Expectations: The hard stuff

These are the areas I'm expecting to be most challenging in learning to play the cello.


The use of bow and different bowing techniques are all new to me. I wouldn't expect any huge problems, though. I think the basic bowing will become natural relatively fast but some advanced techniques with the bow might provide a challenge.


As mainly guitarist, I have plenty of fingering patterns for scales and arpeggios that I often utilize while improvising. Now the difference comes from the fact that guitar is normally tuned in 4ths whereas cello is tuned in 5ths. This means my fingering patterns for guitar won't work and I must acquire a new way of thinking where I am and where I'm going.


While I mentioned in my previous post that I expect my left hand finger dexterity to be on sufficient level, another thing that is new is the use of left hand thumb. In certain positions of cello fingerboard thumb is used practically all the time and that will require some getting used to.


Being used to fretted instruments I expect the biggest challenge to be that of intonation. While I do have a decent "ear" it is easy to get lost after a while. Also in cello (and on fretless fingerboards in general) there are theoretically infinite number of steps between each half-tone. It's not unusual to hear occassional false note in the playing of even an accomplished cellist. If I had to mention only one difficulty I'm expecting, this would be it.


Additionally, there are plenty of specifics with the use, contruction and maintenance of each instrument. With cello, different kind of bows, strings and even rosin are supposed to make a HUGE difference in both sound and playability and all that is so far mystery to me. This definitely requires some investigating in the future.

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