Know Your Cello Parts

It's a good idea to learn cello parts. It helps when you're following instructions to take care of your cello, or when you need to get it repaired. Beginners should know these names so they can tune and play the instrument.

Starting at the very top of the cello, here are the parts that make up the instrument:

  • Scroll: The very top of the cello.
  • Tuning Pegs: These are are used to tighten and loosen the strings to tune the cello. There are four of them, one for each string. As you look at your cello, the C peg is on the lower left with the G peg above it, and the D peg is on the lower right with the A peg above it.
  • Fingerboard: The fingerboard is the neck of the cello. The strings run the length of the fingerboard and provide the base so the player can press on the strings to change the tone. Cello fingerboards are fretless, but you can put pieces of colored tape on the fingerboard to note the proper finger locations when your practicing.
  • Strings: The four cello strings run the length of the fingerboard, are supported by the bridge and are attached with the fine tuners.
  • Belly: This is the wooden body of the cello. On a cheap cello, this can be made from any kind of wood. Better cellos use spruce for the top and maple for the sides and back.
  • F Holes: There is one F Hole on each side of the body of the cello.
  • Bridge: The bridge is a piece of wood that holds the strings up and away from the fingerboard.
  • Fine Tuners: These small knobs that hold the strings in place below the bridge.
  • Tailpiece: This piece holds the fine tuners in place. It can be made from plastic, ebony or other woods.
  • Saddle: A notch at the bottom of the cello that holds the spike.
  • Spike: Sometimes called an endpin, this is a piece of metal that supports the cello on the floor.

If you receive a cello with the bridge off, attach the strings, then tighten them, but be sure to leave enough space to slide the bridge under the strings and flip it into place. Once the bridge is in place, you can tighten the strings and tune the cello.

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