Fingering Cards

30 Apr

fingering.png I enjoy playing hymns on the cello. They’re usually pretty simple melodies with pretty simple rhythm, but they mean a lot to me and it’s relaxing to play with feeling these songs that I know. Sometimes, I just open a hymnal and leaf through it and play whatever I remember. I’m still not very quick playing from the treble clef – where the hymn melodies are – but if I remember the tune I don’t need to read the music.

I made these fingering cards to help with playing by ear. So many hymns and folk songs are in the keys of C or G or D that I get used to the fingering in those keys and I have trouble picking out a tune that’s in some other key. The fingering cards make it a lot easier. On the 1/8 cello with it’s easier fingering, and with the help of the fingering card, I can learn a tune in 5 flats in nothing flat.

Most string fingering charts show all the notes on the fingerboard, so they are confusing to me, just like the piano keyboard. It was always hard for me to remember which black keys to useĀ  for a particular song! There is no confusion with these cards. Just pick the cardĀ  for the key the song is in and you know which notes to try and where they are. An occasional accidental isn’t a big problem. The cards help me learn to associate note names with fingerboard locations, which is not really necessary in playing, but it helps a lot when I play with someone else and we have to talk about the notes.

The fingering diagrams are upside down relative to standard fingering charts I’ve seen, because that’s the way the fingerboard looks to the cellist. The gray bars correspond to the reference locations I still have marked with bits of tape at the side of my fingerboard.

If you think you might find these useful, you can download the XLS and PDF files.

 
 

Leave a Reply

 

Before you post, please prove you are sentient.

Type the word CELLO in lower case letters >

 
  1. Arda

    December 17, 2011 at 8:08 am

    I started playing the cello 3 months ago and although my path is different then yours (I’m “only” 27, rent a cello because I didn’t want the risk of buying a bad, cheap cello and take classes because I don’t want to learn “bad” habbits) I find your blog very inspiring! keep up playing and posting!

    I so far haven’t used any kind of “tools” to learn the note names or finger placement I just downloaded your finger diagram just to see if maybe it can help me too!

     
  2. Christine

    September 2, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Thank you for this tool! I have been playing for a month and the layout of these make so much more sense to me that the other charts I have. I’m another adult learner and am very glad to have found your site. Thank you for sharing your journey.

     
  3. Guylaine

    September 11, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Thank you so much for your charts. This is exactly what I was looking for. This is how I discovered your site.
    I am 46 and starting playing the cello. This will help.