Aug 20 2012, 04:41 PM
Hi there, my daughter is 11 and has being playing cello at school for about a year and just passed her Grade 1 cello with flying colours. But she is about to change schools, and the new school doesn't have a cello you can loan so as she likes it so much we thought we would buy her one.
But there lies the problem, we don't have lots of money to spend but we don't want some cheap nasty sounding tat, where's the use in that. Can anyone recommend what type of cello, make, wood type, etc that I should look for Or any good stores (online preferably) that they know sell reasonable price cello's Oh, she is about ready for a full-size as she is a very tall 11 year old.
Many thanks and I hope someone can point me in the right direction, as I want to get one sooner than later, so she can keep up her practice.
Aug 20 2012, 06:05 PM
I'm no string expert, however from my time around the forums you could look at elidatrading who have given advice to people looking for string instruments and accessories.http://www.elidatrading.co.uk/
No doubt there will be other forum members who will be able to comment too.
Aug 20 2012, 06:39 PM
It may be worth speaking to her teacher - they may know someone upgrading or giving up who would be happy to sell on? Unless they have been seriousy abused, there should be no problem with a second-hand instrument that has been checked-out by someone who knows what to look for.
Ideally, you ought to try the cello. A lot of difference is made by how the cello is 'set-up'. This includes the quality of the bridge, the height of the bridge in relation to to the nut and fingerboard, the height of the fingerboard in relation to the strings, the quality of the strings etc.
A "proper" violin shop will attend to these things as a matter of course. They won't be any more expensive than anywhere else. Be wary of general music shops that don't have someone on site to maintain and set-up string instruments.
Remember that you need a bow and a case as well.
Aug 21 2012, 06:41 AM
Well done to your daughter for making such a good start.
I definitely agree with the suggestion that you should check with the teacher. I bought my daughter's 3/4 cello from one of her teacher's pupils, and now my daughter has outgrown it I am renting it out to another of her pupils. She always knows who is looking to change instrument and if she knows and likes a particular instrument will always recommend it to someone else.
Slightly different for a full size instrument, I guess, where the turnover is not so predictable, but the teacher might well know of other pupils with good student instruments who are looking to upgrade.
As your daughter is still so early in her cello playing career, she is unlikely to be able to judge its potential. So if you buy online or from a music shop, it's worth doing so on the understanding that you can take it back if the teacher doesn't approve. I rented my daughter's first cello (1/8 size) on that basis and I took it back after the first lesson because the teacher didn't like it.
Good luck with your search.
Aug 21 2012, 09:38 AM
I ought to add that not all "full size" cellos are the same size. For example, a Stradivarius based model is narrower at the bouts than say a Montagnana based model.
Also, string lengths can vary, which impacts the spacing of the fingers. For example I have a Montagnana based model and it has a long string length - the stretch of 4th finger to reach say C# or G# on the G and D string is at my limit (in fact so much so, it's better to shift). I bought the Montagnana model over the Strad model as it sounded better.
Music shops that do hire schemes will usually discount the hire cost (less the VAT) off a subsequent purchase.
Aug 23 2012, 01:07 PM
Thanks for all the top advice, and I definitely didn't know full size didn't mean the same full size.
A lot of good ideas and things to think on, much appreciated.
Aug 23 2012, 02:51 PM
I teach 'cello and have quite a good relationship with a local violin shop. So, if anyone is looking to purchase I tend to send them off to that shop because I know the owner will let them borrow a cello they are thinking of buying, so that they can bring it to the lesson and I can check it over. (Before you ask- yes I recommend other shops/luthiers too!).
It's worked quite well so far. The only cello I've really hated was bought by a mature student who thought they knew better and ordered off the internet, thinking they'd got a deal. They hadn't. It was a nightmare from the start. Eventually they sent it back and went to the shop I'd suggested.
So, - yes- first stop should be your daughter's teacher.
Many congratulations to your daughter !
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