10. bagpipes

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#16
you have to be able to play the really fast polka stuff with the really elaborate melodies with all the grace notes and stuff and also the really fast two step alternating basslines
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#17
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Why cello may appear to be harder than guitar is because it's mainly used in classical music and classical musicians tend to have a better technique (on average) than for example rock musicians.

Not exactly.

To put it simply, the barrier of entry to producing a note on a cello is much higher than that of the guitar.

Guitar and piano have low barriers of entries in that regards because it does not take really any effort or technique to produce a note--all you have to do is press down on a key or pluck a string. These are easier because they only require an initial attack by the player, with the instrument/physics itself facilitating the rest.

The same cannot be said for the cello. It takes a pretty significant amount of good and experienced technique just to produce a basic sustained note that is free of scratches, blemishes, etc.

The problem associated with this is that it requires immediate "proper" techniques which cannot be so easily learned or deduced by yourself. In contrast, you can get away with bad form/technique on a guitar or piano for the reasons above.

It has nothing to do with being held to a higher standard with regards to classical musicians. But even a non-classical player such as those in folk, bluegrass, etc must take a lot of time developing basic techniques under active guidance.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#18
Quote by Xiaoxi
Not exactly.

To put it simply, the barrier of entry to producing a note on a cello is much higher than that of the guitar.

Guitar and piano have low barriers of entries in that regards because it does not take really any effort or technique to produce a note--all you have to do is press down on a key or pluck a string. These are easier because they only require an initial attack by the player, with the instrument/physics itself facilitating the rest.

The same cannot be said for the cello. It takes a pretty significant amount of good and experienced technique just to produce a basic sustained note that is free of scratches, blemishes, etc.

The problem associated with this is that it requires immediate "proper" techniques which cannot be so easily learned or deduced by yourself. In contrast, you can get away with bad form/technique on a guitar or piano for the reasons above.

It has nothing to do with being held to a higher standard with regards to classical musicians. But even a non-classical player such as those in folk, bluegrass, etc must take a lot of time developing basic techniques under active guidance.


This pretty much. Plucked (or plunked as in the case of a piano) instruments tend to require considerably less effort to produce acceptable sounding notes. It is simply easier to produce a clean note and there is a greater margin of error. With a cello, you have to contend with both a bow, which is a bit trickier.

Simply put... the technique of the right hand in terms of producing sound doesn't play a such a large role in terms of good tone on a piano or guitar as it does on cello. And really... bowed string instruments aren't even the worse, compared to a reed or brass instrument for example.

A beginning piano player can plunk out a perfect sounding note the first time. A beginning guitarist could pluck out a good sounding note with relative ease as well (it's more the left hand the trips them up initially, but an open note will sound find). A bowed instrument player will struggle for a while to create anything other than inconsistent screeching. A reed player will be lucky to make any noise whatsoever for a while, then get to the point where they can screech like a dying animal, and then eventually maybe start to play something that resembles their instrument.

Also like Xiaoxi said... in terms of plucked instrument, the player only needs the initial attack. With a bowed or wind instrument, you have to continue to steadily keep force on the instrument. You have to be consistent to keep even tone, even dynamics, and avoid screeching.

And actually... reed and brass instruments (and other wind instruments such as flutes) are even trickier in this regard since the breath and lungs tend to be a bit more trickier to work with than the arms in terms of keeping up a steady flow.

This is also what makes the pipes and accordion challenging (though technically they are both reed instruments)... you have to keep a steady and consistent airflow while playing. Though the pipes are the worst because you have to inflate the bag as well as squeeze the air out, and so it doubly hard.

And then you have to consider intonation, since the cello is not a fixed pitch instrument and so fingering has to be accurate and ears need to be better developed to be able to check for intonation so that the fingers can be adjusted accordingly.

That's also one of the reasons why I would consider steel guitar (pedal or otherwise) to also be difficult... though you have to account for more pitches... usually full chords, whereas with cello you generally only have to worry about single notes and occasional double stops. I should note that bluegrass fiddle is a bit trickier since doublestops and even triplestops are far more common.
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#19
Short answer no.

Long answer yes.
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#20
Longer answer maybe.
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#21
Guitar is a bit in the middle I feel. It has a far easier entry, but I hear people with fret buzz, non existant vibrato and out of tune strings enough to constitute good guitar is not easy.

Also while one may be able to play things like alternate picking and "sweeping" perfectly, if this person takes on fingerstyle, it's basically back to start with the right hand. Then there's flamenco and classical tremelo.

Guitar can be learned visually though as said, due to the fixed frets.

There's one thing that does happen with guitar, because it's fixed, some people also tend to make mistakes faster since you can learn it visually, and u don't' develop (or at least can fall in muscle memory) ear for intonation, dynamic and tone production.

I also think that classical string players seem to have a higher standard, because they have to judge on ear, which forces someone to get a better ear for music/sound.

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#22
I think you definitely can.

I bought a violin and downloaded the Suzuki Method books for violin, I was one song away from finishing the first book in a month (playing every day). (Then I got lazy and stopped playing...)

If you can find those Suzuki books for cello I think you can learn it fairly easily if you get really into it.