Cello Resources and Downloads
Beginning Cello Books
On the Recommended cello books page there are books for the beginning cellist.
Open String Duets
One of my concerns with many of the method books is that the left and right hands and arms are combined too quickly. I believe it is important to wait to combine the hands until the student has time to become comfortable with the hands separately. The challenge, however, is to create musical interest, particularly when only playing open strings. Many method books already do this via CDs that have accompaniments. Here are some simple duets based on American folk tunes that the teacher can play with the student or class. The teacher can play the melody and the student(s) the accompaniment. In order to concentrate on bow technique, the duets only use open strings and are in rhythmic ostinatos.
Lower Half of Bow Duets Download (pdf)
These duets are designed to give the student a way to practice the lower half of the bow using the whole are with the shoulder as the pivot joint. Please read article about active and passive motions under "whole arm active motion" for a description of this motion. Relevant action studies are Shoulder Drop, Grandfather Clock, and Swing. Some of these duets include frequent string crossings. If you feel the student is not ready for string crossings, there are other duets that do not change strings frequently.
Upper Half of the Bow Duets Download (pdf)
These duets are designed to give the student a way to practice the upper half of the bow using the forearm with the elbow as the pivot joint. Please read Active and Passive Motions under "forearm active motion" for a description of this motion. Relevantaction studies are Shoulder Drop, Door on a Hinge, and Windshield Wiper.
Cello Position Chart
Here is the page that has two cello position charts for the "four finger" positions. One is advanced and the other is simplified. The simplified chart may be even too advanced for a total beginner but some beginners already play other instruments so I have included it here.
Cello Position Etudes
This set of position etudes were put together by Nicolas Nirva, a trumpet player who graduated from CMU several years ago. He took cello lesson from me and instead of having him play published position pieces I had him compose his own. He has graciously allowed me to offer this method book free of charge.
These etudes are for the beginning cellist who is an existing instrumentalist. There are eight etudes covering 1st through 4th positions. Following these position etudes are two more etudes that cover 1st through 4th positions. The last section is the etudes transposed.
I highly recommend this free download.
Here it is:Position Etudes