My Cello


She’s back from the luthier, buzz-less and with a happier bow. He also did something called “adjusting the tone balance” to help with the harshness on my A & D strings. The D sounds better, but my A string is still rather harsh sounding with a buzzing, twangy undertone that I really don’t like. There’s nothing wrong with her. I just don’t like how she sounds. When I had the strings that came on her, she had a much warmer sound on the A, but it was exceedingly quiet (I had to fight to get it louder than a mezzopiano) and it squealed like a little girl for no reason at all. With the Jargars I can get some decent projection and the squealing problem is gone, but it’s just so harsh. Any ideas?


3 responses »

  1. Well, y’know, cello open A strings are pretty much always harsh. Is it still harsh at C, D, and above on the A string?

    The open A requires a slower bow, but even the pro’s open A is noticeable. Actually, I rather like that bright sound in some places. In most versions of The Swan, I can hear when the cellist plays an open A.

    So, maybe get a second opinion on it. It might not be so bad.

  2. Happy New (Old) Cello Day! Open A, ewww! Mine’s exactly the same, nothing that a few decades practice won’t cure according to my teacher.

    One more thing to add to my list of inner comments “these strings are all wrong, that’s why you sound so bad.” I get that one *sooo* much…

    Like the new background image by the way.

  3. It’s not just open A, it’s everything I play on the whole string, and I like it less the higher up I go. Actually, the open A sounds the best off all notes on that string, and it’s okay-ish until the E, maybe the E-flat. Up until then the sound is still big, rich feeling, but it becomes thinner sounding (still loud, though.) But then once I get to an octave above the open string, it starts sounding pretty again. When I had the Larson A on it, the sound was much warmer, but string would squeal about half the time, for no reason whatsoever. I thought it was me, but as soon as I switched the the Jargar, the 8-year-old-girls-at-a-Justin-Bieber-Cocert shrieking stopped. It (the Larson) was also strangely quiet and didn’t project. I wish I could get the Larson sound with the bigness of the Jargar.

    The luthier said that a lot of my cello’s “personality” comes from the fact that it was made in a Chinese factory and that it’s absolutely brand new — it didn’t even have strings on it when I signed my rental contract. Nothing I do will make my cello any less young or more hand-made. While my playing is notedly deficient, I do occasionally, even if on accident, play something beautifully, and my cello still has the same tonal qualities. I can only hope that, by the time I pay off the rental, I will have outgrown it and be in need of a better instrument. Currently, the cello is wishing for a better cellist, and not the other way around.

    Les- I like the new image too, though I’ll probably get bored of it soon enough and replace it again.

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