In the beginning I would suggest going to a proper music store and have them size you for an instrument. This would be the best way to go about getting the right instrument and size suitable for you. I would recommend renting to start and then purchasing after you’ve had a bit to ‘try on’ the cello and see if its a good fit for you!
You will need: A cello, bow, case, resin, tuner, a chair where you can sit with your feet at a 90 degree angle (I like a secretary’s chair where the height is adjustable) possibly a cello stand, and metronome. The tuner and metronome you can download APP’s that work in this regard as a very inexpensive option (often free!) This will be plenty to get you started, you won’t need a stand or music right away as the set up process can be done without either. If you’d like to purchase music at this time I would get Suzuki Cello Volume 1 CD. It would be fabulous to learn how all the songs that you will be learning sound. This so, that by the time you are trying to implement them on the cello you already will know them! In doing this you will progress in the next step much quicker and easier.
If there aren’t any store’s close by and you need to rent or purchase a cello online take a look at the chart below to help you determine sizing to which you might like to order. You can also try googling cello sizing charts to get a better picture.
There are various sizes of cellos available. Finding the right size for you can be based on the following:
By Your Age:
- 1/8 size – 4 to 6 years old
- 1/4 size – 5 to 7 years old
- 1/2 size – 7 to 11 years old
- 3/4 size – 11 to 15 years old
- 4/4 size – 15 and above
By Your Height:
- 1/8 to 1/4 size – below 4 feet
- 1/2 size – 4 to 4 1/2 feet
- 3/4 size – 4 1/2 to 5 feet
- 4/4 size – 5 feet and above
By Body Length:
- 1/8 size – 17.75 to 20 inches
- 1/4 size – 20 to 23 inches
- 1/2 size – 23 to 26 inches
- 3/4 size – 26 to 27.25 inches
- 4/4 size – 30 inches and above
Additional Sizing Tips:
- Sit up straight on a chair, your feet must be touching the floor.
- Measure the end pin to approximately 1/2 between your wrist and base of fingers with the elbow resting on the base of the cello with the length of your arm following the length of the end pin.
- Now at a 45 degree angle, let the cello rest against your chest.
- The top of the cello must rest at the center of your chest.
- The C string peg must be near your left ear.
It has also been my experience that if you are between 5 and 5’4 it is sometimes better to start on a 3/4 size or 7/8 size, this may help the learning process considerably working within a more comfortable range rather than at the extremes of your bodies capabilities.
As well, another good tip, is to measure the length of the proper sized bow from the top of the shoulder to the tip of the middle finger, this will also tell you if the cello is the correct size or not.
I cannot wait until you have a fabulous cello in your hands so that we can start learning how to play!!!
Once you have your cello and you are good to go…. Unit 1 is complete and I’ll look forward to seeing you soon in Unit 2!
Amazon link to purchase … Blog on Cello Sizing Link