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Wow, you’re ready to invest in your first cello?
What an exciting time for you!
Buying your first cello is probably one of the most exciting investments you’ll make in your life. You may not feel that way right now, especially if you haven’t ever played the cello before. But once you get your cello in your hands, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
There’s really no better feeling than buying a brand new instrument and knowing that you’re getting ready to embark on a journey that you’ve never been on before with this instrument.
And honestly, creating such a unique bond between you and your cello. I know that I may sound a little crazy saying that it’s essential to have a relationship with your instrument, but I mean it.
You aren’t going to want to play cello that you don’t like the looks of or don’t like to hold. You need to love your cello (or at least like it a good bit) if you’re actually serious about learning how to play this instrument.
But, if you don’t have any prior musical experience, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. Picking out the first cello that you’re going to play is vital, and I’m so grateful you’re trusting my advice (and suggestions) to help you with your journey.
I remember the first time that I picked up my first cello. I was honestly intimidated because I really hadn’t played a lot of string instruments. I first started out learning how to play the flute, but once I fell in love with my flute, I knew that I didn’t want to just stop there.
For the last 12 years, I’ve dedicated myself to learning every type of instrument that I can get my hands on. And I’m not self-taught on a lot of these instruments; I have 12 years of classical training.
I’m so excited to help you find your perfect fit. Let’s get going!
Bottom line up front: Personally, I would recommend the D Z Strad 101 Student cello. I think this is the best cello on this list; there’s so much potential to unlock with this cello. You really get a quality cello that’ll grow with you as you learn to advance your skill!
My Top Picks:
- Cecilio CCO-100 Cello
- Lykos Acoustic Cello
- D Z Strad 101 Student ½ Cello
- Cremona SC-100
- Cecilio CECO 4/4
First and Foremost – Don’t Rent Your Cello
First, I wanted to make a section about this real quick before I get into telling you how to go about buying your first cello. I think the biggest mistake a lot of beginners make is they think they should rent a cello before they commit to purchasing one.
But that isn’t true. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you’re renting an instrument.
Your cello may seem to be cheaper to rent out initially than it would be to buy a brand-new beginner-friendly instrument. But, renting an instrument can quickly become more expensive than buying a brand new cello.
If you’re actually looking to save money in the long run, buying a new beginner-friendly model is the way to go. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to end up spending several hundred or thousands of dollars on getting your hands on a quality, beginner-friendly model.
So, even if your budget is a concern for you, I still wouldn’t recommend new renting.
The biggest reason why I wouldn’t recommend you renting because renting an instrument is a gamble. You don’t know who the previous owner of the instrument was.
You don’t know how they took care of the instrument. You don’t know if there are any defects or small broken pieces on the cello when you’re going to rent it.
Even small things, like a tiny crack, could actually affect the Integrity of your cello. If you want to ensure that you have a properly working instrument that doesn’t have a lot of mileage on it, buying a brand new beginner-friendly cello is the only way to do this.
That way, you’re starting off on an instrument that has a clean slate, and you don’t have to worry about any defects with it.
Buying Your First Cello
So, before we get into the fun part of the actual product recommendations, I want to show you how you can buy a good cello. There are a lot of different beginner-friendly cello options on the market, but not all of them are worth your money.
There are some brands that produce super low-quality instruments and sell them for cheap just to attract a beginner who doesn’t know what they’re shopping for.
But that isn’t going to be you. I’m going to show you what you should look for when you’re buying your first cello so you can skip out on these scams and actually spend your money on a quality instrument that’s going to get you through to the intermediate or maybe even advanced stages.
Yeah, I know. Beginner-friendly cellos aren’t the cheapest thing on the planet. And if you were looking to go out and get your hands on a cello today but don’t have a whole lot of funding, I would maybe consider looking into a rent-to-own option with a local music store.
Or, if you’re able to wait a few months, you should save up money so you can buy a new instrument.
It’s really important that you plan out exactly what you’re comfortable with spending on a beginner instrument. There are some cello models that are as cheap as $200 that are actually decent quality For a beginner instrument.
But, finding a lot of beaner from each other models that are around this price range isn’t something available. The majority of beginner-friendly cello models that are around this price range have horrible tuning pegs, don’t produce a good sound, and break pretty easily.
Personally, I would recommend that you put aside between $500 to $1,000 to invest in your first cello. And this is just for beginner cello. The cello is a massive instrument, And it comes with a lot of fine details, so it is going to be costly for you to invest in at first.
Get the Right Size
You may not already be aware of this, but the cello actually comes in different sizes. This is very similar to other string instruments, such as the violin.
Buying a smaller size cello, such as ¼, ½, or ¾, is only an option that I would recommend if you’re shopping around for a young musician or musician that has a smaller body.
But, if you’re an adult searching for yourself and you aren’t petite, I would recommend that you go with a full-sized cello.
Knowing what size you need before you begin even shopping around to find you an instrument that you fall in love with. If you don’t buy the right size, you’re going to risk burning yourself out before you even have the chance to fall in love with playing.
To make sure you’re getting the right size cello, I would recommend that you go to a local music store to try out different beginner-friendly models.
Going and stewards you test-drive a few models will help you get a better understanding of what size instrument you need. But that’s not the only thing that you can benefit from trying up models, either.
It will give you the opportunity to see what you like about certain models and what you don’t like about others. It’ll give you a brief introduction to how old is on two different size cellos feels and what you can expect going forward.
Try a bunch of different models in different sizes until you find the perfect fit. Your comfort is a huge deal when it comes to playing the cello.
The cello may look uncomfortable to hold, especially if you’ve never held one before. But holding on to the cello while you’re playing it actually isn’t uncomfortable.
The tricky thing is finding the right size, which I just talked about. Know that it is important for you to be comfortable while you’re playing. If you have the opportunity to go to and store to try out different sizes of cello, think about your comfort.
You should be able to comfortably reach all of the fingering and hand positions while you’re playing. Comfort should be a huge priority as you’re trying out different models.
Personally, I would also recommend that you maybe consider buying a beginner cello that comes with a kit. There are many brands that offer a cello that come with a gig bag or a case, string, a bow, and some other accessories that you need to begin playing the cello.
This isn’t a necessity, but it will help you to save money by getting a cello that comes with everything that you need to get started.
What are the Different Types of Beginner Cellos?
Did you know there are different types of cellos? As a beginner, you have quite a few options for you to consider. There are electric cellos, acoustic cellos, and acoustic-electric cellos. An acoustic cello doesn’t have any electronics on it.
However, an electric cello contains a similar electric setup as an electric guitar; but they aren’t very common.
You could also get your hands on an acoustic-electric cello. With this model, you can play it plugged in an amplifier or acoustically; the choice is yours.
Best Beginner-friendly Cello Models
Now, it’s time for the fun part! I’ve chosen the cello models I’ve listed below based on my experience playing all of these models. I felt that these models were perfect for beginners, had good quality, were affordable, and were easy to find!
Cecilio CCO-100 Cello
I love Cecilio instruments; I think they’re one of the best brands out there for beginner to intermediate level instruments. I think the Cecilio Student Cello is such a wonderful option for anyone looking to save money with a cello kit.
There are three different finishes available at the shallow can come in, including black, purple, and a natural finish. But that’s not all that your cello comes with.
Personally, I think the sound of this cello is pretty impressive, considering the price of the kit. I think it’s got a rich and deep tone, a lot deeper than I was expecting it to be, considering how affordable the kit is.
This cello comes with a spruce top that’s claimed to be crack-proof by Cecilio. Moving on to the neck, it’s made up of maple end is matched by the maple fingerboard, sides, and back. In total, this cello weighs around 9 pounds, so it’s not too heavy for even a young child to play with.
Even better, I love that Cecilio offers a one-year warranty that protects the instruments against any manufacturer defects.
I also really love that the bow is made with quality Mongolian horsehair. One problem that I see in a lot of beginner cello kits is that the bows that come with the cello are low-quality and should be replaced immediately. But, this isn’t the case with the bow that comes with the Cecilio cello.
- Comes with all of the accessories you need to get started
- Very lightweight and easy to transport, even for a young student
- The top is made with crack-proof would, which I think is super important for a beginner model, especially one that could be used with young students
- Customizable options with the color and sizing choices
- Cecilio makes their buyers aware that there is a chance that your bridge could crack during shipping
Lykos Acoustic Cello
If you’re an adult looking for a cello to get started on, I would highly recommend this cello. I absolutely adore the sound that comes out of this instrument, and I’m always blown away by its affordability of it.
I do wish the return period was a bit longer, or there was some other type of warranty offered. You only have 30 days to return the cello if you have any problems with it. But, unless you have some sort of fatal problem during shipping, I don’t see any really why there’d be any reason to return this cello.
In total, this instrument weighs 7 pounds. It’s made with basswood on the sides, the back, and the top. Just take a look at that cello, and it looks like it’s a very expensive instrument.
Thankfully, this isn’t the case. But, if you don’t like one of the options that come in, don’t worry; there are two more for you to choose from. They’re all very classy looking, and I know that I had a hard time narrowing down my favorite option.
When I first picked up the cello, I did notice that the pegs on it felt kind of loose. But, I was able to tighten this up by myself right away. You may need to seek out additional help to tighten the pegs if you don’t have any prior musical experience.
Also, this cello comes with the accessories that you need to get started as well. However, I would only recommend this option to someone who is an older teen or an adult. That’s because it only comes in full-size options, so it’s going to be too big for a child to learn how to play on.
But, you can really feel confident in your ability to play, even just after a little bit of practicing, because of how stunning the tones the best cello produces are. You’ll be amazed at what a little technique can do on this beauty!
- I love the beautiful sound that comes out of this cello; it’s very impressive
- Comes with a crack-proof top
- Customizable options are available; there are three different finishes for you to choose from
- Very lightweight and easy for you to carry around (thanks to the case that comes with this cello)
- Pegs will need tightening
- Only available in a full-sized option
D Z Strad 101 Student ½ Cello
The D Z Strad is a really great student-friendly cello. This is a very fancy beginner-level cello, especially because of the handcrafted design on the outside of the body. I think the finish of this cello is so incredibly beautiful.
The red lacquer finish is certainly eye-catching without it being flashy (like a purple cello would be, in my opinion).
Even better, they’re different size cello options for you to choose from. You can choose between 1/8, ¼, ½, and ¾ sized cellos. So, no matter how old your student is (or you are), you can find the ideal size shallow for them without having to sacrifice the quality!
The bow on this cello is made from Brazilwood and uses real white horsehair on the bow. I love the attention to detail that was put into this bow. It’s a really good quality bow that actually matches the quality of the cello.
This isn’t ab ow that you’re going to have to replace immediately in order to get the most out of your cello. I love the unique frog design on it, too; it’s seriously the best bow on this list!
The biggest downside about this cello is honestly such a small part, which is why I think this is the best cello on this list. But the strings that are installed on the cello just really don’t hold up to the quality of this cello. I think the entire value of this cello could be unlocked with better strings.
Personally, I would highly recommend you get an upgrade of strings before you even think about playing this cello. The strings that come installed on the cello don’t do this cello the justice it deserves.
- Usage of mahogany on the back and the sides really help to give this cello a stunning sound
- I love all of the small details paid to this cello; it doesn’t make this feel like a beginner-friendly model (even though it is)
- The bow that comes with this cello is marvelous
- The strings, the strings! You’ll need new strings on this cello; that’s without a doubt
This cello pulls out of all of the stops when it comes to the sizing options available. You can choose between 1/16, ⅛, ¼, ½, ¾, or full size. So, this cello really has a little something to offer to everybody.
And while I wouldn’t say that this cello is great for anyone in the intermediate range, I do think that it’s a really great build for someone who’s looking for a beginner-friendly cello.
My biggest complaint about the cello is that because of its quality and build of it, it is an instrument that is super friendly toward intermediate and advanced musicians. So, keep in mind that you will probably have to upgrade in a couple of months or a few years after improving upon your technique.
Also, the same thing that’s to be said with the tone that this cello produces. I think it’s good for beginners, but as you learn to develop and refine your ear, you’ll notice that the tone this cello produces just isn’t comparable to intermediate and above models.
But, just for a beginner, I think the cello is really great. It’s very comfortable to hold onto, which I really think will help to encourage you to practice more. Plus, it comes with some accessories to help you get started. You’ll find that this cello comes with a bow, a shoulder strap, rosin, and a carrying case.
- I think this cello is super comfortable to hold
- I like that it comes with a shoulder strap to make it even more comfortable to hold onto
- Comes with a decent bow
- Very lightweight
- Tons of sizing options available
- This cello is really made for beginners; intermediate and advanced musicians won’t find this to be a lot of fun to play
Cecilio CECO 4/4
Of course, I had to make sure that I at least put one electric option on this list for anyone interested in learning how to play the electric cello. There are so many benefits to learning how to play the electric cello compared to the acoustic cello.
For example, you don’t have to plug an Electric cello into an amplifier to practice. That means that you can practice quietly and work on improving your technique without interrupting your neighbors.
However, in my opinion, the biggest downside to playing the electric cello is that you don’t get the authentic tone that you get with playing an acoustic cello. Plus, acoustic cellos tend to be a lot lighter than electric cellos.
Good ole’ Cecilio is back at it with a full-sized electric cello. I think electric cellos are so cool to look at, especially because most of the body is missing. There’s empty space where we would find a good portion of the body on an acoustic cello.
In terms of build, this electric cello comes with ebony fingerboards and a maple body. There is a one-year warranty that protects this electric cello from any manufacturer defects.
I think there are a lot of fun colors to choose from too. And just because of the appearance of an electric cello and the tone that it produces, this isn’t something that I would necessarily recommend for someone who just wants to play orchestral music.
That doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with the sound of this electric cello. I personally love the sound that this instrument produces, and I love how durable it is too.
You don’t have to worry about cracking or humidity causing any changes to the tone you’re producing with the electric cello. That’s because if there isn’t any wood for these things to happen!
Even though I’m someone who learned how to play an acoustic cello, I think this cello is super neat and a great option for any beginner!
- Very durable
- Lots of fun colors to choose from
- Super cool to look at; I think the design of this electric cello is so neat
- You can play quietly; you can literally plug in headphones to hear yourself practice, but nobody else is going to hear you
- Only available in a full size
- Doesn’t produce the same tone as an acoustic cello
- Doesn’t mimic an authentic cello playing experience great, since the body isn’t nearly as deep as it would be on an acoustic cello
Answer: Yes, it’s possible for you to teach yourself how to play the cello. But, it’s going to take a lot more time and dedication for you to teach yourself than if you were to work with someone who already has cello experience.
You can go on YouTube and utilize lessons there to help teach yourself how to play the instrument successfully. It’s possible, as long as you have the time and patience.
Answer: I don’t think that the cello was harder to learn how to play than the violin. I actually had more trouble learning how to play the violin than I did the cello. I found that the natural positioning of the cello was so much more comfortable for me to hold onto compared to the violin.
And because of the comfort that I had holding onto the cello, it was really easy for me to develop advanced techniques compared to the speed at which I developed advanced techniques playing the violin.
Answer: No, it’s never too late for you to learn how to play the cello. It’ll never be too late for you to learn how to play the cello. There are so many advantages to learning how to play the cello later on in life than if you were to start off while you were super young.
So if you’re interested in learning how to play the cello, start doing your research to see if you can pick one up today.
Are you still struggling to narrow down your choices? I would recommend the D Z Strad 101 Student ½ cello the most out of all of the options listed in this guide.
I think there’s so much beauty to be found with this cello. It’s got tons of potential. I love that you don’t need to do a lot of upgrading to fully unlock all of the potential that’s offered with this cello.
Just after doing a quick upgrade of the strings, you’ll really have a great time playing around with all of the beautiful tones that this cello can play.
Plus, there are different size options available. So even if you buy a smaller cello for your young student, you could always upgrade to a larger cello. You won’t have to worry about if you’re getting an upgraded size with a lower level of quality.
However, if you’re looking for a cello that comes with all of the accessories and that you need to get started playing, I would really recommend the electric Cecilio model.
There are just so many benefits that come with playing an electric model for a beginner. It’s hard to go wrong with the price that it’s offered at and how easy it is to take care of, especially when compared to an acoustic model.
Have you tried out any of these cellos? I’d love to hear about your experiences!
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