Skip to content

Can a Left-handed Person Play the Cello?

Yes, a left-handed person can play the Cello. Keep in mind though that you have to learn to play in the standard way because there is no left or right-handed cello readily available.

Cellos Aren’t Left or Right Oriented

The left- or right-handed orientation of the cello isn’t necessary. However, when you purchase or rent your first Cello, you need to understand the quality of the instrument is the most critical factor.

Factors to Look for in a Cello

·  Your Cello should have well-fitted joints and made with rich tonewoods.

·  Cellos come in fractional sizes, depending on the needs of the individual. Playing the wrong sized instrument can lead to severe back and neck injuries.

· It would be best if you liked the way your cello sounds. If you don’t like it, you won’t want to practice.

Training to Play the Cello

No matter the instrument you choose to learn, you’ll have to develop muscle movement and agility that you’ve never used before.

Being left-handed will allow you to be able to learn fingering techniques a little easier than your right-handed peers because your left hand is naturally more limber. On the other hand, bowing techniques will be more challenging because you’ve never done this before.

Cellos are geared for right-handed directions. It isn’t easy to modify a cello for left-armed bowing. Therefore, all cellists are better off learning the traditional way of playing.

If you want to play in your school orchestra or be able to play professionally, using the bow with your right hand is necessary. Otherwise, you may end up poking the player next to you with your bow.

Cello Techniques

1. Cello Technique Isn’t Oriented to Handedness

Learning an instrument such as the Cello takes a lot of practice and it takes time to train our muscles.

No matter which your dominant hand is, it will feel just as awkward as the other hand when you first pick up the Cello. With the Cello, your hands have specific jobs, the right hand holds the bow, and the left presses the strings. Having a left-handed cello would, in theory, flip the hand position. There is no need for this, and it becomes a hindrance if you play with other cellists. You’ll be poking other players with the bow by playing this way.

2. Cellos Are Made According to a Standard Posture

The Cello is built to support the unequal tension across the strings and achieve a balanced sound.

  • The C string needs more room to vibrate. With this in mind, many fingerboards are carved with a sharp drop under the C string.
  • The soundpost is placed on the left side to balance the unequal range of vibrations across the instrument’s range. This ensures that one string isn’t louder than the other strings.
  • The front of the instrument has a brass bar on the right side to help distribute the C string weight vertically.

3. Are There Left-Handed Cellos

Some cello makers have designed left-handed cellos, specifically for flipped playing.

These cellos are uncommon and should be reserved for players with physical limitations, such as missing fingers on the left hand.

4. Downside to Left-Handed Cellos.

Every orchestra plays with a standard posture.

Blind auditions are used to choose members. A panel of judges hears the cellist without seeing them first. This leads to more equitable representation of women and black, indigenous, and people of color in professional orchestras. After the blind audition is concluded, there’s usually an interview or face-to-face audition. The panel can observe how a person plays to determine if you will be a good performer on stage. If you play your cello flipped your chances of playing with an orchestra are as good as zero.

Cello Posture Tips for Proper Playing

Good cello posture is crucial for preventing your back, shoulders, and neck injuries. Posture is easier to practice than repair. Start building good habits as early as you can.

1. Three points of contact

You and your cello each have three points of contact. Your body touches the chair it is sitting on, and your feet touch the ground flat in front of you. Your bodyweight should be centered slightly over the Cello, in the triangle created by your feet and chair. It would be best if you sat at the front of the chair to lean forward over the instrument’s body. Your cello’s endpin touches the floor, the upper body of your instrument touches your chest, and the left bout of the cello wraps behind and above the left knee.

2. Support your shoulders

3. Rules of muscles

  • Relaxed muscle is more accurate than flexed muscle
  • Muscles in motion are more accurate than muscles that just started moving.

4. Do not Make Faces

Making faces can signify that your body isn’t positioned right and causing pain or stress.

5. Use a Mirror to see Posture Problems.

Practicing in front of a mirror can show you any problem with your posture before it becomes a bad habit and help you fix it.

Spending time to improve your posture will help make sure your work is on target, plus paying attention to your posture moving forward is a wise investment for beginning cellists. By taking some time initially, you’ll ensure you develop proper posture moving forward.


So, we’ve discovered that left-handers can play the Cello. However, it’s not at all like you’d expect. Left-handers play the Cello just like their right-handed peers. The most significant difference is that a left-handed cellist may have an easier time pressing the strings as their hand is already dexterous and limber, whereas a right-hander must work to get their hand to work as well. Also, left-handers may have difficulty learning to bow with their right hands as they are not their dominant hand. Would you learn to play Cello even though there is no apparent left-handed version of the instrument? Let us know below. We’d love to hear from you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *