Cello exercises

A more comprehensive, sorted collection of Cello Exercises is coming soon! Please take a look at these Essential Exercise and Etude books until then.

Exercise Books

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Some of these exercises may not look quite as fun as a few of the pieces you'll find in the Etude books, but these are essential and when practiced carefully and regularly will improve your Cello playing greatly. 

These books have some really challenging stuff in them! But don't let that scare you away, if you open it and scroll halfway down and see stuff that you think you could never do, take a slower look around. Many of the exercises in these books are meant to be done one after another, so by practicing and mastering the beginning exercises first you can build your skill for the later more advanced ones.

As my violin teacher is always telling me, remember to practice slow and carefully! If you try and speed through these you're going to get way less out of them.

1) Position Pieces by Rick Mooney
Recommended by Marty Mcmillan, Cellist, Salt Lake Symphony

This beginning Cello exercise books is fantastic for developing your knowledge of shifting when you're starting off. As laid out in the beginning of the book, this covers 2nd through 4th position, and Half position. 

He advises to play the top part in any of the duets found in the book, to play it slowly, and to carefully listen to all the notes, checking for intonation along the way.

There are several books in this series, but this is the first, and the one I could find available for free online. Others can be found elsewhere and on Amazon.

Download Position Pieces by Rick Mooney Here

2) Violoncello Method - Whitehouse and R.V Tabb - Collection of Exercises

This is a very comprehensive, very long exercise book you could likely benefit from for years! It includes many exercises from several composers, such as Dotzauer, Duport, Kummer, Lee, and Romberg. (Most of those composers books will be available here individually soon.) It covers shifting, the different positions, scales & keys, rhythms, bowing, and more. It has a wide variety of exercise difficulty, having 112 pages total, starting with some easier exercises and moving to more advanced later in the book.

While quite inconveniently this book does not have a table of contents at the beginning, I think it'd be worth looking through to see if there are any exercises in it that you'd like to work on. Either that or start at the begging, if you'd like to build up a really strong foundation before moving on to some of the later exercises and pieces.

Download Violoncello Method by A. Piatti Here

3) Feuillard - Studies of The Young Cellist & Daily Exercises for Cello

These two books came up over and over again in my research looking for good Cello exercises, and for good reason. The first book, Studies of The Young Cellist, does a great job of going over many areas of technique in a simple, easy to understand manner. It covers the different positions, different bow techniques, rhythms, and more. Even for a more seasoned player this could be good for getting any foundations you need to get down down, and for a newer Cellist, this book would be great for learning all those fundamentals so you have a good foundation to build more advanced techniques off of.

The second book, Daily Exercises for Cello, is a more advanced but good daily practice book also by Feuillard. It doesn't spend time simply going through all the positions and techniques, but is instead meant to be part of your daily practice so you can maintain all those skills you learned from earlier books, etudes, etc. It has 5 parts, encompassing different positions, double stops, bow technique, and more. Check it out and see if you can work it into your practice!

Download Feuillard - Studies of The Young Cellist Here

Download Feuillard - Daily Exercises for Cello Here

Etude Books

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In these books you'll find a large variety of exercises that cover most things from finger technique to dynamics, they're wonderful resources with lots to offer. Etudes are great because they help you practice your technique, but in a musical context. Use these in your daily practice, trying out different exercises that help skills you want to improve. Practice them until you have them down perfectly! There are lots of benefits you can gain from these if you do. 

1) 170 Foundation Studies for Violoncello

This large Etude book Alwin Schroeder contains lots of exercises and etudes from a large variety of composers found in other books here, such as Dotzauer, Duport, Kummer, and Lee.

This book is progressively arranged, with large varieties of skill level. Unlike some books, it also conveniently has a table of contents so you can remember and return to your favorite etudes. Take a look at it and see if there is anything that interests, you, or just start from the beginning. There's something for everyone in here.

Download 170 Foundation Studies for Violoncello

2) Dotzauer - 4 Books (113 Etudes) for Violoncello

When I say that these books probably have an Etude for just about every technique, I'm not kidding. Spanning across four separate books, these are a standard in Cello Etudes. 

Each book starts with a unique table of contents that I find extremely helpful, it shows a bar or two preview for each exercise on one page so you have an idea of what they're about - Way easier than writing out a bunch of names for each one.

These appear to be progressively arranged in difficulty, so I wouldn't recommend starting with book 4 right away.

Download Dotzauer - Book 1 - Etudes Nos. 1-34

Download Dotzauer - Book 2 - Etudes Nos. 35-62

Download Dotzauer - Book 3 - Etudes Nos. 63-85

Download Dotzauer - Book 4 - Etudes Nos. 64-113

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