Old World or New, Sacred or Profane

Monday, September 08, 2008

Cello Chords

Jim asked me to re-post my cello chord diagram from a year or two back (The server it had been sitting on is no longer). Here it is. Pretty simplistic, but a start for strumming accompaniments or boom-chuck patterns, and you can use the same chord shape, moved up or down the fingerboard, for other chord names.


emddudley said...

Hey there, awesome blog!

I've played the cello since the third grade (some fifteen years so far) but it's all been classical training. I want to get into folk music, like fiddle tunes and such, or other alternative music (even something like Apocalyptica!). I would love to be able to play like Rushad Eggleston, formerly of Crooked Still.

I haven't had formal lessons in a few years, and it's really hard to find a place to start with my particular goal... hopefully I'll find some cool stuff perusing your archives!

Sorry to read about your troubles in June. I hope things have improved somewhat.

Acacello said...

I just took a few workshops with Rushad at The New Directions Cello Festival this summer, and chords are definitely important to learn-- even just learning not to be afraid to play parallel fifths! You can do so much just barring your first finger across the C and G strings and moving around for different chord progressions. He also just a lot of arpeggiating of the bass note and the other notes of the chord.

The other thing he showed us that is very useful us something that a guitar player calls a 'box.' Basically you can start on the C string and play a C major scale, but end on a D in first position on the A string. Then play the scale again, taking out all the open strings. It should go (in first position)C- 134 G- 134 D- 124 A- 124. That's sort of like the dorian mode, I think but with some notes taken out-- basically a scale to solo on where every note sound good. Plus you can use that box in any position on the cello, just like your chord patterns!

I hope that helps!

Also, if anyone is interested, maybe I'll post some chords too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much!I am a guitarist and I am using a very odd tuning and have no clue about cello chords so thanks. The tuning I'm using is called "new standard tuning" it's for guitar.Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Note that these fingerings are in half position for those of us who are classically trained cellists. Where finger 2 (it looks like fret 2 in the diagram) is, should be where you would normally put finger 1 in first position.

Anonymous said...

I am 14 and have been playing the cello on and of for about 7 years.. i've wasted my chance(s) and disappointed me mam but this is my last chance and i've promised myself to practised for hours and hours teaching myself all the basics then the others like E, E sharp etc so please if you can can you upload and easy step guide or somethig. I'll really appreciate it and I'm sure others will too. I know this is a big ask but please help :)

Bryan Wilson said...

Hey everyone, I recently wrote a book called, Cello Chords, which goes over 11 different types of chords in all 12 keys on the cello. You can check it out and purchase it here: www.bryanwilsoncello.com/cello-chords. I think you guys will find it really useful!

Stefan Bernhard Kinner said...

Nice Blog! I'm very interested in Music. The Cello is a great instrument.
Keep goin. Greatings Stefan

Joe said...

Acacello, any chance you can elaborate on the box concept? Do you mean that if I want to solo over an F major, say, I could up on the C string and then play those finger patterns?

I wish someone would do a good book on cello accompaniment and alternative styles, like rock or folk.

I have the cello chords book, but so far I can't make much sense of it. It's not very well laid out or described. I've had it for about two years and still find it a bit of a jumble.

I also have Rushad's DVD and Natalie Haas's DVD. Anything I can get my hands on that's alternative while taking classical lessons.