Taking on the cello as an instrument to learn is one of the most exciting things for a string player. Beginners who want to learn the cello need to have a strong book with a collection of songs to play. The deep melodies and classical songs can certainly make you sound like a professional cellist.
Learning the cello can already be challenging, and you’ll want to have a solid portfolio of easy songs under your belt that you enjoy and can play with ease.
8 Easy Cello Beginner Songs
When learning the cello, working with songs you already know or are familiar with can help you overcome problems more quickly. Reading sheet music involves knowing the right clef, key, and time signature to play your cello, which might feel overwhelming as a beginner.
Here are some of the easiest and best easy cello songs you can work with on the cello to help improve your skills and advance your playing level. Most of them follow the I-V-vi-IV progression, which is the most common chord progression for simple songs.
1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
One of the more popular songs to play and a great place to start, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” actually shares the same melody as two other songs: “The ABCs” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep.” They all follow the same original composition in music. It’s a great song to have in your cello portfolio.
The song is easy to learn, playing similar finger positioning across all four strings on the cello. It can be played in three different keys: G, D, and C, and help you excel at first position (or half position). Beginners on the cello can also use the tune to practice bowing.
2. Ode to Joy
Ludwig van Beethoven is an excellent composer, and his tune “Ode to Joy” is a song that many are familiar with and a great one for the cello. The best part about having this song in your back pocket is that it sounds more complicated than it actually is to play.
The “Ode to Joy” is a perfect beginner song on the cello to help you practice your vibrato on the more extended half music notes when you are playing.
3. Amazing Grace
Another popular song that people are familiar with, “Amazing Grace,” is excellent for beginners on the cello. You can work on practicing ¾ time signatures and slurring.
4. Minuet in G (Bach)
There are two parts to this great piece for cello music. The difficulty level is easy as the original for both parts, so you can play each separately to learn and practice. It’s excellent to show you how to learn to play the two-octave G Major scale
5. Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Cello players who want to play one of the most popular love songs and frequently heard at weddings, Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” is the best choice for them.
This song makes the cello easier to learn, with a series of eight tones that are repeated throughout the composition. Learning this helps you practice various skills, including timing, bowing, and vibrato.
6. What a Wonderful World
Louis Armstrong sings it wonderfully, but “What a Wonderful World” is a classic musical piece for the cello. As one of the favorite songs for people to sing along, it is an excellent choice for a simple song on the cello. You can play gorgeous melodies and practice with many finger movements to help you advance your skills.
Though often played on the violin, the slower tempo for “Greensleeves” on the cello is suitable for beginners because it helps you master finger positions. Your fingering is an essential part of your learning, and this song, in particular, can be adjusted to different keys and arrangements easily, so you can find the fingering that works best. You can also use this musical piece to work on your bowing motions.
8. Spring from Four Seasons (Vivaldi)
One last great song for cello beginners is Spring from “Four Seasons” by Vivaldi. The pace is the most significant challenge and complex part, making it a great practice with a simple tune that you can play to impress your friends and family!
Tips for Choosing Cello Beginner Songs
- Choosing your songs may take some time. As a beginner, you may need to learn what the best songs are for the cello or what will be more manageable to learn. Here are some helpful tips when choosing the songs you want to play.
- Choose songs you like – If you don’t enjoy what you’re playing, you aren’t going to put in the effort and time to learn it. It’s important to choose songs that you want to play.
- Choose for your level – if the songs you like for cello are at a very advanced level of skill, don’t start with those. You’ll make things harder on yourself and become more frustrated (and likely to stop playing) if you choose cello songs that are out of your beginner level of learning. Work your way up to those songs.
- Don’t buy a cello until you’re ready – as a beginner, knowing that you should rent or borrow a cello before purchasing one to play is helpful. You need to ensure that you’re comfortable when playing your songs, and there are different instrument sizes.
Where to Find Cello Sheet Music for Beginners
Having sheet music is an essential aspect of being a promising cello player, since you need it to follow. It helps to find good sheet music to play that will walk you through simple songs and get you familiar with your instrument.
Besides working with your cello instructor, who is likely to provide you with easy cello sheet music to learn pieces, you may want to find sheet music of your own to work with. You can also hold on to it more easily to bring out and play the cello when asked.
Using apps on your phone or a link can help you build your song list with more sheet music. For example, it has interactive sheet music that can be an excellent practice method.
You can play the music, and it scrolls with you automatically as you go along with the music. There are also sites where you can download sheet music, sometimes for a small fee, such as 8Notes. Printing a digital download and making individual copies to practice is a great way to build up your collection or book of songs to play.
Tips for Practicing Beginner Cello Songs
Practice is the best way to ensure you perfect your cello technique and skill. Setting aside time each day outside your regular cello lessons can ensure you advance as quickly as possible and are a good student for your teacher (and yourself!).
It does take a lot of time, patience, and effort. But your practice time only needs to be ten to fifteen minutes each day, as long as it’s focused. Here are some helpful tips for practicing cello songs to ensure you maximize your practice time.
The Importance of Repetition
Learning an instrument takes muscle memory. When you repeat techniques, including pitch, style, quality, tone, simple chords, and more, it gets more ingrained in your mind, so it’s reinforced. It’s one of the best methods to help you adequately learn an instrument. With repetition, it’s also easier to help you find areas where you have trouble.
Breaking Down a Song Into Sections
Once you’ve been repetitive with your learning, you can quickly identify your problem spots. Then another excellent technique with your cello is to break down the song into smaller, bite-sized sections.
When you do this, you can focus more on the parts within the sheet music you need to improve. It allows you to concentrate more fully and improve to get your skills to match throughout the entire piece of music.
Using a Metronome and a Tuner
Timing when playing your cello is very important. The benefits of practicing with a metronome are a great way to test your ability to keep with the tempo throughout the song. The metronome helps ensure you maintain a consistent rhythm and beat as you play so that you don’t speed up or slow down too much while playing.
A tuner ensures that your strings are on the right key. Beginners, especially, shouldn’t play without a tuner, and especially check to be sure your strings are on the right keys before you attempt playing.
Your D strings and G strings being off-kilter can really throw off your playing. Your practice would be far less effective if you’re not in the right key, and it can make you feel as if you’re making a mistake when it’s just coming out on the wrong pitch!
Recording Your Practice Sessions
One of the last tips for beginners learning the cello is recording your practices. Whether you do it in your cello lesson or not, you should be sure to record yourself outside when you’re practicing solo.
Why is this helpful? Recording your sessions ensures that you can hear where you’re making mistakes and that you know how you sound.
You may even want feedback from your cello instructor on where to put your focus. It can help you prepare well for a performance, so you work hard to sound how you want to hear.
Advancing Your Skills as a Beginner Cellist
The goal for any person learning a new instrument is to become masterful at their craft. You want to ensure that you have proper technique, know the ins and outs of your instrument, and have a good song portfolio to work from.
Beginner cellists who want to advance their skills can do so in many ways, but here are some of the best ways to ensure that you’ll progress in your learning.
Finding a Cello Instructor
Working with an expert will be the best way to learn new skills and track your progress with the cello. Finding a cello instructor may take some time since you may want to see who in your area locally is available.
When you search for a cello teacher, you should know your goals so that you can ask questions and be sure you’re a good fit to continue.
The instructor can ensure you grasp fundamentals, proper techniques, and tried-and-true methods that work best for you. Many instructors have experience working with different learning types, so they can help you by understanding how you learn and giving you the proper tools and resources to advance more quickly.
Online Lessons and Video Tutorials
Instructors across the globe often offer online cello lessons, so if you don’t find a local instructor within your area, see if you can find one on the internet or web search.
Online lessons can be challenging, but great teachers will know how to work with you and ensure they can help you progress in your cello learning. Video tutorials are also often helpful; if you want to practice something more specific or buy your own cello, see what online video tutorials can help you.
Chances are you’ll find tons of videos that can walk you through many aspects of your cello playing and help you continue to hone in on your craft.
Build Your Cello Song Repertoire
Having simple songs to help you learn the cello is crucial to helping you start on the proper foot in your musical journey. While you may be tempted to jump into the songs you love, if they are difficult, you may make things harder for yourself.
Working with a cello instructor is an excellent way for a beginner cellist to learn all of the proper techniques and skills so you can learn to play songs. Soon enough, with a lot of practice and work, you can quickly build up your song repertoire and progress to ones that will impress your family and friends!