Frequently Asked Questions

You can definitely learn how to play the cello as an adult! This website was designed with the adult beginner in mind. There’s enormous benefit to engaging the brain in new activities through all stages of life. Is fifty-plus too old to learn golf, knitting or skydiving? How about learning computers? Assuming no unknown physical conditions, there’s nothing that should keep an older adult from learning the cello. As with most anything in life, you’ll go as far as your own talent, practice and dedication will take you. Check out this blog in Cello Central Texas

You might hear a lot of people say, “Why is the cello so hard to learn?” I don’t believe it should be difficult to learn. Most students who ask this question have not had expert instruction on learning how to play with a relaxed body. Nor have they been taught to make accommodations for their body/hand type. The question to ask is: What are your goals for learning how to play the cello? Are you hoping to be a world-class artist? Do you want to play the cello for your own enjoyment? Do you want to learn the Bach Prelude to Suite #1 (you know, “that cello piece”)? Learning how to play the cello is like anything else in life. If you take the time to follow the step-by-step pedagogy and you do it regularly, the cello will not be hard to learn (assuming you do not have any true physical limitations which will keep you from learning). You will learn to treat the cello like an extension of your body. For a more detailed explanation, check out my blog on the subject here:

As a beginner, no – it is not too expensive to learn how to play the cello. Cello Discovery was designed to be comprehensive, engaging and most of all…affordable. Everything you need to know to get started playing the cello is incorporated into the video lessons. Your up front costs will be acquiring a cello – and that is affordable if you rent to own (the most common scenario among beginners). There is no need to purchase any additional music as a beginner because the literature is embedded into the Cello Discovery lessons – with much of the music available to download.

That’s a great question and one which I am asked often. The first thing you need to do is set realistic expectations. What do you hope to accomplish by learning the cello? Do you want to be able to play cello with a band? Do you want to be able to play in a community orchestra or a church ensemble? These are all realistic goals and very attainable with great instruction and correct and consistent practice. As far as how long it takes to get there – that all depends upon your motivation level. If you work hard, it is something you can certainly achieve within a year or two. Time will be going by anyway, so why not do something great like learn to play the cello during that passing time?!

First, realize you are not alone. The vast majority of Cello Discovery members fall into two categories: adults who are complete beginners; and adults who played for a while as a kid and want to get back into it. It’s important to start fresh with the fundamentals and gradually work yourself back to the point where you left off as a youngster. Some things will come back easily while other things might be a struggle or a source of frustration. That’s why it’s important to start fresh with the fundamentals, and gradually work yourself back to the point where you left off as a kid. It’s not only the right way to learn, but it may also help you avoid some of the frustration that could cause you to stop again. Browse this page to see where you should pick back up You can also email us at and we can provide some additional assistance to you.

Once you subscribe to you will find there are over a dozen lessons to watch BEFORE the first sounds are ever made. You don’t need anything to get started learning how to play the cello. Everything will be clearly outlined in the first lessons. Eventually, you will need a cello (of course) and a bow. You will also need a music stand, rosin for your bow and something to hold your end pin in place (all of this information is in the Cello Discovery lessons!).

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Once you subscribe to Cello Discovery, all of the lessons in each level will be accessible to you.

Nope! All of the music you need in the Beginning & Intermediate levels are accessible on the website. However, you are welcome & encouraged to purchase additional etude books, scale books and music literature to supplement your learning.

Nope. Definitely not. Now, if you define “learn the cello in 30 days” to mean that you can draw the bow and make a sound, then yes. However, if you want to REALLY learn the instrument such that you make a beautiful sound, understand note reading, understand concepts of bow distribution, shifting, tuning, expression – well, there’s just no way to do all that in 30 days. It’s important to learn with tiny, detailed steps. Master the steps and then move to the next step. Why would you want to learn the cello in 30 days? Enjoy the journey. Don’t put that kind of stress on yourself.

Videos are strictly for Cello Discovery members. You may watch them as many times as you wish, but they may not be downloaded.

Interactive music is an extraordinary way to learn music. Most of the lessons have interactive music built right into the lesson page. To access it, you will simply click a link. The link opens the page of music detailed in that particular video lesson. When you play the music, you can hear the cello part alone, or with the accompaniment, or the accompaniment alone. You can speed up the music, slow it down or loop sections which are difficult for you. And another awesome feature is the cursor – it follows the music as you play! So if your note reading skills need some work, the interactive music will help you get much better, much faster.

You are in luck – there certainly is! Check out for THE best violin instruction on the web!

There are several resources for free cello instruction on the internet. Cello Bello is the largest, non-profit site for cello info at all ages and stages. Quality information and instruction.

There could be several reasons why your cello sounds bad.  

  • You are playing too close to the bridge.
  • You are using far too much rosin.
  • You are not drawing the bow perpendicular to the string.
  • You are either applying too much or too little weight to the bow.
  • Your strings are of poor quality or have gone “false” (they have outgrown their lifespan).
  • You have a small crack somewhere in your instrument.
  • You have some jewelry or a belt buckle or a button which is vibrating against the cello.

Watch this video to see if you are making any other obvious mistakes:

If you are new to the cello, I highly recommend renting a cello before purchasing one. Many rental companies offer a rent-to-own option which is a win-win. If you are making good progress on the cello and are ready to look for a high-quality instrument to own, it’s wise to consult your cello teacher, another cello professional or someone who you trust in the industry. A good starting place for rental or purchases is through Shar Music.