IN THE PEG BOX
The pitches of the strings in the peg box also vary between cellos. The two middle strings are the longest and therefore the lowest pitches. Overtone content is weak and changes in tone colour are restricted because the strings are very short and damping effects at the pegs and nut are high. However, there is some scope in dynamic range, especially on the two, longer middle strings.
Using a small, dense plectrum (e.g., the fingernail) or a dense, thin hammer (e.g., a thin metal stick like a knitting needle) or a tilted bow gives the clearest, most overtone-rich sound.
The strings in the peg box are plucked with the fingernail, struck with a knife and bowed with a tilted bow. Firstly, the strings between bridge and nut are allowed to ring, then they are dampened.