Anonymous said: Monday, April 28th, 2014. Mr. Finckel, Let me ask you to be pleased to remember my previous inquiry of Tues. Nov. 13th, 2012, apparently a very busy time for you, so I have not yet seen a Reply, or, I missed it somehow (being more likely). My question then was: Do you have these lessons available on a DVD set? There are times when I, or we all, may not be at an internet connection, but would like to review and (re-)learn what is taught here. Thanks for your reply. RJGardner

Thank you for your inquiry! Things are chaotic, so my sincere apologies for my delay in response. We do not yet have these lessons available for DVD, but rest assured we are working on it! Thank you for your support, and happy learning!

– David


Posted at 4:43pm


Anonymous said: Dear Mr Finkel, These talks are wonderful - systematic, practical and musically inspiring. I guess everyone here would like to have you as their own teacher. Given that's impossible, I was wondering if you think it's a good idea to study with more than one cello teacher at once, if for example you can't get to a great teacher regularly. Or does that route lead to mixed messages and confusion?

Thank you for your response! It is always a good idea to get feedback from other teachers. I would focus on studying with one main teacher at a time, and seek feedback through masterclasses or one-off private lessons with other teachers. Different perspectives can only help to diversity your “tool belt”, and find new ways of playing and thinking. At the same time, seeing a teacher is like seeing a doctor. You should stick with one that you will see regularly so they can chart your progress and growth. They will know best how they can help you.

–David FInckel


Posted at 3:17pm


Anonymous said: Do you teach a left handed person any differently to gain more artistry in the bow hand and arm?

Thank you for your question. I honestly don’t know if the people I teach are right- or left-handed.  No one has ever mentioned to me, so I don’t teach them any differently!

–David Finckel


Posted at 3:13pm


Anonymous said: Hello Mr. Finckel, would you happen to know any good exercises for left hand relaxation?

Stretching during your warmup. Letting fingers release if they are not playing a note. Walking the hand from one note to another. Finding the most comfortable position to vibrate (look up “Cufflink Vibrato” in  Cello Talks). 

–David Finckel


Posted at 3:12pm


Anonymous said: What kind of bridge do you use? Cello? Bow? Also, have you ever met Joseph K?

I have always had Belgian style bridges on my cellos, the ones with the long legs, as they make a brighter sound. I play mostly on a cello by Sam Zygmuntowicz made in 1993 and a bow by Ole Kanestrom from 2004.

–David FInckel 


Posted at 3:12pm


Anonymous said: Hello Mr. Finckel. I am a double bassist, in fact, but that doesn't make me any less addicted to your cello talks. I turned a big corner after seeing your rosin talk, and all your talks about bow articulation (mechanically premised on what you consider a well-rosined bow, I imagine.) But I've just recently moved to a hot humid sub tropical climate. Do you find yourself adjusting how you rosin, or how much you rosin, in heat and humidity? What changes in these conditions, for you?

Thanks for your kind words. I never thought bass players could be further enlightened on rosin, as all the ones I know use plenty of it.  The rosin I use is a blend of bass and other rosins, and in the hot and sticky weather, I would use a blend that has less sticky (bass) rosin in it, much more towards conventional rosin. 

–David Finckel


Posted at 3:11pm


Anonymous said: Hello Mr. Finckel, your lessons are terrific. I also enjoy the lovely chamber music performances by you and your wife. Recently, I heard a YouTube performance of Brahms Op 117 Intermezzo for piano, cello and clarinet. It was a lovely transcription and performance. i have unsuccessfully searched the web for sheet music for this instrumentation. Do you know, is it commercially available, and if so who publishes it or where I can purchase it. Thank you JoAnn

Dear JoAnn,

Thank you for getting in touch, and we are thrilled that you enjoy our performances! On the Brahms op. 117, we perform from the Stephen Hough arrangement, which can be found at the link below:

I hope this helps - happy listening!



Posted at 8:01pm


Cello Talk 100: Bridges and Strings

For the final Cello Talk I went to Jordan Hall in Boston’s New England Conservatory to let you hear the difference between French and Belgian bridges, and between three different A strings. Cameras on the stage and balcony captured sound close up, and distant - which is so much of what really counts.

2 notes

Posted at 2:42pm
Tagged your equipment


Cello Talk 99: A School of Cello Playing

It seems to me that what I’ve posted in this series makes up a School of Cello Playing. Here, I argue my case.

Posted at 2:41pm
Tagged Philosophy Ideas Questions


Cello Talk 98: Artistic Use of Vibrato

Vibrato: What is it? What does it mean? What is it for? In this Talk I put forth my own theories. And once you’ve mastered all the different vibrato types and variations I’ve illustrated in these Talks, how do you apply them? Here, I give some examples with playing demonstrations.

Posted at 2:38pm
Tagged Philosophy Ideas Questions