Due to the growing up (and away) of many local young cellists (including my own son, who travels mostly by banjo now), our Summer Strings orchestra will be left with only two cellists. I decided that the best contribution I can make this year would be to play the cello, so today I spent 15 or 20 minutes playing Ben's cello, and I made it rather quickly through his Suzuki book two (where everything is in either C major or G major).
The left hand isn't much of a problem: all is relative, and the pitches are rather easy to find. Vibrato is a piece of cake. I'm comfortable with the clef (at least with the bass clef), but boy, cellists need more developed upper arm and shoulder muscles than fiddle players do. We upper string players can let our upper right arms relax in a very natural position, and we can use their almost dead weight to get sound out of our instruments. The forward position of the upper arm that is necessary simply to reach the strings requires all sorts of new muscles that I have yet to understand. Perhaps my problem is that I know what a good cello sound is, and I definitely don't have the brawn to make one yet.
So, between now and the summer I'm going to try to devote an ever-increasing daily time to the cello, with the hope that I can make it through a two-hour playing session by July.
Cellists, I salute you (with my tired right arm)!