Posted by StringOvation Team on Nov 11, 2016
Learning to play the cello can fell like a drag sometimes if you don’t know any popular cello songs. Sure, "Twinkle" variations are all fine and well for helping you learn fundamental techniques, but they’re hardly going to wow an audience of your friends and family. Moreover, an integral part of maintaining your enthusiasm and dedication to learning is built by being able to show off familiar tunes in private routines that don’t induce high levels of stage fright.
Here are some popular cello songs which are perfect for just that. Designed to be performed solo, these pieces are easy to recognize because they are part of our popular culture, making it simple to impress your friends and family when conducting impromptu performances. This list is composed of popular cello songs that are designed to meet or enhance beginner and intermediate playing skills.
“Happy Together” by The Turtles. This is a great song for beginner cellists to learn. With common time and a slew of fundamental quarters and eighths, the basic verses and chorus are easy to master and play solo. The $2.99 download is worth the price, and although it doesn’t include lyrics, you can easily get them for free online.
“My Heart Will Go On,” theme from the film Titanic. The power of Celine Dion’s vocals made this remarkably nostalgic love song extremely popular when it was released in 1997, and it remains a classic today. It is another excellent song for beginning cellists to learn and practice. Plus, it is an instrument solo piece with a very familiar tune. $2.99 to download and print.
“Over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz. A little more challenging, this cello solo is one of the most beautiful, memorable melodies of the twentieth century. Knowing how to play the popular classic is a boon for any level cellist, so spend a little extra effort on the slurs and timing. $2.99 to download this timeless piece.
“With or Without You” by U2. Although the words and music for this song were written by that iconic band, the arrangement is created by 2 cellos, specifically for a duo. So grab a buddy who’s learning cello or double bass and play this masterpiece to wow your friends and family. There are 12 pages of sheet music in this $6.99 download, but additional prints (after the first) are only $3.99.
“Amazing Grace” music by James Carrell and David Clayton. This is one of those popular cello songs that are indispensable at a number of gatherings. The solo in F Major is perfectly appropriate for even the greenest of beginners because the single notes and adjustable tempo make it easy to learn. Download this religious classic that has become a secular icon for $2.99.
“Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin. This tune is another well-known song that sounds amazing as a cello solo. It can be a challenge for new students, but entirely worth the effort because it will help you master some specific bowing techniques. $3.25 download.
“Dancing Queen” by ABBA. This '70s classic is fun to learn and play solo. The $2.99 download is composed in C Major and makes a great addition to a wedding song list.
Each of the following sheet music downloads are a little more challenging for beginning cellists, but they offer the means for increasing your bowing, timing, and fingering skills:
- “Let It Be” by the Beatles.
- “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica.
- “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown.
- “Every Breath You Take” by the Police.
- “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” by Marvin Gaye
You can also purchase Easy Pop Melodies for cello solos, for $9.99 and receive the sheet music for popular tunes like, “Blowin' in the Wind” (Bob Dylan), “Don't Stop Believin'” (Journey), “Unchained Melody” (The Righteous Brothers), and “What a Wonderful World” (Louis Armstrong), among others. Twelve popular cello songs are included.
Naturally, there’s no way to include every song that is arranged for bass clef instruments, but you can find a number of free resources that can help you stock up on your sheet music collection. Capotasto Music, Cello Online, and Cello Expressions all have extensive cello sheet music available for free. But, if you just can’t find the song you’re looking for on any of these sites, do a google search. More than likely, there is a copy of the sheet music for sale on Amazon or Sheet Music Plus.
By finding music that you like to play, you help intensify your own desire to learn. Check out some of these popular cello songs, or search around for others that will motivate your practice times and help you develop your performance skills.