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Cello Warm-Up

  • Author: Dr. Şölen Dikener
  • Language: English and Turkish
  • Pub.Date: September 2010
  • Dimension: 23 x 30.5 cm
  • Page Number: 144
  • Price: 20TL.

Buy Now –

My friend and colleague Şölen Dikener has written a unique collection of technical material, created not for the beginner cellist, who is already well served, but for the intermediate to advanced student of the instrument. These exercises take an original yet well-grounded approach to the fundamental issues of secure intonation, good coordination, and a beautiful, flexible sound. I believe that the approach to technical development contained within will help any cellist who is past the first stages of playing. I anticipate that many of my fellow students of the instrument will enjoy this volume as much as I do.

Jonathan Spitz – Professor of Cello at Rutgers University, New Jersey Principal Cellist with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra


This method book came into existence as an instructive support tool for my own teaching. During the last twenty years, my colleagues at select cello schools have provided me with a proper outlook on the pedagogical ideas presented in this book. Their input included one particular technique espoused by the French cellist, Paul Tortelier, whose methods have guided my own approach. Rather less popular in the United States, his astounding advanced technique was based on adapting to the needs of singing; and having the cello follow the instinctive singing lines. In my teaching, I often observed the young passionate cellist’s willingness to pursue this natural tendency, and the resultant struggle that it created with the technical aspects of play. While some players grasped the technique through practice and patience, others were often frustrated by its overwhelming preparation stage. As I responded to every crisis, I realized that in each case, I delivered to students similar solutions; perhaps explaining them in a slightly different way each time, depending on the individual. Nevertheless, I compiled technical study materials from a variety of sources, while students ended up with hefty purchases.

Ultimately, to reduce my work (and that of students), I decided to prepare a method book. First, I began reviewing my library for some available method books. During this assessment period P. Tortelier’s “How I Play How I Teach” appeared to me to be the most comprehensive, although it was packed with wide-ranging information that would go beyond the need of an undergraduate student. Similarly, other methods were either for the beginner’s level, or covered certain specific subject areas. This realization helped me to target the cellists who need a comprehensive technical summary at their transitional stage to advanced playing. These days, most music students have limited time for instrument practice, yet some students spend their practice sessions frantically trying to cover all their assignments. At this stage, it is important to recognize that musical preparation is not much different from the daily routine of an athlete -who goes through a long preparation period, readying himself for a relatively brief contest on the field of play.

The practicing arena of each musician must cover bow divisions, changes, measurements, shifts, scales, thumb position exercises and vibrato, allowing music students to reinforce the assessment of complicated keys. The purpose of this book is to explore up to three sharps and flats each week. The cellists will be reinforced in these keys through similar passage work using C major examples. Each day a different key should be practiced, providing the cellist with regular progress and the physical recognition of the cello. Each key area takes under one hour of study time.

This book is divided into seven key areas. The initial material in each key study is the bow technique. Securing proper tone on all four strings must be one of the student’s primary goals. A special emphasis is given to the use of the middle finger for a fuller and richer tone production.

The other exercises are string crossings, tip area reinforcement, flexible wrist, staccato, voicing, spiccato, bow changes and chords. Then comes the left hand that begins with the shifts. This is followed by the extensions, the velocity control, the trills, the scales in various forms (including in thumb position with arpeggios) and the double stops. For vibrato practice, I adopted popular cello repertory works in original keys for each key study.

Through these studies, the cellists will enhance their technical skills prior to work on the solo repertory and will ultimately be better prepared for the cello lesson. There is no doubt that with regular exposure to the content of this book, the cellists will continue developing a finer sense for tone production and the necessary enhanced left hand skills. The goal is to reduce the practice time. When practiced daily, the content material will open new avenues for freer technique, enabling the cellist to better concentrate on musical matters. I am hopeful that this book will bring a fresh and focused view to many fundamental technical issues that are essential in fine string playing. In order to maintain this focus, it is inevitable that some material is not included, but will be readily available in the upcoming editions. Until then, it is my sincere wish that through study of this edition, cellists will experience a positive difference in their performance. Musically yours,

Dr. Şölen Dikener – Princeton, New Jersey, September 2010

  1. GLYN OXLEY - The Strad - June 2012
    GLYN OXLEY - The Strad - June 201212-26-2012

    This study book is intended for cellists who are at ‘the transitional stage to advanced playing’. It is a thorough exploration and appraisal of basic technical essentials and it aims to improve tone production and establish a secure and relaxed technique that allows the cellist to ‘concentrate on musical matters’ more effi ciently.

    The studies are laid out logically with a helpful paragraph accompanying each one. The seven major keys from A to E fl at are all treated separately in chapters with the same studies repeated for each scale. These begin with the bow and include exercises for tone, string-crossing, playing at the tip, fl exible wrist, staccato, spiccato, bow changes and chords. The left hand is next, with shifting, extensions, speed changes, trills and scale work using the keynote as a tonal centre and including double-stopping and thumb position. Vibrato exercises come at the end of each chapter, using different repertoire extracts.

    Dikener intends a different key to be practised for about an hour each day, so all seven will be covered in a week. The aim is to improve all technical skills and the ‘physical ecognition of the cello’ (a lovely phrase), before moving on to practising repertoire.

    I am sure that this is a great practice regime, but I also found the book very useful in addressing individual technical problems, in such a way that young players can concentrate on single issues with just ten minutes’ work on a couple of exercises each day. The bowing and shifting studies also work really well with less advanced players, and the language used to describe these exercises is wonderfully clear, allowing students to understand exactly what is to be done and how it should sound and feel.

    GLYN OXLEY – June 2012 – The Strad