Still loving it

26 Feb

It’s been such a long time since I’ve posted anything here – I thought it would be good to add a bit of an epilogue. I say that because one chapter of the cello story is closed for me, and I don’t expect to write here other than responding to comments. I really do enjoy the comments – it’s great to hear that I’ve encouraged someone else a bit.

The chapter that appears to be closed is the engineering chapter. Since I settled on a nice set of strings for the little cello, I haven’t done any more tinkering. I’m not reading much about cellos and violins, and I’m not reading music, either. I have no ambitions to greatness. The work required for that is beyond my motivation!

What I do is play the little cello a bit almost every day, and I am very thankful for that pleasure. I don’t practice the cello, because I’m not preparing for anything bigger. My short, daily session is the main event.

I wander between tunes that I’ve learned already, tunes that I’ve heard and want to try, and improvisation. The latter is the most fun. I can handle the bow well enough now that it nearly always sounds lovely to me, even if I can’t play anything very difficult. I’m an adagio specialist!

I keep the cello out on a small table in the corner of the dining room. It’s easy to pick it up and play for a few minutes and be done. There’s no effort to get ready. I don’t have to tune it very often. I don’t have to rosin the bow very often. Hey – I usually don’t even tighten the bow hair!

I suppose it’s about like grabbing a cookie from the cookie jar. Just a quick comfort, and one I look forward to every day. Whatever cello playing is for you, make sure it’s what you want it to be. Don’t do it to satisfy someone else’s expectations, and it can be a great joy!



  1. Leila

    December 8, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your cello adventures. I’ll be buying my first cello soon, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

    Your blog provided some great ideas and much encouragement. Appreciate your fearless experimenting!

  2. Niels

    March 20, 2014 at 11:32 am

    thanks for your cello story. It is the only one I could find on the web about choosing a small cello on purpose, an re-tuning it. Nice to read you are enjoying it so much.
    Mine is a slightly damaged 1/4 cello. Tuned it down to GDAE. Nice and low. Also, the soundpost is missing, so low tension seemed the safe thing :)
    It can be played like an acoustic bass guitar, just sounds a lot better and fuller :)

  3. Emma

    May 4, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Thank you so much for this page!
    You’ve encouraged me in my endeavour to play a 1/2 sized cello and install geared tuning.. your innovation is inspiring. Thank you!

  4. Fiona

    July 11, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Inspiring :) I’m in my 50’s and today asked our grown up, home-schooled children to consider getting me an electric cello for Christmas to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s/Dementia. Statistically I’m in a generational possibility. I hope they get interested, the statistics put them in a probable certainty ! This is going to be like rubbing my tummy while patting my head ?… but a lot more rewarding lol

  5. Joel

    August 9, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I echo the sentiments of those who have commented. I also am curious to know if you can transfer your skills to the “big cello” if you choose? Good luck and remember you can always come back and post! There are those of us who enjoy it very much.

  6. jimmymc

    August 9, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    My limited skills transfer to the big cello easily. It’s kind of surprising, but the fingers seem to find their places on the longer fingerboard pretty naturally. I noticed the same thing when i played my son’s fiddle – upright on my lap, of course ;-)