Guitar vs Cello – What Is The Difference?

If you used to listen to different types of music but have never tried to play any string instrument then it can be really hard for you to decide whether you should start with a guitar or a cello.

Though both of these string instruments are good for beginners to learn music still you must choose one of them to start with.

The information provided here under will help you to know about guitar as well as cello and the comparison of guitar vs cello provided in this write-up can help you to choose the best instrument for you to learn music.

Things To Know About Guitar

Video: “Basic Guitar Physics or How the Guitar Really Works”

A guitar is an instrument that normally has frets and six strings and is played by hands by plucking or strumming the strings with the fingernails or fingers of one hand and the other hand presses the strings against frets to produce melodious music.

The sound produced by the vibration of the strings can be amplified either with the help of an electrically operated amplifier or acoustically by the guitar’s hollow chamber.

Being a kind of chordophone, guitars were traditionally made from wood and steel or nylon strings but in terms of tuning and construction, it is different from other types of chordophones.

The vihuela, the gittern, the five-course baroque guitar, and the Renaissance guitar with four-course are the ancestors of the modern guitar as they have played a great role in the designing of modern instrument with six strings.

Today three types of acoustic guitars are in use including Spanish or classic guitar with nylon strings, acoustic guitar with steel strings, and archtop or jazz guitar.

The vibration of the strings of an acoustic guitar produces its tone which can be amplified by its hollow body which works as a vibrating chamber.

Normally the technique of picking/plucking its strings by finger/fingernails of the player instead of strumming them is used to play a classical guitar as a single instrument.

However, being a low-pitched instrument, the acoustic bass guitar is an octave lower than a standard guitar.

Things To Know About Cello

Video: “7 Tips for Beginner Cellists | How to Play the Cello Basics”

The cello is a string instrument from the family of the violin which has four strings and is played by a bow. Its strings are normally tunes perfectly in fifths i.e. C2, G2, D3, and A3, from low to high. Every string of a cello is lower than the four strings of the viola by one octave.

For the cello, the bass musical symbol is used to write the music and for the passages of higher range tenor and treble symbols are used.

A cello can be played for a large range of the solo instrument with or without many instruments and players if played by a violoncellist or a cellist.

The cello uses its entire range from soprano to bass and the music in the chamber like the string section of the orchestra and string quartets if played as a solo instrument.

As the solo instrument, it usually plays the part of bass as it can be reinforced by the double bases lower by an octave. Today cellos are used by many groups and bands from rock cello bands to Chinese orchestras etc.

Guitar vs Cello – The Differences

Though both cello and guitar are string instruments still they are quite different from each other. The comparison provided in guitar vs cello here under will help you in knowing both of them more closely.



Though the price of entry-level guitars as well as cellos is very reasonable still the price of acoustic as well as electric guitars are far cheaper than a cello.

You can buy an electric guitar for nearly $100 and an acoustic guitar for almost $35-40 whereas $250 can be the minimum price of a cello.


Level Of Difficulty For Beginners

The level of learning difficulty is average for both the instruments. You cannot play both of these instruments nicely on the very first day.

You will have to develop your skills by practicing for several hours dedicatedly on both of these instruments to start producing decent sounds.



The players of both of these musical instruments have to face competition, however, the level of competition can differ in both the cases.

The demand for guitarists is far more than cellists as you can find guitarists in most of the bands as compared to cellists. But the increasing popularity of cellos in pop music during the last few decades has also increased the demand for cello players in various popular bands.



A cellist can become the center of attention and stand out of the crowd better than a guitarist. The main reason behind this difference is that the guitar is a very common instrument than a cello even if any of them cannot be played initially by everyone.

Moreover, you can easily find a guitarist in a band but cellists are rarely seen. So you can attract everyone’s attention by playing the cello.



In comparison to cello a guitar is more versatile because of its 6 strings against 4 of the cello. Other things that give an upper hand to a guitar than a cello in versatility include the way of playing as well as the pitch of both the instruments.

Six fingers are used simultaneously to pick and play the notes on a guitar to produce treble pitches from its high strings with more complicated variations of rhythm and at a fast speed whereas a cello is played with a bow to create deep and warm signature tone with low bass pitches.


Sound Tone

The tone of the sound is better with a cello in comparison to a guitar. The tone of a cello can be more exciting and appealing than that of a guitar because you rarely hear a cello whereas guitars are heard very frequently.

Moreover, the mid-low range of the sound of a cello provides an elegant and calming feel.



Though both cello and guitar are easily portable still cello is more portable than a guitar due to its smaller size.


After going through the comparison of both the string instruments, guitar vs cello, it can be easy for you to choose the best string instrument for you according to your choice and learning capabilities.

Juan Stansbury
Juan Stansbury

I'm Juan Stansbury, author and owner of Homerecordio – your ultimate destination for everything about homerecording. With hands-on experience, courses, workshops, and industry research, I offer tips on selecting the best equipment, and mixing and mastering your recordings to achieve professional-quality results at home. Join me on this journey to explore the world of homerecording and music production.

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