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Cello Lesson: Long Tones with Mike Block


When you’re first learning to play the cello, it’s important to focus on two tremendously critical facets of your playing and technique—bow control and producing a pleasing tone on your instrument. These two essential components of your playing go hand-in-hand, and there is a selection of exercises that you can perform to strengthen and develop these two elements of your playing. One such exercise is the practice of producing long tones.


In this online cello lesson, Grammy Award-winning cellist and ArtistWorks instructor, Mike Block, outlines a few exercises to help you develop your long tones and, in turn, improve your bow control and tone on your instrument. He also explains why working on long tones, specifically, is so important and how focusing on this technique will impact your playing overall.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play the cello from a master musician like Mike Block? Try some free online cello lessons now!


“When practicing long tones, the most important thing that we want to listen for is that we’re creating a smooth sound,” Mike explains. “The goal of the exercise is to get a smooth, continuous sound that doesn’t have a lot of swells or crescendos. We want it to be as smooth and even as possible.”


What are Long Tones?

Simply put, long tones are long, sustaining notes that produce an even and consistent sound. The initial goal when practicing long tones should be to improve your intonation, bow control, and endurance. However, the ultimate value of practicing long tones is it gives you a chance to focus more deeply on the most intimate, personal component of your musical expression: Your sound.


“You can start every single practice session from now until forever with long tones,” explains Mike. “It’s a great way to relax, breathe fully, and get a close relationship with the cello and work on your sound.”


To learn more about long-tone exercises and the importance of implementing them into your practice routine, dive into this online cello lesson from Mike Block:


Long Tones with Mike Block:




Have you always wanted to learn how to play the cello? Through our comprehensive cello lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned players, like Mike Block, and get personal feedback on your playing.


Mike’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner cello to advanced performance techniques, classic popular songs in various genres and styles, improvisation, music theory, and beyond. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as cellists and musicians.


Sample some free music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



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