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Buying a Beginner Cello for a Student

Published on 12/05/2015

  • Buying a Beginner Cello for a Student

"What should I be looking for when I buy a new cello and how will I know if I've chosen a suitable one?" If you're looking to buy a cello and have never purchased one before, this is probably the question running through your mind. There are 4 key things to remember when buying a new instrument:

      • 1. Getting Advice
      • 2. Size
      • 3. Budget
      • 4. Quality

Where to start?

Consider your level of commitment – is learning the cello likely to be something you really pursue or more of a passing fad? If possible, ask for advice from experienced players and teachers. 

Find a reputable Music Store, one that will be able to offer after care service if you need help. A store should be able to supply you with all the accessories to make your musical journey enjoyable: books, strings, stands, rosin and bows.

Crescendo Music can offer you options of renting, purhcase plans and upgrading when you need to go up in size or quality.

Consider the Size

Your height and frame will determine the size of cello you will need.

      • 1. Start by sitting down, knees bent at 90° angle, and with feet flat on the floor.
      • 2.  The body of the cello should rest gently on your chest, the lowest tuning peg near your left ear when the end pin is out. If you have to extend the endpin out a long way, you will need the next size of cello very soon.
      • 3. The cello's curve under the left lower bout corner should be touching your left knee.
      • 4. You should be able to reach the full length of the fingerboard.


Music shops have a range of fractional sizes, typically, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 4/4.


It is a good idea to do some research on prices before you set your budget. Keep in mind that when you purchase from a music store you should not just be hunting for the best price you can find - you are looking for the best overall package. This includes the instrument of course, but also the help and advice of staff during your purchase as well as the follow up and future service your Music Store is able to provide you.

Have a look at the starting prices for cellos and ask as to whether there are second hand options or purchase plan options available. From here you will be able to guage the minimum your budget will need to be and how far you can afford to extend it.


For more experienced cellists, it is advisable to play quite a few cellos and to test the tonal quality. You will notice differences in the overall sound and feel between different instruments. Brands such as Eastman have a variety of models which will have ever improving levels of quality in the materials and workmanship. The starting model is already a fantastic instrument but upon playing, you may find you prefer the feel of one of the subsequent models.

It's all about personal preference. Have a chat to the staff in your Music Store about the differences between models and for suggestions on what to listen for when you play.  Crescendo Music has a range of cellos that are correctly set up, and tuned, and will be ready to play straight away.