Cello Vs Bass Guitar: A Detailed Comparison

Playing with an Acoustic-Electric Guitar

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Nowadays, I find out that many musicians use the bass guitar to form different kinds of music. However, while it is a welcome development, a lot of bass players tend to be attracted to learning the cello guitar. For these foes, it is an alternate to the traditional bass guitar. What is the best option when it comes to cello vs. bass guitar?

I know for any newbie, it isn’t something easy to choose. As a professional guitar player for over two decades, I understand the feeling, which is why I am providing a detailed comparison of the cello vs bass guitar. Is it possible for a cello guitar player to transfer their skill to a bass guitar player?

Interestingly, I know that cello and bass guitar shares unique features, including overlapping frequency and the number of strings. However, the way to hold, tune, and play these guitars are different. Today, people are comparing these two instruments because they generate lower-end tones. Besides this, anyone can play the cello as the bass guitar. They both have similarities.

Cello vs. Bass: A Detailed Comparison

I believe the best way to understand the uniqueness of each guitar is to look at what makes them different from each other. I will look at the size, tuning pegs, and sound.


Typically, a standard bass guitar is about 6.5 inches, whereas a cello guitar is 5 inches. The performer must be seated on an average-sized chair for anyone playing the cello guitar. Nevertheless, you can use a stool for the bass guitar.

Tuning scrolls and Pegs

At the top of the cello and bass guitar, there is a rolled wooden area known as a scroll. The Cello guitar has little things sticking at the side – pegs, whereas the bass guitar has knobs that point at the back of the scroll. The knobs are known as tuning machines.

Looking closely at both instruments, you might observe several physical differences. For instance, a bass guitar has several variants in structure than a cello.

Technical differences

It is important to explore some of their technical features to look at a more technical aspect of cello vs. bass guitar. Technically, they are low instruments. Nevertheless, I find the bass guitar to be an octave lower than the cello guitar. The bass guitar strings start from low to high (EADG). The best way I used to remember the bass guitar strings is “Elephants always do good.” However, the cello strings are CGDA.


It is essential I also talk about the difference in their sound. You should include the sound for whatever reason you want to consider cello vs bass guitar. It’s perfect when you use both instruments performing in an orchestra.

Notwithstanding, basses form the foundation of any musical group. Both offer divine sounds like the sound of Beethoven’s voice. So, it’s hard to differentiate between both instruments.

Cello vs Bass guitar: Rhythm focus

One critical difference when playing cello and bass guitar I discover is the prevalence of rhythm. The bass is more of a rhythm instrument then harmonic and melodic. On the other hand, the cello is a melodic and harmonic instrument.

Is there any instrument bigger than the cello guitar?

Overall, the bass is the biggest instrument, followed by the cello, viola, and violin. Although the violin is somewhat bigger in size, the viola looks the same as the violin. Therefore, an instrument’s size doesn’t matter to the one playing it.

Comparing the cello and bass, it is evident that the bass is the largest. What affects the range of notes for a cello guitar is the length and thickness of the strings. For instance, violas and violins can hit higher notes even with shorter and thinner strings.


Interestingly, a lot of newbies are confused as to what to choose. I can understand that feeling and the internal struggles. However, I would say that it all comes to preference when looking at both instruments.

Therefore, if you are still contemplating on cello vs. bass guitar, it is essential to note that these are two different instruments. Although they sound beautiful, they complement each other. I recommend you try out both instruments as they are the basis of an orchestra.

Jim Henneberry

Jim Henneberry

I love playing my guitar, and my kids got hooked along with me.
This is a family thing now - why don't you join the family fun? :)