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Why not 'Master of Puppets' performed by Apocalyptica



G n' R recorded it in E flat major, which would be easier to play on a cello in standard tuning.

Since a cello is tuned C G D A, he'll only be able to use the open "A" string in E major. He'd have had 3 open strings in E flat.

However, judging by his looks, he could be using a dropped tuning, & if he tunes his cello down a half step (which is what Slash did), he'll pick up those 3 open strings (B, F sharp, & C sharp). This works because a cello is tuned in 5ths an octave below major 3rd compared to guitar, which is tuned in 4ths except for the 4th & 5th strings, which are tuned in a 3rd (drop tuning a guitar a half-step puts it in E flat; drop tuning a cello a half step puts it in B major, which shares every note with E major except the A sharp).

Since the "E" on the low string is so far up the neck, he'll probably have to invert the intervals on his power chords, which could give it a little bit of a "Smoke on the Water" kind of feel.


Good one--but wouldn't a cello cover of a cello cover band be just a tad on the derivative side?

Now... I think I'll go play "Too Much Time on My Hands" on a kazoo with a wind-up cymbal monkey as my rhythm section.

john cox:


Bravisimo! Wow, that was fun to read. If it pure bullshit, it was engaging bullshit. If it's based on actual experience with a cello (which sounds dirty), then I realize now that just because I can spell "cello", it doesn't mean I can write an actual cello JOKE. I'm easily amused, so bear with me.


I don't see what's funny about this. I've been known to play Rush's "2112" on the grand piano.

"Attention, all planets of the solar federation..."

Doc Al:

I wanna hear "Fat Bottom Girls" on the pan flute.

Tom Wms.:

I was in an all cello marching band once.


Well I say to you Ladies and Gentlemen "What this town needs is a Band; yes a Marching Band"; That's right a Marching Band of cellos.


Since the cello has a tonal range similar to the guitar, it is readily adaptable to a lot of guitar-driven rock. I've seen the cello used in a few bands, but the performer didn't have the talent to really get the most out of the instrument. I have tried to get my son to play his with my band, but he prefers to be Haydn in the Bach of his orchestra.

john cox:

Like my mother used to say after dinner..."There's always room for cello."


It was one of those - you HAD to be there to appreciate the ART. Besides, his shades are cool!


Is that a cello or are you just happy to see me?


Sir Thomas Beecham, rehearsing with the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra, once turned to one of the cellists and remarked:
"You have between your legs an object which should give pleasure to millions, and all you can do is sit there and scratch it."


That's from experience with guitar & saxophone, & it's true, actual, & satisfactual except for one part. The low "C" on cello is actually two octaves lower than the "C" (which also corresponds to middle "C" on piano) which is a 3rd below the low "E" on guitar. A lot of people think that the tonal range of guitar & cello are closer than they actually are for 2 reasons: (1) written guitar music is an octave higher than it is played, so people who read music & aren't familiar with guitar perceive it as being lower-pitched than it actually is; & (2) most of the notes in the prettier cello melodies are typically played in the upper range of the instrument.

Two of my favorite stringed instrument jokes paraphrased for cello:

Q: What's the main difference between a violin & a cello?
A: A cello burns much longer.

"No one should be allowed to play cello (or any other fretless stringed instrument) until he has mastered it."

"Fat-Bottomed Girls" (Queen) & "Big Bottom" (Spinal Tap) would be cool choices for cello & double bass, respectively... but what would you call the band?


Geez. I wish I'd proof read stuff before I posted it. The low "E" on guitar is only a 3rd higher than the low "C" on cello.


I get confusterated by how music is written for guitar (which is the main reason I'm a very poor sight reader for it).

Any way to delete my previous post?


Fortunately then, they are no longer an exclusive cover band.
However, if you want a truly crossover (downbeat) metal cover band I can recommend Hellsongs. I think they are featuring a cello or a contrabass in some of the songs [yes, I'm tone death ;)].



I think you just coined the perfect term for modern music in general:

Tone Death

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John Cox is a painter, cartoonist, and illustrator for hire. For information about purchasing existing work or commissioning new work, contact him by e-mail at john555cox [at] hotmail.com.

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