How to Hold the Cello

The endpin should be extended about a foot, but this varies according to the height of the cellist, and the height of the cellist's chair. The top of the back of the cello should rest lightly on the middle of the chest. Be sure the endpin sticks fast in the floor, or that you have an endpin holder (several sorts are available) that will keep the cello from slipping away from you. Sticking your endpin in the sand is probably not too steady, but what fun to play on the beach!

The neck of the cello goes to the cellist's left,
and the peg for the c string should be lightly brushing
the cellist's left ear, or at least in that general vicinity. This goes for left handed as well as right handed people. (This boy's left elbow is probably a bit too low.)

The cellist's posture should be erect, not slouching. Some cellist prefer to sit on the edge of the chair, and others well back in the chair for more back support. If you sit back in the chair, you will need to lengthen your endpin to bring the back of the cello to the middle of your chest. This is a photo of a professional cellist (Dmitry Markevitch) who has a long endpin in order to make his cello more horizontal. Rostropovich also likes this position, but Yo-Yo Ma does not. By all means, be comfortable.

See also Leonid's page about holding the cello.

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