How to Play the Cello : Cello Finger Position Tips

How to Play the Cello : Cello Finger Position Tips

FRANCIS JOSEPH SANTORI: First finger position.
First, we’ll start with the top of the instrument here. The open notes are C, G, D, A. So your
first note in the scale starting here would be D. So you find your D. There’s your D there.
First finger position. It’s one step up from the nut. This is your nut here. So there’s
your first finger position. Your half finger position, you find your D, then half a step
down, the distance between your D and your nut, which will be your C sharp. So you find
that. There’s your D, there’s your C, and your in a half finger position. Second finger position. Again, your nut, your
D and then your E, which would be here. So you would start with your index finger and
your second finger position.


  1. umm cello players are your left hand fingers longer because of stretching than your right hand?? lol just wondering i think mine were from stretching my finger position.. =/ i cud be wrong though

  2. please, no one actually interested in good advice on technique listen to this guy….on the other hand, anyone who is interested in a laugh, be my guest. i am truly shocked that he is posting "educational videos". the one on vibrato made me cringe, he doesnt know what he is doing! and the one about legato bowing…legato does NOT mean long.

  3. that's because playing cello…

    is serious business. Not to be confused with "fun" or "enjoyable" am i right?

  4. You guys need to calm down and stop trying to pwn someone the guy is an expert so im pretty sure he knows what hes doing. Maybe you all ares word to inexpirienced to comprehend his words about hte cello. If you are not intrested in cello tips then dont watch it and hes not TEACHING he is giving tips for begginers even though im not a beginener.ts my 3rd year. i I bet you dont even know the full name of the instrament u play. So if you think u know what ur doing why dont u post some videos?

  5. I'll not be posting any cello tuition videos on Youtube for one plain and simple reason; I am not an expert. But I can still critise any person who publicly posts videos on the internet with misinformation, afterall misinformation is infinitely worse than no information at all.

    And yes I do know the full name of the instrument that I play and I even know what it means in Italian.

  6. Thank you for that Mr HiFiMachine. I shall endeavour to be more vigilant with my spelling. After all, you never know who is going to critize 🙂

  7. Yeah ok MAM, twas only a bit of banter with HiFi because I can't spell for toffee.

    But on the issue of right to criticize (I actually spelt it correctly that time), I think that my comment was justified because this guy is not a teacher and should not be considered to be so.

  8. o i wantot learn to play the cello. well i want ot know is is it ok to just teach yourself? thats what i did when it cam tto learning how to play the trumpet. i know nothing about this instriment so i mean. just teaching myself the basics. i mean i doubt theres a "cello for Dummies" book 🙁

  9. The best teacher is always oneself, I think. If you got the determination you'll be able to conquer any instrument. 🙂 I completely agree with you.

  10. It is always best to learn from an accomplished or schooled cellist so that YOU KNOW you are doing it right and not start off on bad habits that may injure you in the future. The key is to practice practice practice on a good foundation.

  11. I appreciate your effort to teach and all here…but sorry 'what the heck'… I can make anything off what he's trying to 'teach' here… well, I don't think its a proper way for the beginners to learn anyways. rather confusing and wrong! sorry! BYE.

  12. lol i wish he had said the distance between your g string and nut so i could say, yeah the distance between a girl's g string and your nut is usually about 50 feet away, you suck at life

  13. This hand position will cause 2 problems if used. Firstly his lifting of the 2nd and 3rd fingers when not using them is inefficient and will cause problems at speed. Secondly he is not playing on the end of his fingers. The reason for playing on the finger tips is two-fold: the tip of the finger is harder allowing clarity of articulation and purity of intonation and the distance from the tip to the large knuckle is smaller when bent allowing quicker finger movement.

  14. i thought this was great, if you think you could do better then do it, don't just rag out people who are doing a nice thing for others.

  15. I think is great and thank you for post it this lesson in youtube , I am learning little by little… people has to admire other people and not to envy them thats not good for our community.

  16. 0:58 this is out of tune man, you're not supposed to watch your neck, because, with cello, your fingers are your eyes, and in fact, it's so much easier to play in tune while not watching. I'm not against finding your own way to play an instrument (far i'm self taught..) but this just sounds like crap.

  17. ……ummmmm wow…….where's the tone? And the intonation is a little off. This wasn't super informative about first position…but I guess it was ok. :/

  18. It appears that the "instructor" in the video is not a cellist.
    The video is totally for fun and for people after a hard day at work to find some entertainment.
    I have never seen any cellist looking at the fingerboard to find notes and sit on the sofa to play.

  19. Wonderful !
    In my studio, students learn the bow hold very quickly using the CelloPhant[tm] bow accessory. The accessory keeps the hand relaxed and fingers in place while we learn more music.

  20. This is not 100% the technique one picks up in the conservatories and universities today, but it is effective. Remember, the technique police won't go after you! The only thing that matters is the sound and the simplicity (in that order). Some people seem to regard technique as a sort of game with rules. This is not the case. It can't be, as there are so many kinds of bodies and so many kinds of minds.

  21. This is not 100% the technique one picks up in the conservatories and universities today, but it is effective. Remember, the technique police won't go after you! The only thing that matters is the sound and the simplicity (in that order). Some people seem to regard technique as a sort of game with rules. This is not the case. It can't be, as there are so many kinds of bodies and so many kinds of minds.

  22. So many stuck up jerks in these comments lol at least he's trying to help and not just leaving nasty messages everywhere. If you're all such great chellists, go play and leave everyone alone, nasty people!
    If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all.
    Lighter note: Thank you for breaking it down into super simple tips. 🙂 And the guy in this video is cuuuute! <3

  23. My guess is this guy is a guitarist who taught himself to play cello. PLEASE, do not take any advice on cello playing from this guy. Whoever determined he's an expert is sadly mistaken.

  24. Obviously if you guys commenting are so great at the cello you wouldn't be watching his videos in the first place. For real people, chill. Some of us can't afford a teacher.

  25. I swear, all the people who have bad comments about technique, and all that Jazz need to chill the ~~~~ down. I'm glad there are people willing to take time from their daily lives to show us the internet some basics of instruments we would like to learn. Some of us don't have the luxury of having private lessons. So if you *people who like to bad mouth* have a better solution or want to show us a better way of playing an instrument by all fking means make your own Youtube ch.

  26. as a cellist pursuing a performance degree at a university, i was initially very apprehensive about going into music at all, mostly due to the difficulty of finding a steady income or any job for that matter. After watching this, my anxiety has dissipated. If this ass-clown has a job playing cello, i most certainly can. As a matter of fact, my 9 year old student could too. I'll go break the good news to his mother

  27. If you're a beginner, videos by AlamoCityCello or DaddarioBowed are much better. Note, I'm not saying they're the gold standard or replace real instruction at all, but they're much better videos if you must watch a video.

  28. Don't mind those assholes who trolling other peoples videos. Go check their channels – they are noones. No video uploads, no subscribers. They are here to throw shit to other peoples comments and videos. Sadly those kind of people do exist. I don't know why.

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  30. Those of you defending the guy, it's not about people being jerks. The guy isn't demonstrating proper technique – at all. You have to have proper technique to learn the cello so you can develop the muscle memory you need. If you want to learn from a real cellist, search for the David Finckel – a highly respected cellist.

  31. Its interesting here how unorthodoxy is heavily frowned upon based on a number of comments relating to this vid. On guitar it would be very acceptable for somebody to post a vid like this one up.
    I want to learn cello but hope I don't become such a stooge for "proper instruction"

  32. ATTENTION NEW CELLISTS: This guy has no idea what he's doing and you would do better alone than watching these videos. Go watch some masterclasses from starker or tortelier or greenhouse, there's also good videos by Paul Katz from New England Conservatory online under the username 'cellobello'

  33. Is cello concert pitched like euphonium? Because I already play euphonium, guitar, and bass and they're all concert pitched. I'm kinda curious.

  34. I have been playing the cello for 5 years and I can teach this better than you. This video holds no value for any beginners.

  35. I agree that a lot of the classically trained orchestral musicians get sort of snotty about orthodoxy. But this guy is a shit teacher for beginners. For starters, he tells the viewer to "just find your D." Picking out a single correct pitch without visual or audio aid takes considerable practice. Also, the scale that he's playing doesn't make a whole lot of sense for a beginner. I believe it's a some mode of a C scale, but I could be wrong, and a beginner sure as hell wouldn't know/understand.

  36. I can't see with the words captions on the picture, can you put tape on the fingering until you learn it? If so how and where to place it.

  37. This is valuable to me. Starting to play the cello already play the Contrabass and piano. So this is helping!

  38. I'm kinda confused. I don't play cello and the fingerings are so different from violin. So do cellists not use their third finger?

  39. You (you in particular, that is, in contradistinction to "one") might consider it "acceptable", but it wouldn't be very helpful. In any case, the cello is not the guitar. If you put your finger anywhere between two frets on the guitar you'll get the note. The cello, on the other hand, has no frets and thus requires exact placement. You say you want to learn the cello. Well, you ain't a-gonna this way.

  40. But how do you know he "has a job playing cello"? Who is he, anyway? What credentials does he have? Can he even really play the cello?

  41. I'd prefer that everyone did NOT post "a video to teach us how to play the cello". Let's leave that to persons with actual credentials (advanced degrees, experience in major orchestras, faculty positions, etc.).

  42. Cellists do use their third finger. On a violin the normal span in one position on a single string is perfect fourth; on a cello, however, it's a minor third. That means the fingers migrate, so to speak, on a violin; they don't on a cello. So a violinist in first position on his A string playing in the key of C will play 1st finger B, 2nd C, 3rd D, 4th E. A cellist will play 1st B, 2nd C, 4th D. But if, on the other hand, the cellist were in the key of D, he would play 1st B, 3rd C#, 4th D.

  43. That's quite rude. You don't always need a teacher to learn an instrument… they're nice to have, but not everyone can afford it. Some of the best musicians are self taught.

  44. No, really, you should try it. For some people it should work out great. Since we're all built differently, though, any specific technique is not guaranteed to work.

  45. Oh. It's an easy explanation!!! I am learning violin and I never tried cello so I just searched it and you are teaching it easy~!

  46. Hey bud, you're doing a really good job and everything, buy you're also doing a lot of things wrong, but keep up the good work!

  47. This video is done for learner and not professional.
    move on to another teacher and video if you don't like it.
    or too simply make your own video and show us how to play or how good you are.
    Hey bud, thank you for sharing and your generosity.

  48. I fucking loved the tempo. Its so easy to get tired fast when it takes the teacher 2 minutes to explain "this is a d"

  49. That face at the end, like "y'all dumb fucks get it already?" that was hilarious, the video was very informative though.

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