Technique: Cello warm-ups - the bow arm


Cellist Mats Lidström discusses how to prepare the whole body for efficient, time-saving repertoire practice

Students often tell me that they warm up by playing scales, but they forget that the whole repertoire is made up of scales, from the Bach Suites to Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, the Chopin Sonata and the Haydn concertos! We need to warm up in order to play scales, so that we can really benefit from our practice and use our hands effectively to communicate our feelings through sound, with minimum effort. We can save a lot of time by warming up all aspects of our playing before we begin work on our pieces. In this article I focus on warm-ups for the right hand, but as outlined in my book (see box, page 81), I recommend alternating these with left-hand warm-ups, which I will discuss in next month’s Technique article…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.