I am completely new to any kind of forum but would like some ideas. I recently started playing cello at the beginning of the year. I absolutely love the sounds of the cello but having difficulties with extending my fingers as I have really small fingers (I'm relatively petite at 5'2") and it is hard to push the strings down all the way to make a nice sound(if that makes any sense). I am renting a cello and finding the full size just feels so big. I am getting slightly discouraged because of these things but also the cost of renting (I'm a college student). I take private lessons and my teacher says I am doing really well...but I'm thinking of maybe switching to the viola (also love the sound) or the violin (I love the melody), then maybe going back to cello when I can afford it a bit more and/or if there is any way around the finger extension problem.
Anybody have/had these issues? Any ideas?
I'm just getting discouraged thinking maybe my size isn't right for the cello and I should switch. I played violin when I was in grade school but that E string is just a bit too high pitched for my full appreciation of it.
Hope this all makes sense. Oh and I play for fun but would like to join a local community orchestra at some point down the road.
There's no law that says you have to play a full-size cello. I had a teacher who played a 7/8. She had advanced degrees and played in a professional orchestra. If you're having difficulty pushing strings to the fingerboard, however, it's probably either that your bridge is way too high or that your fingers are very, very weak--or some combination. The bridge can be lowered, and practice will make your fingers stronger.(Playing reasonably rapid scales or arpeggios on a Steinway grand requires much more finger strength than playing a cello ever could. It amazes me that a cellist could ever complain.)
I remember when I started at the age of twelve and I was about 5'2". The only size cello that was available to me at that time was a 4/4 and it was quite a stretch but I wasn't an adult yet so I grew into it. In your case, if you love the sound of a cello I would recommend a smaller cello. Go to a dealer or some place that has different sizes and find out which one will do for you. Since you are probably full grown, it should do you for life.
I am 4'10 and 34 with very tiny fingers. I have played for like a decade and a half yet had a very long break and had to build back up. I began with a 1/2 size and got stronger and more nimble and now I am at a 3/4 size and I am very happy with it. For me a lot of it was pushing past the pain of things like thumb position.
My teacher told me to practice it thumb position at least 15-30 EVERY TIME I practice and it would help all other positions feel more comfy in comparison. I have found that to be true. You may not be there yet but can still play around up there yes? You do not even have to bow, just the positioning. I hope you do not give up on the cello. If money is an issue, why not try some Youtube lessons until you can save up more money? I am telling you the world needs more cellist. I am asked to play everything from churches with worship bands to bars and cafes with a pop/soul artist. Keep it up, we are in demand and you may find yourself making money with it :0)