“Contemporary Cello Etudes: Studies in Style and Technique”, book + unpublished bonus etudes




Contemporary Cello Etudes: Studies in Style and Technique

by Mike Block, published by Berklee Press

This etude book features a groundbreaking collection of 28 Non-Classical cello etudes, composed by 13 contributors, from a range of stylistic backgrounds. You will also receive six additional unpublished Bonus Etudes, originally intended for the book, that are ONLY available when purchased here!

Progressively ordered from Beginner to Advanced, all 28 published etudes come with the following:

  1. Background Text on the style/technique
  2. Tips on how to practice it and master your performance
  3. Online reference recordings played by the composers (You can access these with a code that comes with the book)
  4. A list of “Ideas for Further Practice” (We hope that each etude is just a jumping off point for your own creative journey!)

You can watch an informational video from our initial fundraising campaign HERE!


Ashley Bathgate (member of Bang on a Can All-Stars)

Stephan Braun (jazz cellist from Berlin)

Rushad Eggleston (rhythm goblin from the Land of Sneth)

Rufus Cappadocia (African cello specialist)

Erik Friedlander (modern jazz cellist with John Zorn’s Masada Trio)

Eugene Friesen (GRAMMY-winning multi-style cellist)

Natalie Haas (Celtic cellist with Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser)

Giovanni Sollima (cellist/composer from Italy)

Mark Summer (GRAMMY-winning founder of Turtle Island Quartet)

Jacob Szekely (jazz cellist and educator at String Project Los Angeles)

Matt Turner (jazz cellist and educator at Lawrence University)

Jeffrey Zeigler (former member of the Kronos Quartet)

Mike Block (GRAMMY-winning member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble)



Foreword, by Yo-Yo Ma



  1. “Nice Tuxedo” by Mike Block: 3:2 Polyrhythm • Aeolian Mode • Improvisation
  2. “Cradle Song” by Stephan Braun: Fingerstyle Pizzicato
  3. “Kill the Bugs!” by Mike Block: Chopping • Improvisation
  4. “Slap” by Eugene Friesen: Pizzicato • Percussion
  5. “Don’t Ever Rush!” by Mike Block: 2:3 Polyrhythm • Phrygian Mode • Improvisation
  6. “Krakow” by Stephan Braun: Chopping
  7. “The Investigator” by Natalie Haas: Celtic Style • Melody • Ornaments
  8. “The Reformer” by Natalie Haas: Celtic Style • Rhythm • Chords
  9. “I Need to Go Outside” by Mike Block: 3:4 Polyrhythm • Mixolydian Mode • Improvisation
  10. “Bilateral Coordination” by Erik Friedlander: Coordination • Warm-up Routine
  11. “In the Witching Hour” by Rushad Eggleston: Rhythm • Chords • Chopping
  12. “I Won’t Ever Love You” by Mike Block: 4:3 Polyrhythm • Locrian Mode • Improvisation
  13. “Bibi’s Blues” by Mark Summer: Jazz Style and Vocabulary • Bowing
  14. “The Chicken” by Mike Block: Singing While Playing Rhythmically • Chopping (Low Voice and High Voice Versions)
  15. “Polyphony Utopia” by Giovanni Sollima: Four-Part Harmony with Two Bows
  16. “My Toy City” by Stephan Braun: Chopping • Tapping • Coordination • Improvisation
  17. “Prelude to a Dream” by Mike Block: Fingerstyle Pizzicato
  18. “Gaucher” by Rufus Cappadocia: Rhythm • Percussion • Afro-Latin Style
  19. “I’ll Never Clean My Clothes Again!” by Mike Block: 4:5 Polyrhythm • Dorian Mode • Improvisation
  20. “Going Home” by Mike Block: Singing While Playing Harmonization (Low Voice and high Voice Versions)
  21. “Bebop Bowing” by Matt Turner: Jazz Style and Vocabulary • Bowing
  22. “I’ll Escape the Spinning Planet!” by Mike Block: 5:4 Polyrhythm • Lydian Mode • Improvisation
  23. “The Blue Danube in Budapest” by Mike Block: Pizzicato • Improvisation
  24. “A Cat’s Front Door” by Rushad Eggleston: Rhythm • Chords • Chopping
  25. “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8!!” by Ashley Bathgate: Alternating Polyrhythms
  26. “The Rake” by Jacob Szekely: Pizzicato • Funk Style • Rhythm
  27. “Caribounteney County” by Rushad Eggleston: Rhythm • Chords • Chopping
  28. “Mirrors” by Jeffrey Zeigler: Electronic Looping • Improvisation

About the Contributing Composers

About the Author


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