FOR THE CURIOUS CELLIST

Cello Doublestops and Chords: EXERCISES

Here below you will find a large selection of exercises and drills for working specifically on doublestops and chords on the cello:

DOUBLESTOPS AND CHORDS: EXERCISES

PART 1: IN ONE POSITION (WITHOUT SHIFTS)

Our technical 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 doublestops, but also so helpful in our general playing. As these exercises 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. These exercises are very physically intensive, muscular and strenuous, and we should work on them very gradually. In order not to overstrain the hand, all of these exercises start without any major-third handframe extensions. These are only added gradually at the end of each series.

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)

PART 2: WITH SHIFTS WITHIN ANY ONE FINGERBOARD REGION

After working on our doublestops in any one position (without shifts) we can then move on to working 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

PART 3: WITH SHIFTS ACROSS THE FINGERBOARD REGIONS

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

Doublestopped Shifts: All Regions: No Extns

Doublestopped Shifts: All Regions: With Extns

Doublestopped Shifts: All Regions: With Thumb

******************************************************

The ultimate test for all our preparatory work is always the repertoire, where, as usual, we will find all sorts of unimagined combinations of problems. After some preparatory work on the above exercises, when we go back and play the repertoire compilations on the “Doublestops” main page we may (hopefully) find the passages easier !