Complete Cello Technique

04 Dec

alexanian.jpg Whatever the American Fiddle Method lacks in methodical engineering approach, Complete Cello Technique makes up for. I thought I could learn the fine points of bowing and fingering if someone would just explain it point by point (like I think a teacher might do in a lesson) but it hasn’t worked for me. Alexanian dissects every possible movement on the cello, describes them in great detail (in English and French) along with photos and diagrams, and provides the most intimidating exercises to drill each new skill. Some of it is interesting, and I’ve gleaned a few new understandings, but mostly I’ve just found the book funny. It might be helpful to read after you learn a skill, or perhaps to help a teacher put words to something they know intuitively, but I don’t think it’s very useful as a self-teaching tool.

I really love the painting by Thomas Eakins on the cover of the Dover edition. Someday maybe I can put on a tux and look this dignified behind my cello!


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