Reply to comment

Cello playing

Yes, as far as the bowing of the string goes, all bowed instruments are pretty much the same. Not just the violin and cello, but also more exotic things like the Chinese erhu all work in more or less the same way. There is only one really important difference between the violin and cello from the player's perspective: cellos are more prone to "wolf notes". This is a phenomenon which occurs when you try to play a note which coincides with a very strong resonance of the instrument body. The body vibration can be so strong that it interferes with the bowing, and in extreme cases causes a kind of "stuttering" sound. If you scaled a violin up to make a cello, and you kept to strict proportions with the tuning difference, the cello would be too large to play. So standard cellos are rather undersized. That means you need heavier strings, and a small body which needs to made thinner to keep the resonances in the right place. That combination of heavier strings and lighter body makes the wolf problem much worse, and most cellos suffer from it to a greater or lesser extent. Try searching around F sharp, especially high up on the C string. You will find a resonance around there,and if you try to play that note quietly you may get the wolfy stuttering.

Jim Woodhouse

Reply

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.