Make Strings Your Thing: The Cello - Part 1: Reasons to Learn the Cello


The Cello

Make Strings Your Thing: The Cello

Part 1: Reasons To Take Up The Cello

The cello is an amazing instrument, with an almost human voice and an incredible range of high and low notes. Many cellists say they can truly 'feel' the music with the cello becoming an extension of their body and soul as they perform. Jacqueline du Pré, one of the most famous cellists of all time, caught the public imagination with her emotion and precision during one of her greatest performances, Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor.



A Strong, Powerful Performer


The cello is an integral part of every orchestra, chamber group, quartet or trio. Playing cello means you get to play almost every part in the orchestra: the melody, harmony, and bass line, often all in one piece! The cello’s size enables it to play in three clefs, bass, tenor and treble. The cello balances out the loud, high pitch of the violin section, seeming to bring the music back down to earth.

Every major composer including Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Bach, Beethoven and Mendelssohn wrote contemplative, elegiac as well as huge, sweeping masterpieces for the cello which are still played and enjoyed today.

In addition to the ensemble and orchestral works there are wonderful opportunities for cellists to play a diversity of sounds and styles. Yo-Yo Ma, the internationally famous cellist has recorded many classical and non-classical albums including cello concertos (including, among others, Shostakovich, Brahms, Elgar, and Haydn), sonatas for cello and piano, Bach's cello suites, and a variety of chamber music. He has also collaborated with Bobby McFerrin, Chris Botti, Carlos Santana and James Taylor.

Here he plays Saint-Saens’ The Swan. A moving classical piece that simply glides:



Breaking Boundaries

The Cello has an expressive power that seems to reach further than the violin. It is capable of performing multiple musical roles, and this versatility is the reason its rich tone has crept into almost every musical genre. The deeply layered sounds of a cello can create basslines for Blues, jazz, soaring angelic melodies and even aggressive metal and rock music.

The cello enjoys starring roles in stage, film and TV music for example; the Yamaha silent strings orchestra in the musical version of Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds, an immersive piece of theatre using cutting edge technology.

The Game of Thrones opening theme:



...And In Pop & Rock

The cello complements the singing voice and the iconic Beatles hit, Eleanor Rigby was one of the first chart toppers to heavily feature the cello. Since then numerous hits have featured cellos included Wonderwall by Oasis and Apologise by One Republic.

The rock stars of the cello world are Yamaha Artists 2Cellos - who have taken the cello to a new level. Their playing style has no limits when they perform live. The duo are equally impressive when playing Bach and Vivaldi as when they are covering rock classics from AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix and more. 2Cellos each play the Yamaha SVC-110SK Silent Cello. See their unique mix of Beethoven and Led Zeppelin here:



Perfect Dynamic & Tonal Balance


The craftsmanship and tonal quality of the Yamaha Acoustic Cello and the dynamic Yamaha Silent Cello enable new worlds of musical exploration and artistic expression to be expressed.

This is evident int the sheer energy and skill of Yamaha Artist and Grammy-nominated virtuoso Tina Guo who plays a Yamaha SVC-210 electric cello. Guo is known for her distinctive sound and improvisatory style. Guo plays a Silent cello in this uninhibited performance of the Wonder Woman main film theme: