Testing is Like… Buying a new Cello

Testing is Like… Buying a new Cello

Inspired by the MOT bloggers club initiative to write about anaolgies to testing in real life, it came to my mind, that I approached buying my new Cello pretty much like a tester does: see what needs to be tested and then explore….

I obvioulsy did not write a test concept or anything alike, and it even did not appear to me like testing, but well, a leopard cannot change his spots. I have tested about 13 Cellos, some of them only at the Cello contructor’s place, some I took home and tested more thoroughly. Just in case you do not know what a Cello is, Wikipedia describes the facts quite well – for me it is a family member, a friend in good and bad times and a connection to other musicians…

Cello peg box with scroll

Testing a cello is a bit like testing a product (like SAP?): you have something where the unit test and quite some component and even integration tests already has been done. Your test focus is more on suitability for your purpose and integration with your setup.

Concerning suitability I ended up following some heuristic: LoSS PM

  • Look: does it have bruises or cracks? Do I like the look? The color?
  • Size: does it have the correct size for my body? or is it too long too short, to broad?
  • Smell: if it smells differently than you would expect from a Cello constructor’s workshop – DO NOT CONSIDER IT ANY FURTHER
  • Pure sound of the strings: start with resonating the strings without any use of the left hand, and then play some scales to catch every tone.
  • Music: play different kinds of music and listen, if you like how the melody develops, listen to the harmonic and overtones of the Cello

Most Cellos I decided against already failed at this stage, quite a few actually even have been put away, before I tried to play music.

The next level is integration with my setup. I took the Cellos home and played them within my own walls. I compared two playing them interchangeably. And most important: I asked a fellow Cello player to come and play with me. It is so important, how an instrument intermingles with other instruments!

Our new family member is ready to go out…

Due to Covid, I was not able to do the system integration test with my orchestra. But, I’ll take the risk. Actually here is ine difference: I fell in love with one of the candidates. And he is now the newest member of the family 😉 I guess latest here, the analogy is completely off .

Over and out, someone is waiting for me to be played on…


  1. Pingback: Testing is like … – Emna Ayadi

    1. Testhexe

      Hi NIshi, I like your analogy. And with respect to “consistent practice, patience and persistence”, Yoga, Testing and Playing a Cello is similar… 😉

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