Lee Zimmerman
Cellist and Vocalist - Cello Music from the Heart


So why design and build cellos?

Lee Zimmerman - Cellist and Vocalist

As I work on and learn from the cello, I’m dazzled by the violin family design- It’s not just the oldest “standard” design around or the most durable, it just works and fits it’s purpose in the world so perfectly, wonderfully well. So why design and build cellos? Every time I hand my cello to the gate attendant or run for a train in Europe with my entire world strapped to my person, I wish I had an instrument that felt, played and sounded like a cello but was much smaller and lighter. I've played most of the electric celli out there and couldn't find anything close to an instrument that I would actually play, especially as a vocalist. So I began designing and building acoustic- electric celli in 1998. The two divergent streams of my life, music and woodworking, had reached a convergence.

Lee Zimmerman - Cellist and Vocalist

This is design #4 and is the best compromise between portability, comfort and sound. it's parabolic back and spruce top produce a surprisingly big and cello-like sound- Big and warm enough to easily play in a living room unplugged and still cut through a couple of steel- string guitars. Playingwise it bows and sits very close to the real thing. it weighs about 8 pounds and has a dual electret pickup system with the pre and controls mounted in the tailpiece. Much thought, a lot of intuition and a measure of luck produced it's crazy- rational shape. There is less "chorusing" to its sound and intonation is a bit more critical especially when vocalizing, but it's clean sound is quite appealing- I hear people comment that they like the sound better in ensemble than a classical cello. It fits in most of the overheads. Future generations of this instrument will be lighter. It's a five- string, of course!




Weddings, Ceremonies - Teaching- Performance Art- Yoga and Tai Chi- Entertainment - Dance - House concerts- House parties- Backup Cello and Voice, etc.

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