There are a number of similarities and differences between the cello and the bass guitar. For starters, you need to understand that the two are not the same. However, they do have a couple of important connections.
Is The Cello And The Bass Guitar The Same Thing?
Essentially, the cello and the bass guitar look the same. However, there are a number of differences between these two instruments, including:
First, the cello is pitched a full octave above the bass guitar. The latter, on the other hand, is within the same pitch range as the upright bass, the bass and the double bass.
Similarly, bass guitars undergo standard tuning in the fourths (e.g. DO to FA), starting at E while the cello’s standard tuning is in the fifths (e.g. DO to SO), starting at C.
Additionally, the cello is smaller than the bass guitar. As the smallest instrument in this category, it also has a higher pitch. You can, however, still play both of these instruments using your fingers and / or a bow. Country music and Blue Grass typically use the upright bass guitar where it has been replaced by the electric bass guitar in recent times.
As mentioned above, the cello is tuned starting at C. This is mostly because the lowest note on cellos is the C (around 64 Hz). This note is typically referred to as the C below C below middle C) and is just off the bottom of your clef.
Bass guitars, on the other hand, are tuned lower than the bottom note to provide deeper sounds. Guitars, both bass and normal, are at times tuned similar to the cello but to sound an octave lower.
It is also important to note that bass guitars read music in bass clef. This is why it is possible to string your guitar like the cello and still get sounds that are comparatively different.
Choice: Cello vs Bass Guitar
In case you are spoilt for choice between the cello and the bass guitar, you should really go with the instrument you think you will like more. There are many reasons why there are not many bass guitar players around, especially in comparison to usual guitar players.
The style of music you are going to be playing will also matter. It is actually more fun to play the bass guitar within a band, whereas the cello can be played in solitude (such as when you are jamming, practicing and having fun at home) or as part of a larger orchestra.
In conclusion, although the cello and the bass guitar might at times look alike, a practice eye and ear will be able to notice the difference (s) between these two instruments. Use the above guide the next time you are confused about the cello vs bass guitar question.