If you have (recently) decided to learn to play the cello, you have made the right choice 🙂 The cello produces warm, rich tones that are very closely related to the range of the human voice, and it doesn’t surprise me that it has been a beloved instrument for many centuries. However, the first few months of lessons (because without lessons you really don’t want to learn to play the cello) are the most crucial for every beginning cellist. During that first period there are pitfalls. Don’t fall into them…

Knowing the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’t’s’ of beginning cellists can help you avoid disappointment. Read them.


Select a cello that is the right size for your body. I help you with that because I rent and sell cello’s I know what I’m doing. See page celloshop for the cellos I sell and rent. Your cello doesn’t have to be the most expensive model, but it has to be the right size for you. Please contact me for help in choosing the right size. With me you save your first year of cello rental as a purchase right. So that will be deducted from the purchase price of a cello of your choice. That’s a big advantage!


Come to class every week for the first two months if possible. It doesn’t matter how much you can practice, it’s mainly about being corrected. If you schedule the first lesson, schedule the next ones before my schedule is full. The link to my digital cello lessons diary in Amsterdam and Havelte, Drenthe is www.celloles.com/agenda.


Don’t lose yourself if you have a hard time producing a nice sound in the beginning. Learning to play the cello is difficult and it can be a challenge to continuously make a beautiful sound during the first few months of your learning process. But if you come to my class, we’ll play duets from lesson one. Everything is getting more and more beautiful, you keep telling yourself that. And remember that every cellist went through the same struggles. You’re not alone!


Learn how to tune your cello. This is an aspect of training that is essential to understand at an early stage. At class you practice this with me all the time, very playfully. Cello’s are very sensitive to changes in temperature and you will have to tune them. Beginning cello students can control their strings using an electronic tuner. Think of an app on your smartphone: LIKE! Set your app/ tuner to the 440Herz frequency and start with the A string, and work your way down through D, G and C each time you tune.

Don’t forget to buy a cello board. One of the most important tips for cellists, especially beginning cello students, is to arrange that shelf. It ensures that the cello point doesn’t slip away from you while playing. One of the most effective is an adjustable strap that attaches to your chair, but boards and stoppers come in many varieties and are very affordable. Most cost less than € 20.

Now a “DO.”

Give yourself a gentle warm-up. That’s quality time, don’t just play. Remember, playing the cello is very physical. Always start with ironing open strings for a few minutes, and then a scale. This is not boring, this is delicious. This is how you warm your hands and your body for your practice round. It also gives you peace of mind. Your cello moment has begun. Read here the Five tips to get better with your cello.



Don’t ignore the base. Get used to building up the mastery of all scales and even some broken triads. Lovely! And you’ll find them in the cello repertoire for the rest of your cello life. Learning these basic scales is essential for beginning cello students. Moreover, it gives you the opportunity to concentrate on the correct placement of the stick on the strings, place of playing, intonation… Go at least up to three moles and three crosses. These scales can also be found online for free in pdf. I would like to help you with scales on les.


Take your time while practicing. If you hurry through exercises, you can strain your muscles and sloppy play doesn’t feel right, right? Moreover, with the right attention you will eventually solve all the cello problems you are experiencing. Use a cello method, a real learning curve, as a basis. And then one that suits your wishes and personality. There are real stiff classical options, a bit more playful, and today’s methods are very playful but do not always appeal to those who love classical music. Let your teacher inform you, he, like me, undoubtedly has 10 different cello methods in the closet. After six months you can have a book of lectures, also for beginners, and a duets book. This will give you variety for yourself and a change of food. Don’t ignore your inspiration.

Here you see my favorite top 10 for my students:

10 Cello books that should not be missing from your music cabinet

If there is a specific reason that led to your choice to learn to play the cello, keep it at the forefront of your training. Some students use a Spotify list or photos or posters to remind them why they are learning to play the cello, and this can be an advantage if you have to go through a valley. Treat yourself to a concert ticket; see cellists play live; wonderful and instructive…

In conclusion, I give a workshop almost every month, also for beginners. Most cellists have started to play the cello with the prospect of playing together. Grab your chance; if there is a workshop that indicates to be for your level, go for it. My experience is that young cellists wait too long before they mingle. Talk to your teacher to see if you are up to it. Pack your cello and GO!

It’s almost January 1st and you know that’s often the time for good intentions.
Read five goals for you and your cello. Something for 2020?


info@celloverkoop.nl | 06 – 1818 9005

Light also interesting for you:

9 Fables about playing the cello

9 Fables about playing the cello

1. "Playing the cello should start young." Nope. Really. I started when I was 19 and became a professional cellist, and I have pupils who started after the age of 45 and now effortlessly change positions and enjoy Bach: fable! 2. "Playing the cello causes injuries."...

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