Scales Books for Cello

June 3, 2021, 7:58 AM · For those of you that play cello, what are some good scale and etude books you use?

Replies (8)

Edited: June 3, 2021, 8:38 AM · This is what my cello teacher used on me:
170 Foundation Studies for Violoncello

It is available anywhere, including Amazon.

I don't think I ever had a cello scale book, but you want to get one with at least 3 octave scales (4 octaves are playable on cello up to multiple ledger lines in treble clef).

But mostly it was selections from the musical literature that moved me along and the etudes were mostly for supportive technical development.

This was all some 70 years ago but I have since have found that the Suzuki cello books (4 and higher) cover much of the same music.

I only had about 2-1/2 years of cello lessons back in my teens but because of my prior violin background it carried me quite far and I have played both Haydn concertos, Saint-Saens, Boccherini, Elgar, parts of the Dvorak and the first 4 Bach cello suites and lots of chamber music.

June 3, 2021, 8:43 AM · For scales, you can find ABRSM books with them (grades 1-8) starts with more basic (grade 1) then gets more challenging as you move up
June 3, 2021, 8:58 AM · Assuming beginner to intermediate:

The Art of Scales - A New Approach to Mastering Scales on the Cello by Wells Cunningham.

Dotzauer/Grant - Fundamentals of Cello Technique, multiple volumes

For advanced we have added the Popper etudes, of course, and the Galamian system scales book by Hans Jorgen Jensen.

June 3, 2021, 9:24 AM · Great, thank you so much, this helps a lot! I think I would be happy playing beginner to intermediate scales right now. Violin is my primary instrument and cello is more for fun, but I also am a big fan of scales. I play through cello Suzuki book 4 comfortably but just kind of dabbled in book 5. The cello teacher that has helped me out doesn't use scales and etudes outside of the method books. Cello seems like a whole new world to figure out, but it's overwhelming and refreshing at the same time.

June 3, 2021, 10:25 AM · Picked-up-cello-as-an-adult violinist here. When I had previously asked around, I was given fingerings of individual scales and also printouts of Klengel. However, I was introduced to universal fingering this year in Suzuki cello unit training and it's a game-changer. It makes complete logical sense (the counterpart of starting violin scales on 1st finger) and although I'm sure other fingerings are useful/necessary in repertoire, it's exactly what I needed for my early book 4 student. I assume there is a standard pattern for arpeggios too.

About book 5, my trainers basically said it's straightforward until the Goltermann Rondo. I don't plan to take book 5 training though because it requires Faure's Elegy as a video audition.

June 5, 2021, 8:34 AM · Wow Mengwei, you were able to get your Suzuki Cello training? That sounds fun!
June 6, 2021, 3:25 PM · I had taken books 1-2 well before the pandemic, meant to take 3 last summer (waited for my student to get close) but couldn't of course, then did books 3-4 online once that was available. It was definitely less intimidating playing by myself on mute than in a physical class! (although the book 3 trainer did have us individually play through the book and some exercises and scales from memory)
June 7, 2021, 7:23 PM · The Wells Cunningham book is a very good choice, will keep you busy for years, cycling through the layers of difficulty it build up to, but it will also keep you interested. It is fun, a challenge, but fun.
Cassia Harvey also publishes great scale material for cello (all strings). Look her site up on the internet.
But don't get drunk on scales: 30 minutes a day is probably enough. That is about 25% of your cello time each day?


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