Former violinist turned cellist here. Is there an equivalent scale system or collection of exercises for cello? I see editions of Carl Flesch and Galamian scale systems transposed for cello but I get the feeling they won't be addressing the the cello challenges especially well.

For example double stop scales in thirds on the cello would be dramatically different from violin.

Has anyone used these scale systems for cello? Is it common to use either Galamain or Flesch? If they are not the standard, who is?

I would like to purchase a scale book that covers double stop octaves thirds and sixths as well as dominant, diminished and augmented arpeggios like those books do but I don't see any on amazon. I can't tell which are the tried and true systems for cello.

  • Why would you think double-stop thirds differ? The fingers you use will follow the same as the scale patterns, as the strings are tuned in fifths just like the violin. Sep 26, 2017 at 11:32
  • Thirds on the violin are played in groups with 1+3, 2+4 fingering for successive thirds. I might be wrong but I don't think I can do that on the Cello. Also from what I can tell the you have to shift much more frequently on cello. Sep 26, 2017 at 12:46
  • @CarlWitthoft Yes, the distance between notes is far greater on cello, and renders thirds fairly difficult. Major thirds aren't too much stretch (1+4 in the lower positions), but minor thirds require an awkward stretch that is not possible for all players (1+4 in lower positions, but this time with an extra half-step of stretch). Most harmonized scale exercises for cello use sixths. It's been awhile since I used technique books, but I remember some from Carl Popper that were good practice. Sep 26, 2017 at 13:09
  • Guys - IAAC (a cellist). My point was that, once you have the scale fingerings down, the thirds mostly use the same fingerings, paired. So you don't use the same fingerings as on a violin, but you do port directly from scales. Sep 26, 2017 at 13:13
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    Funny, I never had to do this in music school (cello performance, Indiana U). It never came up in pieces, either. Now, where this was needed, was in thumb position, but there's no fingering involved in that case. There, you just keep sliding up and down with the same fingers, adjusting open-close depending on whether it's a major or minor interval. // But if you want a fingering system for scales, aside from the double stop issue, that would seem to me to be a worthwhile thing to think about. Oct 27, 2017 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


The Feuillard book is perhaps the most common & comprehensive study book. It's got scales, arpeggios, and a variety of other exercises.


I haven't tried this well-rated one for double stops: RickMooney . Cello Professor likes it.

  • I looked at this book before, it seems fine for the scales and arpeggios. However the double stop section on page 38 seems incomplete. I guess I might have to play them for a while but it doesn't seem to cover all keys. I don't know if as I practice them it would become obvious how to play them in all keys. Sep 26, 2017 at 13:17
  • I have the Mooney Book book. It is cool be cause the double stops are in context. I'm working through it. However I'm preparing for an exam that specifically requires me to play scales in double stops. I also want the other benefits of practicing double stop scales. Sep 26, 2017 at 13:20

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