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Guide to the Best Cellos of 2019

Kayla Carstens

The cello is one of the youngest in the string family, only being invented in the late fifteen hundreds. The cello is tuned from left most string to right most string in the order of C, G, D and A. The cello was originally called the Violoncello, meaning “Big little violin.” but was eventually shortened to the cello. The cello is used in many genres and can be utilized in many ways, not just classical music. It has even been used to make metal music, an example being a cover of ACDC’s Thunderstruck by 2Cellos in which 2 celloists play both the vocal and instrumental parts of this famous song.  


We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision when selecting a cello. It'll help you:

  • Choose the right type of cello,

  • See useful tips about that type of cello,

  • Select the right brand of cello,

  • Find accessories you may need for your cello.

Types of Cellos

Types of Cellos:

  • Cellos come in different levels that are available in different sizes depending on the size and level of the musician buying and playing the cello.

  • Cello Sizes:

    • 1/10:

      • This size cello is 29.5” in length and has a bow of 17.5”.

      • The 1/10 size cello is good for children between the ages of four and five.

    • ⅛:

      • The ⅛ size cello is 33.5” in length and has a bow of 20.75”.

      • The ⅛ size cello should be played by children between the ages of five and six.

    • ¼:

      • The ¼ size cello is 38.5” in length and has a bow of 23.75”.

      • The ¼ length cello should be played by children between the ages of six and seven.

    • ½:

      • The ½ size cello is 42” long and has a bow of 25.5”.

      • The ½ size cello should be played by children between the ages of eight and ten years old.


    • ¾:

      • The ¾ size cello is 45” in length and has a bow of 27”.

      • The ¾ size cello should be played by children between the ages of eleven and thirteen years old.

    • 4/4 or Standard Size:

      • The 4/4 or standard size cello is 48” in length and has a bow of 28”.

      • The 4/4 or standard size cello should be played by musicians of fourteen years and up.


  • Different Levels of Cellos:

    • Student Cellos:

      • These are cellos that are made of cheaper materials that aim to still maintain tone.

      • This type of cello is more affordable and better for a student.


    • Intermediate Cellos:

      • An intermediate cello is made of better material, they are mostly handcrafted and produce a better tone than that of the student cello.

    • Professional Cellos:

      • Professional cellos are completely handcrafted and made with only the best materials to produce the highest quality tone and dynamics that it can offer.

What reviewers say

Items that Can be Used with Your Cello:

  • Cello Case:

    • This is a specially designed case to store your cello in and transport it and any accessories safely.

  • Cello Bag:

    • This is a specially designed bag to store your cello in and transport it that is not as heavy as a cello case but it is softer and can’t prevent damage from rough handling.


  • Cello Bow:

    • A cello bow is used to play melodies on the cello by dragging it across the strings whilst pressing down on certain notes.

  • Pedals:

    • Pedals are machines that one can plug into an amplifier that the cello is plugged into to add certain effects such as reverb, distortion and many others.


  • Pickups and Preamps:

    • Pickups and preamps are little receivers that you can attach to your cello and connect to an amplifier in order to amplify the sound.


  • Rosin:

    • Rosin comes is blocks and can be rubbed on the strings of the cello or on the bow to increase grip and by doing so increasing vibration and providing a better tone.

  • Cello Stand:

    • This is a specially designed stand for you to place your cello on when you are not playing or when you don't need to place it in a case.

  • Cello Strings:

    • After a lot of playing, strings tend to break and it is therefore wise to purchase and keep spare strings handy for any emergencies.

  • Cello Tailpieces:

    • Different tailpieces can be purchased for different decorative properties.

  • Cello Tuning Pegs:

    • Cello tuning pegs can be purchased for a different aesthetic or in case one peg breaks.

  • Cello Bridge:

    • Different cello bridges can be bought for different tones and sounds.

  • Cello Polish:

    • This is a special polish for the wood of the cello that strengthens the wood as well as keep is clean and shiny for performances.

  • Polishing Cloth:

    • This is a cloth that you use to keep your guitar clean and pristine with no smudges or dust on it.

  • Cello Tuner:

    • This is a small device that you clip to your cello and use to help you tune your strings to the appropriate pitch

  • Cello Mute:

    • The purpose of a cello mute is to dampen the sound of the cello and can be attached to the bridge of the cello.

Important Features

Tips for Consumers:

  • The size of the cello affects the sound of the cello:

    • Whilst most beginners play cellos from ⅛ size cellos to ½ size cellos, it is important to remember that the bigger the cello the better the tone.

    • Adults will generally play either a ¾ size cello or 4/4 Cello depending on their size, the 4/4 cello has the better sound than that of the ¾.

  • Should You Rent or Buy a Cello?

    • Try to calculate the amount your rental fees will add up to and compare it to the actual price of the cello, before deciding to rent as it can add up to a lot of money in the end that you could have saved by rather purchasing the cello.

    • It is important to take note that instrument shops will swap out your cello for a bigger or better quality one if needed.

    • Cellos also tend to appreciate in value if they are of high quality when bought as their tone gets better as they age.

  • Parts of the Cello:

    • Tailpiece:

      • The tailpiece is a piece of wood that connects the fine tuners and the end stopper.

      • Can be changed for a different aesthetic.

    • Fine Tuners:

      • Fine tuners are small tuning pegs that cellists use to make minute changes to the tuning of their cellos that they would not be able to make with the regular tuning pegs.

    • Strings:

      • The strings run from the tuning pegs to the tailpiece of the cello and are what the bow is pulled against to make music.

    • Neck:

      • The neck of the cello is the long thin piece of wood that connects the body and the scroll.

    • Nut:

      • The nut refers to the pieces of wood that separate the neck and strings from the tuning pegs and scroll.


    • Scroll:

      • This is the curved top of the cello at the end of the neck of the cello that is mainly there for ornamentation.

    • Tuning Pegs:

      • Tuning pegs are used by a cellist when they need to make a larger change in the tuning than what can be made with the fine tuners.

    • Fingerboard:

      • The fingerboard refers to the places where the cellist would place their fingers on the strings on the neck of the cello to play certain notes and chords.

    • C Bouts:

      • The C bouts are the C shaped cut outs on the sides of the cello’s middle.

    • F-Holes:

      • F-holes are the cutouts of the cello next to the C bouts that allow for vibrations to travel throughout the instruments and increase the strength of said vibrations.

    • Bridge:

      • The bridge is a small piece of wood that the cellist places under the strings to add further tension to strings and get a better tone.

    • End Stopper:

      • The end stopper is an adjustable part of the cello which allows the cellist to adjust the height of the endpin so that they may play comfortably.

    • Endpin:

      • The endpin is the metal rod at the bottom of the cello that the cellist balances the cello on when playing in order to maintain vibrations throughout the entire instrument.

Top-Rated Brands

Different Brands of Cellos:

  • Cecilio:

    • Cecilio is a manufacturer of a wide array of instruments including the cello. Cecilio aims to inspire musical talent through quality and talent. They are currently located in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

  • Cremona:

    • Cremona violins are made by a company known as GCV Violins that was founded in 1989 and is internationally recognized as a respected manufacturer of instruments of superior quality. They currently offer a wide range of instruments from beginner to professional as well as a variety of bows. GCV Violins headquarters can be found in Guangzhou, China.


  • Stentor:

    • Stentor was founded and began manufacturing musical instruments in 1895. Stentor believes that every child and adult should have music involved in their life and in their development with the instrument still being of good quality and sound. Stentor headquarters are currently located in Surrey, England.

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