Cellos generally weigh about 5 to 7 pounds depending on the type of wood used and the size of the cello. However, if you add a hard case, bow, and other accessories, the weight can easily begin to add up and exceed 20 pounds. In this case, you may want to get straps for your cello case so that you can wear it like a backpack.
Cellos come in several different sizes and it can be challenging to find the right-sized cello for you or your student. There are some general guidelines you can follow below, but the best way to find the right-sized cello is to try them out in a music shop.
How to Measure the Right Cello Size with a Cello
If you are able to try out different cello sizes in a music shop, you should follow the below steps to find a cello that fits you or your student.
- Sit with your knees at a 90-degree angle and rest the cello against your cello.
- The upper rim of the cello should rest on the sternum (breast bone)
- The lower bout (the c-shaped outline of the cello) corner should be touching the left knee.
- The neck of the cello should be a few inches away from the left shoulder.
- The C string (thickest string) peg should be near the left ear.
Recommend Cello Sizes by Age
A cello will have several sizes depending on the age of the person who will play it, are the following:
- 1/10: recommended for children who are 4-5 years old.
- 1/8: recommended for children who are 5-6.
- 1/4: recommended for children between 6-8.
- 1/2: recommended for kids with an age ranging from 8 to 14 years.
- 3/4: it is usually used by people over 14 and women.
- 4/4: experts recommend it to people over 16 years old.
Cellos are one of the most common musical instruments which means that they can be bought in many places. Below you’ll find a list of the most common places to buy a cello.
Buying a Cello Online
Buying online is becoming a more common way of buying a cello. You can find some great beginner cellos on Amazon or eBay. However, make sure that you read the reviews of the cellos before you buy them though since you want to make sure that the cello brand is quality. To make things simpler, we’ve outlined the best beginner cellos available for purchase online in this article.
Buying a Cello from Music Shops
Buying a cello from a music shop is one of the traditional ways to buy a cello. You can walk into most music shops that sell string and band instruments and ask to see their cellos available for sale or rent. Many shops will have a large selection of beginner cellos that you can try to find the best fit.
Buying a Cello from Classifieds
You could always buy a cello from a classifieds article. Whether in a newspaper or online, classifieds are a great way to buy a used cello from someone who no longer needs it. In fact, I got my first viola from a classifieds ad.
Our favorite portable cello tuner is the Korg TM50 because it offers a lot of features including a metronome and tuner, plus the battery lasts a really long time.
To learn more about other cello tuners we recommend, check out our review of the best cello tuners. If instead, you’re looking for a cello tuner app to use on your phone, we also have a review of the best cello tuner apps.
Deciding whether to buy or rent a cello is an important question that many beginner cello students face. The answer depends on your individual circumstances so we cannot provide a definitive answer, but there are distinct benefits to both options.
The advantage of buying a cello instead of renting it is that it generally retains its value throughout its life which makes trading it in for a larger size or higher quality violin very viable.
The advantage of renting a cello is that you don’t own the instrument, so if it’s damaged or your student wants to quit, you can just return it to the music store. No need to pay a repair bill or find a buyer.
To read more about the differences and see examples, read our guide on renting vs buying.
Cellos can be expensive instruments, but the costs vary widely depending on the quality of craftsmanship used to make the cello. A higher-quality cello, usually handmade, costs more since its tone and sound quality are usually much better than cheaper, machine-made cellos.
Beginner cellos, generally factory-made and meant for beginner cellists, are usually average around $300-$400 and can be bought in music shops or online. Higher-end, professional-level cellos, which are usually handcrafted by master luthiers, can cost well over $10,000. In between are intermediate cellos which cover then $500-$10,000 range.
Many students start out by renting cellos for practice until they are ready buy one. This ensures that a cellist is serious about the instrument before they invest hundreds or thousands of dollars into a new cello.
Essentially, cellos fall into three categories for pricing:
- Student or Beginner Cellos: Student cellos are designed for cello players just starting out who have played generally less than 2-3 years. They are generally mass-produced in factories so the costs remain low for parents and students who aren’t sure how long the student will continue playing the cello. Unlike more advanced cellos, these cellos have fingerboards and pegs that are made from maple (dyed black to resemble ebony) since these areas tend to be exposed to more friction from students who haven’t learned the right amount of pressure to use. Student cello prices range from $200 – $2,500.
- Intermediate to Advanced Cellos: Made with better craftsmanship, the sound of an intermediate cello is also much better. There are more dynamics and stronger projection. The pegs and fingerboards are usually crafted from ebony and the instruments are generally handmade. Intermediate and advanced cello prices range from $500 – $10,000.
- Professional Cellos: Professional-quality cellos exude a rich tone and wide dynamics that comes from master craftsmanship. Luthiers who make professional cellos generally spend many years practicing the art of making wooden instruments so that they sound the best that they can. Masterpieces like these are expensive. Professional cello prices go from $10,000 onwards.
Typically, how much one pays for a cello is how much one can expect from the quality. A cello priced at the extremely low hundreds tends to be “unplayable” while the more expensive ones can balance both playability and sound production better.
Of course, the price is not always merely an indication of product quality. Sometimes, it also incorporates the name of the cello maker. As a cello maker’s fame increases, so does the value of the instruments he crafts. The question of how much is a cello worth often depends on a variety of characteristics of that cello.