Violin or Cello??? Help Me Decide

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by gigs, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. gigs

    gigs Member

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    I've always wanted to play a violin or a cello. The violin would actually fit some songs our band, but the cello I am more partial to for some reason. However, the cello takes up a lot of space, but I like the sound better. I don't think I'd use the cello in the band, just for personal fun and learning.

    I dunno... any issues I need to account for in deciding?

    thanks!
     
  2. Schroedinger

    Schroedinger Member

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    I took up violin 5 years ago, after 20 years of guitar. It is really frickin hard. And it sounds TERRIBLE, and loud, for months before you can get anything respectable out of the darned instrument.

    If you can persevere through that, it is awesome. I get calls for more gigs as a fiddle than I ever did as a guitarist.
     
  3. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    I've been shopping student level cellos, and found a couple of teachers who teach via Skype.

    Headed back to school this summer, or I would pull the trigger. The range of the cello is what does it for me. Fun to think about.
     
  4. 84superchamp

    84superchamp Silver Supporting Member

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    i agree, just from a listener's POV. it seems the cello would offer more to the music and would fit better in most songs. violin is so...in your face.:omg
     
  5. Skeet skeet!

    Skeet skeet! Member

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    I can think of more band applications for a violin given its higher register.

    As a tall person with a long neck, I dread the thought of playing the violin for long hours.
     
  6. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    As a tall person with large hands and long thin fingers, I found the cello much easier to play and could get a decent tone within a couple of weeks. IME, Violin required a much longer period of nails on a chalkboard tone...
     
  7. Reverb Kick

    Reverb Kick Member

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  8. geek-mo

    geek-mo Supporting Member

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    Go with the violin. Cellos are too heavy and too loud. In most clubs, you won't need all that extra wood.
     
  9. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    Violin pros:
    - More easily transportable than cello (smaller case, don't need a chair, don't need to set up for the cello spike, don't need to buy extra airline ticket for a cello - though that might have changed).
    - Not as much hand gymnastics required to play scales, arpeggios, and melodies in general, because of shorter scale
    - Cuts through a band mix more than viola or cello
    - Some chords easier to play than on cello due to shorter scale.

    Violin cons:
    - Can't get the low, rich tones of a cello unless you go with 6- or 7-string electric violin, or get an octave violin or baritone violin. Darol Anger's article on baritone violin: http://www.standingstones.com/barifidd.html
    - Can't play bass and chords at the same time like on cello unless you're on an octave/baritone violin.
    - If you're used to plucking strings, learning to bow them is a bitch. I mean with some rosin, you can get a sound, but to make that sound behave the way you want (less harmonics or more, loud or soft, tone that stays where it is and doesn't shift between fundamental tone and harmonics-laden "wolf" tone against your will, etc.) take quite a bit of practice.

    Cello pros:
    - You get those low notes vibrating against your chest.
    - You can play bass and chords at the same time (you have to pluck though, most of the time)
    - Great pitch range if you're willing to learn and practice thumb position playing.

    Cello cons:

    - Move hand movement/reaches required to play scales, arpeggios, melodies, etc.
    - Thumb position is a bitch. Can be painful when learning it for the first time.
    - Bowing is a bitch (see violin cons above).
     
  10. spamassassain

    spamassassain Member

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    Ditto.

    Richer sound that a violin, and (nearly) just as easy to transport.

    Same difficulty in getting a good sound as the other two, though.

    violin family instruments are not easy! Fingering is one thing but the friggin' bow is a world into itself.
     
  11. Jeff Gehring

    Jeff Gehring Silver Supporting Member

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    I voted 'cello; I played violin all through public school. Still have one, it sees the light of day maybe once a year, tops. VERY in your (as in, you, the player's) face. Violin is a very high register (ie the notes are pretty dang close together if you have large hands) fretless instrument that prefers to make sounds like a small quadruped being eaten by predators, given half a chance.

    Plus, let's say you get good at it. You'll be asked to play ye-haw 'fiddle' music, which you may or may not care for.

    If I could afford it, I'd have an upright bass in a heartbeat. They are serious FUN and they don't have the screech content of their smaller kin.

    'Cello always seemed to me a really nice compromise.
     
  12. TwoTubMan

    TwoTubMan Member

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    If you think guitar gear is expensive, just wait until you go bow shopping. Yikes!
     
  13. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    If the cello is too loud, the cello player sucks (or the person doing sound). A competent player can play cello as soft as it needs to be.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  14. THROBAK

    THROBAK Vendor

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    Violin. You got to bow all of them. Once you get the hang of bowing you won't forget.
     
  15. fwguitar

    fwguitar Member

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    Don't forget you have to carry the cello!!
     
  16. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    You better be single to take up violin, if you're not you'll soon be after a few days of practise... :p
     
  17. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    Cello and bass bowing technique is very different from violin/viola bowing.
     
  18. D. Stewart

    D. Stewart Member

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    The first instrument I built was a violin, because I'd always been attracted to the old world craftsmanship of producing such an aesthetically & acoustically perfect little thing.

    It turned out well, and my main thoughts after sawing away on it for a time was ... "how does anybody play this fricken thing!" I found it very difficult, & moved on to building archtops (been a guitar player for 50 years). Guess I'd say rent each for a couple of weeks & see if you like one over the other.
     
  19. music321

    music321 Member

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    you could rock with this guy:

     
  20. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    Cello.

    Burns longer.










    (sorry...couldn't resist)
     

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