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Picture Yourself Playing Cello: Step-by-Step Instruction for Playing the Cello Paperback – 29 Mar 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Delmar Cengage Learning; 1 Pap/Com edition (29 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435458680
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435458680
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 21.6 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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1. Your Cello. 2. Getting Ready. 3. How to Use the Bow. 4. Left-Hand Techniques. 5. Reading Music. 6. Music You Can Play. 7. Cello Facts.

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By Amazon Customer on 7 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Be aware that the DVD menu has some chapters missing - it took me a while to work out this was because the DVD only accompanies selected chapters, not because there is something wrong with the DVD!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, with its dvd is a simple and clear introduction to cello. However, you do need a teacher to get started!
But the book and the dvd helps getting prepared for the first cello lessons.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Great intro cello book! 17 May 2011
By G. M. Varney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm an adult beginner in cello (I've been playing for 4 months) and have never played another instrument before. I definitely recommend this book to others in a similar situation.

Over the last 3 months I've accummulatd over 15 books on learning how to play the cello, etude books, etc, and googled and youtubed information online (a must see: David Finckel's Cello Talks). I try to do as much research as possible when I start a new hobby. I also purchased Cello Playing for Music Lovers, The Art of Cello Playing, Rosindust: Teaching, Learning and Life from a Cellist's Perspective, and A Modern Cellist's Manual, among other well-known books and I've found that this is the best introduction to learning about the cello. This book provides the best OVERVIEW on learning how to play the cello that is EASY & DIGESTABLE! This book provides information on technique and doesn't over saturate you with information like some of the other books do, and provides a taste of what you are getting yourself into. However, once you know you want to go further with the cello, I would recommend the other books I've listed above.

I had purchased this book near the end of my cello book buying spree (I don't think it was available at the time), but I definitely would recommend buying this book first. After this book, I would recommend buying Cello Playing for Music Lovers & Potter's The Art of Cello Playing at the same time, as Music Lover's references sections in Potter's book (Music Lover's also references Shroeder's 170 Foundational Studies, but Potter's book provides additional information besides etudes for practice which is nice - so buy Shroeders later).

With all of my buying-info spree, I went into information overload, but I tend to go back to this book for its easy checklists and pictures. Also, it provides some brief information on great cellists and composers that I will be researching later since I am not familiar cello history, composers or cellist. An overall great buy!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Love the book and 'private' beginning instruction 18 Oct. 2013
By Myrna Jacobs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am 70 years old and have just taken up cello, never having played another instrument or cello. I know practically nothing except for how I'd like to sound in a few years. This turned out to be a perfect beginners book and mean a real beginner, not someone who already knows a lot. I feel like it could have a few more exercises to sharpen your skills at certain things but I just do the same ones over and over again. Another thing that could have helped would be to have a tune after you've learned a new thing so you get to actually play something. There are some in the back but you must pick an choose.. and though I've had the cello for about one month, been studying the book, I still don't know when any of these tunes are appropriate or desirable for my level.

One real glitch and the reason it doesn't get 5 stars is that the DVD is faulty. It doesn't work in certain sections. I've had to go to youtube for instruction in certain areas. I do love the youtube tutorials.. and various blogs on cello. How would I ever be able to get lessons from Eastman school of music.. head of that department!

Rather strangely, As I read the book, I thought the author was a female but in the DVD, if it's the same author, is definitely male.

I thought the suggestion that one get an instructor is good but I feel that with youtube, a mirror, and diligence, one can learn the beginnings without an instructor. I live over an hour (probably more like 2) from any decent teacher of cello so I have to have this book, youtube, the blogs and any other self teaching books I can find.

Fortunately, I have a husband who is a very very good and educated musician (a pro). He doesn't play cello but he does know music theory so I have all the help I need in that area. Without him, I'd be a bit mystified. So a teacher would be good for that. Once again, youtube is a great resource along with this book.

Good luck.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Great for an introduction to the instrument, not so much for instruction. 22 Aug. 2013
By DivaMom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I’m a 40+ adult who has recently started learning the Cello. I used Amazon reviews to purchase several books and thought I would share what seems to be working for me. I meet with an instructor for 30 minutes a week, which is much too short for anything but corrections to my form. I’m renting an Eastman SV100 and am much more reliant on the books and Youtube (for sound rather than form) as I practice at home.

Books purchased:

Picture Yourself Playing Cello by Jim Aikin- This is very good introduction for those of us who know nothing about the cello but are determined to learn it for whatever crazy reason driving you. I found it to be good for learning how to position your hands on the bow and general playing set up. I appreciated the DVD demonstrations and this book was very helpful for about two weeks. There is very little music included in the book but it’s great if you don’t have access to an instructor yet.

Cello Playing for Music Lovers by Vera Mattlin Jiji- The layout of this book is not very intuitive to me but I really appreciate the position maps along with the scales as well as the CD with sound clips for 95% of the music . It’s another introduction book but it has more depth and pacing for multiple years of instruction. Based on references from this book, I also purchased The Art of
Cello Playing by Louis Potter, Jr.

The Art of Cello Playing by Louis Potter, Jr.- This is my primary instruction book at the moment and my go to source for relearning how to read music (flute player in a previous life, many, many moons ago and never learned to properly read music) as well as being a great source for practice. I do wish I had a CD/DVD with this since I tend to learn better when I can hear the music (remember that lack of learning to read music?!) The combination of this book with Cello Playing for Music Lovers has been very helpful and my instructor likes this book a lot.

Suzuki Cello School Volume 1- Only purchased this because my instructor uses this method in our classes. In my opinion, it’s terrible for anyone who is trying to learn on their own unless you are much better at watching youtube for potential set up instruction than I am. Having said that, I am using this book for my practice in combination with The Art of Cello Playing, Cello Playing for Music Lovers and working with my instructor. I have found some great video clips on Youtube for each exercise in this book which I really appreciate since again, I need to hear how each piece is supposed to sound as I’m practicing.

If I were only working on my own, I would probably get the String Builder by Samuel Applebaum ( and recommended by Jim Aikin in Picture Yourself Playing Cello).

I hope this helps other adults exploring the cello. I love it and have yet to master anything other than the scale in first position in sharps. Ok master is being generous. It takes time and practice. Lots of time and practice. Enjoy.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
AMAZING 19 Jan. 2012
By Andrew Kaltt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book tells you everything that you will ever need to know about how to play the cello...Its a must have for beginners.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A little too much info... 12 April 2012
By C. Ellis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have brought many a cello book in my day and I thought I just had to have another one so I ordered this one. It has great information in it but it likes to jump to the "when you're an intermediate or advanced" cellist...that's too much...I believe in keeping it simple...maybe at the end of the book add something intermediate or advanced advice or info but not when you're just getting the basic info right in your head...just tell me what I need to know right now...I'm not looking for anything beyond that at this time. I'll stop getting more cello books with this one and stick to the ones I have.
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