FOR THE CURIOUS CELLIST

Doublestops: Practice Material

Our work with doublestops can be structured in a progressive manner. At the most basic level, we can start with material that doesn’t involve shifts. The “Cossmann” (the cellist Bernhard Cossmann was the first to publish these exercises) Doublestopped Trill (slow) exercises are excellent for developing simultaneously the multiple skills of strength, aural acuity (intonation awareness) and finger independence/coordination that are not only so necessary for playing double stops, but also so helpful in general playing. As these don’t involve any shifting, they are a good starting point. We can use these and other similar exercises in each of the three basic hand postures (fingerboard regions) separately, as each of these has different fingering possibilities. All of these exercises start without any majorthird handframe extensions and then gradually add them. We do this in order not to overstrain the hand.

Neck Region: Doublestopped Exercises in One Position (no shifts)

Intermediate Region: Doublestopped Exercises in One Position (no shifts)

Thumbposition: Doublestopped Exercises in One Position (no shifts)

Then we can work in each fingerboard region with shifts:

Neck Region: With Shifts: No Extensions                      Neck Region: With Shifts: With Extensions

Int. Region: With Shifts: No Extensions                          Int. Region: With Shifts: With Extensions

Thumb Position: With Shifts

Next we can look at material that crosses all the fingerboard regions:

Dblestop Shifts: All Regions: No Extns      Dblestop Shifts: All Regions: With Extns     Dblestop Shifts: All Regions: With Thumb