Electric cello

Electric Cello

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Introduction to the Electric Cello

The electric cello is a type of cello that relies on electronic amplification (rather than acoustic resonance) to produce sound. Many electric cellos have bodies modeled after acoustic cellos, while others abandon the design completely, opting for a totally new body shape, or having little or no body at all. Most electric cellos feature a traditional endpin and knee supports, but some are supported in other ways, such as by an elongated pin for playing in the standing position, a tripod stand or a strap system that allows mobility while playing the instrument. The major identifying factor between electric cellos and acoustic cellos is that while the latter rely on an acoustically resonant soundbox, the former are amplified electronically and often have no resonant chamber at all.

Most electric cellos are driven by a piezo pickup system mounted in the bridge. Many also contain an on-board preamp, which allows the musician localized control over the sound. The number of piezo elements in use range from one to eight. The electric cello has several advantages over acoustic cellos. One of these advantages is its capacity for sound effects, such as distortion, wah, and chorus, which allows for the creation of a huge variety of sounds and possibilities matching that of the electric guitar, electric bass and electric violin. Also, five-string and six-string models (not generally available in acoustic cellos) allow for an extended range. An electric cello with no body can be played in the high positions more easily than an acoustic. Lastly, electric cellos have less of a tendency for feedback than amplified acoustic cellos.

The electric cello has not yet achieved the status of the ubiquitous electric guitar, or even the widespread success of the electric violin, although some rock groups have attempted to popularize the instrument. Like the electric violin, the appearance of the electric cello is considered inappropriate for the classical music that the acoustic cello is known for.
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