Are you wondering what the cello vs bass debate is all about? The cello and double bass are pretty similar in many ways and very different in others.
Cello and bass are part of the string family. It includes four instruments in total: fiddle/ violin, viola, cello and bass.
You must be having great questions in your mind. So let’s leave the cello vs violin, viola vs violin and double bass vs cello debate for another day.
It’s very lovely to see cellists these days wanting to explore the world of bass-playing. But, on the other hand, quite a lot of bassists are adamant about learning to play the cello.
How does one compare the skills, similarities and dissimilarities that set the two instruments apart? Then, based on these factors, how do you decide whether or not it is the right choice for you?
Let’s dive deeper into the debate.
What Is A Bass Guitar?
The bass instrument or double bass instrument is a member of the String family. It is the largest of the four and has the lowest pitch. It is usually a 4-stringed instrument. The bass guitar is used to play a range of music genres, including classical music, jazz, blues, country, rock, and much more incredible stuff. It’s a multi-dimensional instrument that is fit for every taste.
While discussing bass, it is fair to touch on the double bass vs bass guitar debate. The two peas in a pod are similar, but they vary in size. Double bass, as the name suggests, is larger.
Another difference is that the bass guitar is held vertically while playing. This is how the bass vs double bass debate is evaluated based on the similarities and dissimilarities.
What Is A Cello?
A cello looks quite huge. But, surprisingly, it is smaller than the double bass. The cello, like double bass, is a string instrument that is played using a bow. As a result, its sound is comparatively high-pitched.
The cello is also quite versatile in the music genre you can play it in, such as jazz, folk, blue-grass and incredible to note that even metal and RnB.
- The cello and guitar are pretty similar to each other in design and over shape and structure.
- The strings of both instruments can be made from nylon and various metals etc.
- Both the cello and bass need to be placed on the floor to be played by the musicians.
- Both instruments are used in string quintets and symphony orchestras usually.
Here is a comparison of the various features that help distinguish between the two.
Cello Vs Bass Guitar- Tuning:
The bass guitar is tuned with the following notes (E-A-D-G), while the cello has a tuning of (C-D-G-A). As one can tell, the two instruments have a tuning that is poles apart. This makes it difficult to adjust to both instruments.
However, there very well have been instances and reports of cellists who have tuned the bass in the 5th octave and enjoyed the melody. On the other hand, there have been instances of bassists who have tuned their cello in the 4th octave and enjoy the modern touch that it gives to the cello.
Cello Vs Bass Guitar- Pitch:
The cello has a comparatively higher pitch than the bass guitar. A whole octave higher. The bass guitar has a slightly lower pitch comparable to the classic bass, double bass etc.
Cello Vs Bass- Guitar Skills
While the bass guitar is larger and requires more technique to hold appropriately, the cello is has a more typical technique that goes into playing. Hence, it is easier to switch from cello to bass or master both instruments for the cellist. But the bassist needs to put in more effort to master the cello.
Cello Vs Bass Guitar- Size:
The Size difference between the two instruments is quite apparent. The cello is smaller than the bass guitar in size. The positioning of the two also varies due to the size difference.
Cello Vs Bass Guitar- Sound:
As already discussed, the cello has a higher-pitched sound. The bass, on the other hand, has a comparatively lower-pitched sound. With its extra octave, the bass can produce a more profound and lower-pitched sound that is unique to it.
In this respect, the two instruments differ pretty considerably.
Cell Vs Bass Guitar- Playing Positions:
The bass guitar has to be kept on the floor and played whilst standing up. On the other hand, the cellist can remain stooped up on a stool to play it comfortably.
To summarize the popular cell vs bass debate, the cello and bass may look very similar. Still, the two have differences that are both apparent and technical minute details that need close consideration.