Learning to play an instrument can be a long and frustrating business. We aren’t all Mozart or Beethoven. The rest of us, no matter what instrument, have to work hard for hours. And for those that chose an instrument with a bow, it gets a little bit harder.
Cello, The Instrument of the Gods
For those who want to learn how to play the cello, there will be some tough times ahead. But you have chosen a very special instrument. One that moves people.
The Best Apps for Learning to Play the Cello can give you a little help. Although, I must say that there will be no real substitute for individual lessons from a good teacher.
Why Do I Say That?
Because if you teach yourself, you will likely get into bad technical habits. Finger positions, how you hold your hand and wrist, bowing action, and even how you hold the instrument.
All of those things, plus others, have a technique to them. Get them wrong early on, and you will form bad habits that are difficult to break later.
The Role of the App
Computers now infiltrate virtually every aspect of our lives. If we let them, of course. However, a very high percentage of what we get fed is pointless and irrelevant.
However, some good things can help. And if you need some support to go with your lessons and practice, then a good app can be the answer. Please note I said a “Good App.”
The cello needs mastering. But as you do, the beauty of this instrument enriches all around you. Mastering it takes many things, and “good practice” is just one of them. So, let’s take a look at the best cello apps currently on the market available and find the perfect one for you…
This app serves as an online music school. It has been well-designed to cover all of the basic elements you need to know and practice. But it also teaches you how to take care of your instrument, which is an important factor.
It has a structured learning method that allows you to interact with music teachers if you choose. You can also talk with other students, which is sometimes a useful option.
The classes will range from complete beginners through to working on pieces by Bach, Schumann, and Beethoven. This is an app that needs you to enroll and pay the fee, which isn’t cheap. But it does offer a lot for the money.
This is an innovative music teaching app developed by a cellist. No bad thing as he has gone through exactly the problems you may be facing. It is an app that is designed to help you improve how you play in Minor and Major keys.
You can get real-time feedback on any area where you need to make improvements. The app is aptly named in that it is not a cello teacher, but a cello coach.
It is not here to replace your teacher…
Rather, it is here to motivate you and give you some extra support and help. It has a very good tuner built-in which is always an essential item before you start any practice session. This is an ideal music theory app for intermediate cello players.
Therefore, this might not be an app for the complete beginner. It seems to be for players who have already mastered basic fingering and bowing techniques. If that’s you, then it could be a big help.
Quite a simple and basic app but with some good features. It has a library of over 250 songs, pieces of music, and scales. You can play along with them, and the app will rate your performance.
There are plenty of mode options that allow you to change the tempo or transpose the key. Furthermore, it has a feature that will display the sheet music as you play.
Additionally, it will keep track of the notes you play and how well you played them. You can then measure your performances as they improve. It will even show statistics of the total number of notes played and success rates. All of this adds up to it being a great teaching app for cello beginners.
Hans Zentgraf is the instructing cellist on this online teaching service. He covers a wide range of topics at various levels. Some of the instruction is free, and some needs to be paid for. You can even hire him online for private lessons either as a one-off or in short, intense courses.
The site is professionally put together and what he offers is extensive. It is a service for everyone, from starters to more accomplished players. There are sections designated for each level of play.
This is easily one of the best apps for learning to play the cello currently available. It is not free, but it’s not what you would call expensive either. The whole package might only cost the price of two or three hours of private cello lessons.
If you don’t want to buy the service, you can rent out the app for a month, which is a good option. As I mentioned, it is one of the best cello practice apps you can find, so you will definitely gain something from it as long as you take the time to use it.
It includes plenty of valued sessions, though, including interactive tools. These range in abilities from starter to more experienced. There are sections with arpeggios and scales, along with other melody exercises.
There’s a built-in feature that allows you to record your playing. It will give you a score based on how well the app thinks you played the piece. A good, well-presented option that could make your practice time a bit more fulfilling.
Finally, an app that concentrates on ear training skills and music theory. It is laid out in a game-type environment. You will be asked sets of questions, and how quickly and accurately you answer them will give you your score.
It covers a very wide range of essential musical theories but helps you learn them in a fun way. It has a “hardness” or difficulty setting, which will allow you to choose the level at which you play.
Being a game, you can also interact with other students and try and beat their scores. A clever way of getting you to learn theory if you find it a struggle.
Non-Digital Cello Extras
Learning to play the cello requires plenty of support, and there are some things you are going to need. You will definitely need some Rosin for Cello bows. And you will also need some new strings from time to time; a nice option from a well-known string maker is the D’Addario Prelude Cello 4/4 Scale, Medium Tension.
You can’t have enough instruction on music theory and if you are serious about your cello playing, take a look at Music Theory: From Beginner to Expert.
Looking for More Ways to Improve Your Cello Skills?
Our experts can help you out. Take a look at our handy guides on How to Tune Your Cello, Tips For Buying A Cello, Do’s And Don’ts For Beginning Cellists, How to Rosin Your Bow, Best Apps and Games for Learning to Sight Read Music, and the Best Music Theory Apps for more useful information.
Best Apps for Learning to Play the Cello – Final Thoughts
In my view, the face-to-face session with your music teacher is irreplaceable, especially when it comes to instruments like the Cello. The technical requirements are many, and they must be mastered.
However, not everyone can afford those lessons regularly. Therefore, online options are incredibly valuable and are a great option. Basically, take advantage of every learning opportunity you can, but choose them wisely. Every app I’ve featured in this review is a wise choice, so go for the one that best suits your style and level.
Until next time, keep practicing and let the music play.