Which cello outfit for enthusiastic beginner?

(12 Posts)
PacificDogwod Sat 05-Mar-16 19:10:38

I have no clue about string instruments, so please help!

DS1(13) started playing the cello at school at the start of the school year and is really enjoying it. He is practicing regularly and sounds pretty good to me [proud mother emoticon]wink

He has use of an instrument from school but has asked for his own cello for his birthday and I am more than happy to support that, but am totally LOST as to what to look for or what we'd get for our money confused

I want an instrument that he will enjoy and that will last him a while, but don't want to spend thoosands on something he may not be doing forever.

We have been looking at the Stentor Student 1 and Student 2 and even that leaves me confused - any help and guidance? Pretty please?
thanks

shouldiblowthewhistle Sun 06-Mar-16 09:31:59

I just bought this. It sounds lovely.

I'm working on Grade 2/3 and this should last me until around grade 5. I bought a cheaper one (years and years ago) and it just didn't sound great, and I became demoralised and gave up.

I bought it on a credit card and then transferred it onto a 0% for 3 years.

PacificDogwod Sun 06-Mar-16 10:26:21

That looks lovely, shouldiblowthewhistle, but is about 1k more than we were hoping to spend on a 13 yo grin

But the whole idea that a crap instrument would put him off, does worry me. I suppose I am looking for a compromise and the Stentor Student 1 and 2 have come recommended, but I have nothing to compare them to hence this thread.

There is a Stringers not that far from us, may need to venture to the shop.

shouldiblowthewhistle Sun 06-Mar-16 10:37:21

Dang. Fair enough. You can possibly hire one but in December Stringers (London) had a waiting list. Worth checking out though - there may be other places that hire outfits.

Or Stringers might have some second hand ones - they had one that was scratched and was only around £600 (I know, I know) even though there was nothing wrong with it other than the scratch. Give them a call before you pop in as they are a bit underwhelmed when you walk in I found because they can talk you through what they have in stock and if it's worth visiting.

PacificDogwod Sun 06-Mar-16 10:39:45

Oh, good tip, thanks, I'll call ahead.

DS is currently using a school instrument and trust me, I cannot imagine a cello coming more bashed than that one. We call it 'Bob' grin
Sometimes he forgets Bob at school, so really I don't think we are ready for an investment piece just now….

CrotchetQuaverMinim Sun 06-Mar-16 10:49:24

Definitely look for second hand ones, as the often sound better than new!

Does he have a teacher you could approach? They are often the best ones to listen to an instrument and determine whether it's worth it, and they might also know of second hand ones available from former pupils. Presumably he's on a full size already, which is a shame in some ways as there is great turnover in the smaller size ones, but you will also get people who are moving from Gr5 onwards who want better cellos and will be selling their student outfits. If there are music shops, music school etc near you, they might keep second hand lists.

PacificDogwod Sun 06-Mar-16 10:57:44

I am in contact with his music teacher and will meet with him this week.

On my own I am not confident enough to find a decent second hand cello - I now a bit about woodwind instruments, but nothing about strings!

The variation in price is just huge (£200 including case to £50000+) and just don't know what you get for yer money grin (not that the 50k instruments are on the table - see above grin)

CrotchetQuaverMinim Sun 06-Mar-16 11:02:49

It is quite normal for shops to let you take instruments away on loan so that a teacher can listen to them and help you decide between a couple. Sometimes teachers will also go to a shop/private sale for you. Or someone at the shop might be able to play them, which at least will help. It would be ideal if you could find a former pupil who was upgrading, either from your teacher or another teacher that he knows - sometimes they have a lot of contacts in the area and will know of other teachers who have pupils upgrading.

PacificDogwod Sun 06-Mar-16 11:06:48

Thank you, all, this is all very helpful smile

TheFallenMadonna Sun 06-Mar-16 11:07:32

We went to a music shop recommended by her teacher to get one for DD. They had three student cellos, between £750 and £850 ish. DD tried them out, and we went for the one that she felt most comfortable with, which was £799, including bow and soft case.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 06-Mar-16 11:08:43

Paying for it was the only time I have ever wished she had taken up the violin instead...

MissElizaBennettsBookmark Mon 23-May-16 06:30:36

Stentor Student 2 is a step up from usual beginner model and would do a child for a couple of years ... Long enough to see if a bigger investment would be worthwhile at a later date. Much better materials and case, much nicer tone. Make sure that the shop sets up the instrument properly - shaping the bridge is a skilled job and makes a lot of difference to the sound.

smile

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