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Instruments > Cello > Cello with Mike Block

Cello
with Mike Block

Mike Block has built a truly comprehensive video library with hundreds of multi-style cello lessons online. Students have access to cello lessons, play-along backing tracks and a free book of cello etudes. Learn how to play the cello in many styles from a virtuoso.

 Classical to contemporary styles  Rhythmic exercises

 Shifting & bowing tips  Sheet music & backing tracks

Mike Block

What You'll Learn


What ultimately sets these cello lessons apart from other offerings is the ability to submit a video for review using the ArtistWorks Video Exchange Learning® platform. Mike reviews each submission and records a video response, offering specific guidance to take your cello playing to the next level. All students can access the Video Exchange library and watch each other’s interactions with Mike. This library is constantly expanding and may contain the key to unlock your playing.

Top Quality Cello Lessons

  • 100s of cello lessons at your own pace
  • All levels and styles of playing welcome
  • Slow Motion & Looping on videos

About Mike Block


Mike Block is a pioneering multi-style cellist and composer, who first joined Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble while pursuing his Master's at Juilliard. Known for the unorthodox style of playing cello while standing up, Mike was the first standing cellist to perform at Carnegie Hall. He has served as music director for musicians as diverse as Yo-Yo Ma, Bobby McFerrin and Damian Woetzel (Principal at NYC Ballet) among others. He is a solo performer and has recorded with a wide range of musicians including Stevie Wonder, Alison Krauss, Edgar Meyer, Tim O’Brien, Lenny Kravitz and many others. Since 2015, Mike has been teaching online music lessons at ArtistWorks.


Cello Lessons


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Beginner

Getting Started - Submit an Introduction Video
“Little Liza Jane” (Beginner Bluegrass Tune)
“Cluck Old Hen” (Beginner Bluegrass Tune)
“Money in the Pocket” (Beginner Jazz Tune)
What is this Instrument I'm Holding?
C Major - Improvisation (Beginner)
“Blackberry Blossom” (Beginner Bluegrass Tune)
Sitting Posture
“Cripple Creek” (Beginner Bluegrass Tune)
C Minor - Improvisation (Beginner)
Tuning the Cello
The Ants Song
C Major Pentatonic - Improvisation (Beginner)
Rosining & Tightening the Bow
C Minor Pentatonic - Improvisation (Beginner)
Right Hand Bow Hold
Alternating Scale - Improvisation (Beginner)
“C Jam Blues” (Beginner Jazz Tune)
Long Tones
Call & Response
Miscellaneous Topics
Left hand Position
Left Wrist & Arm Position
“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”
“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” Variations
Bow Circles
D Major - Scale
D Major - Scale Rhythms
D Major - Arpeggio
D Major - Improvisation
“Theme from Ode to Joy” by Beethoven
“Boil Them Cabbage Down”
“Boil Them Cabbage Down” Variations
Guide Tone Improvisation
“Dies Irae”
D Major - Rhythmic Improvisation
Write a Tune in D Major
Beginning Vibrato
Beginning Vibrato Development
“French Folk Song”
“Summertime”
D Minor - Scale
D Minor - Arpeggio
D Minor - Improvisation
Stretching Before & After Playing
Write a Tune in D Minor
D Minor Pentatonic - Scale
D Minor Pentatonic - Improvisation
“Yanguan”
Write a Tune in D Minor Pentatonic
“You Are My Sunshine”
C Major - Scale & Arpeggio
“Minuet in C Major” by Bach
Installing the Block Strap
Adjusting the Block Strap
Write a Tune in C Major
Standing Posture
G Major - Scale & Arpeggio
G Major - Improvisation
“Blackbird”
G Minor Pentatonic - Scale & Arpeggio
G Minor Pentatonic - Improvisation
Write a Tune in G
“La Cucaracha”
A Major - Scale & Arpeggio
A Major - Improvisation
“Atholl Highlander's Jig”
Write a Tune in A Major
“Lullaby” by Brahms
F Major - Scale & Arpeggio
F Major - Improvisation
Write a Tune in F Major
Eb Major - Scale & Arpeggio
Eb Major - Improvisation
“Deep River”
Write a Tune in Eb Major
C Minor - Scale & Arpeggio
Write a Tune in C Minor
C Minor Pentatonic - Scale
C Major Pentatonic - Scale
Recommended Gear
Block Strap V2 - Installing the Block Strap V2
Block Strap V2 - Adjusting the Block Strap V2

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Intermediate

Getting Started - Submit an Introduction Video
Free Improvisation Warm Up
Long Tones
Left Hand Position (Intermediate)
Right Hand Bow Hold (Intermediate)
1 String Scale Exercises
2 Octave Major Scales
7th Arpeggio Routines
Pinkie Strength
Hand Position: Double Stop Scales
Miscellaneous Topics
Continuous Improvisation with Scales
Hand Position: 6ths
String Changing Exercise: At the Frog
Breathing
String Changing Exercise: Middle of the Bow
2 Octave Natural Minor Scale & 7th Arpeggio Routines
Minimal Bow Hold
String Changing Exercise: From the Tip
Variables of Sound: Bow Speed, Arm Weight & Bow Placement
Hand Position: 3rds
Hand Position: Broken 3rds
2 Octave Melodic Minor Scale & 7th Arpeggio Routines
String Changing Exercise: Full Bow
Visualizing the 3 Dimensional String
Hand Position: Dexterity Exercise
2 Octave Harmonic Minor Scale & 7th Arpeggio Routines
Shifting Principles
Shifting Exercises
Block Position Major Scale: Fingering for Improvisation
Continuous Rhythmic Improvisation (CRI)
Beginning Thumb Position: Introduction
Beginning Thumb Position: Relearning Beginner Tunes-Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
2 Octave Mixolydian Scale & 7th Arpeggio Routines
Stretching Before & After Playing
Identifying Causes of Muscle Pain & Tension
Loosening Up & Breaking Bad Habits
Non-Classical Pizzicato: Walking Bass Line
Non-Classical Pizzicato: Slapping
Non-Classical Pizzicato: Finger Picking
Non-Classical Pizzicato: Tremolo
Non-Classical Pizzicato: Flamenco Gestures
Non-Classical Pizzicato: Compose a Piece
Mike Block with Rushad Eggleston: Standing While Playing - Discussion
Installing the Block Strap
Adjusting the Block Strap
Standing Posture

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Advanced

Getting Started - Submit an Introduction Video
Single String Scales
3 Octave Scale & Arpeggio Routine
Advanced Vibrato
Hand Position: 6ths
Hand Position: 4ths
Hand Postion: Octaves
Advanced Thumb Position: Grutzmacher Etude No.1 - Performance & Analysis
4 Octave Scale & Arpeggio Routine
Miscellaneous Topics

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Bluegrass

Getting Started - Submit an Introduction Video
Introduction to Bluegrass
“Little Liza Jane” (Beginner Bluegrass Tune)
“Cluck Old Hen” (Beginner Bluegrass Tune)
“Blackberry Blossom” (Beginner Bluegrass Tune)
“Cripple Creek” (Beginner Bluegrass Tune)
Bowing: The Chugga-Chugga
Bowing: The Shuffle & the Push
“Arkansas Traveller”
Bluegrass Improvisation: Melodic Guide Tones
Bowing: The Waltz
Miscellaneous Topics
“Tennessee Waltz”
Imitating Vocal Phrasing
Bluegrass Slides
Bluegrass Ornaments
“Forked Deer”
Bluegrass Improvisation: Just Keep Swimming (CRI)
Bluegrass Improvisation: Harmonic Guide Tones
“Billy in the Lowground”
Bluegrass Improvisation: Question & Answer Phrasing
“Whiskey Before Breakfast”
Bluegrass Improvisation: Playing Fewer Notes
Bluegrass Improvisation: Looping a Phrase & Creating Variations
Transposing: How to Change Keys
“Stoney Lonesome”
Bluegrass Comping: Shadowing Melodic Rhythm
Bluegrass Comping: Fills
Bluegrass Comping: Passing Harmonies
“Road to Columbus”
Bluegrass: Share Something You're Working On

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Jazz

Introduction to Jazz
Introduction to Reading Jazz Charts
“Money in the Pocket” (Beginner Jazz Tune)
C Major - Improvisation (Beginner)
C Minor - Improvisation (Beginner)
C Major Pentatonic - Improvisation (Beginner)
C Minor Pentatonic - Improvisation (Beginner)
Alternating Scale - Improvisation (Beginner)
“C Jam Blues” (Beginner Jazz Tune)
Chord Scale: Major 7 - Ionian
Miscellaneous Topics
Chord Scale: Dominant 7 - Mixolydian
Swing: 8th Note Feel
Chord Relationship: V7-I (Circle of 5ths)
Chord Scale: Minor 7 - Dorian
Chord Progression: II-V-I
Chord Scale: Major 7#11 - Lydian
Chord Scale: Minor 7b13 - Aeolian
Chord Scale: Minor 7b9b13 - Phrygian
Chord Scale: Minor 7b5b9b13 - Locrian
L.I.M.D.A.P.L. Mode Routine
Chord Scale: Dominant 7b9 - Harmonic Minor
Chord Relationship: V7b9 - I (Minor Circle of 5ths)
Chord Scale: Minor 7b5 - Half Diminished
Chord Progression: II7b5-V7b9-I (Minor II-V-I)
Software for Backing Tracks
“Autumn Leaves”
Jazz Improvisation: Around the Melody
Learning From Your Voice
Arpeggiating Chords
Chord Inversions
Running Chord Scales
Memorizing Chords
Jazz Improvisation: Using Guide Tones
Walking Bass Line Fundamentals
“Minor Swing"
Triplet Feel
Soloing: Using Repeated Rhythms
Gypsy Jazz Bass Line: 1-5
Walking Bass: Using Approach Notes
“Cantaloupe Island”
Focus on the Notes that Change
“Mr. PC”
“Blue Bossa”
16th Note Feel
Running Key Scales
“Blue Monk”
Soloing: Using Chromatic Neighbor Notes
“Tenor Madness”
“Now's the Time”
“All the Things You Are”
Transcribe a Solo
“Straight No Chaser”
“Billie's Bounce”
“Lester Leaps In”
“Anthropology”
Submit a Video: Jazz Tune

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Classical

Introduction to Classical
Classical Period: 1750-1820 - Aesthetic & Performance Practice
“Minuet” by Boccherini
Romantic Period: 1820-1909 - Aesthetic & Performance Practice
“Polovtsian Dances” by Borodin
Classical: Share Something You're Working On
Baroque Period: 1600-1750 - Aesthetic & Performance Practice
“Courante” from Suite No.1 by JS Bach
Separating Melodic Voices from Bass Voices
Thinking Harmonically
Miscellaneous Topics
Different Characters
Reading Tenor Clef
“The Swan” by Saint-Saëns
Practice Tips: Non-Vibrato
Practice Tips: Phrasing Between Notes
Practice Tips: Double Stops
Practice Tips: Recordings - Listening & Playing Along
Practice Tips: Contrary Motion While Bowing
Performance Tips: Conduct Yourself
“And” Is the Most Important Word in Music
Submit a Video: Intermediate Classical Piece
20th Century: Aesthetic & Performance Practice
“Sonata for Cello - 1st Mvt” by Ligeti
Practice Tips: Super Slow Motion
Submit a Video: Advanced Classical Piece

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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing

Getting Started - Submit an Introduction Video
Welcome to the Grid: Strum Bowing
Chopping: Basic Patterns
Chopping: Intermediate Patterns
Chopping: Full Chords
Chopping: Personal Groove
Chopping: Groove Creation
Finding Chords: 7th Chord Arpeggios
Finding Chords: Major
Finding Chords: Major Inversions
Miscellaneous Topics
Finding Chords: Minor
Finding Chords: Dominant 7th
Finding Chords: Half Diminished
Finding Chords: Diminished
Finding Chords: Augmented
Singing While Playing: Introduction
Singing While Playing: “You Are My Sunshine”
Singing While Playing: Singing Exercises
Singing While Playing: Harmonizing Scales
Singing While Playing: Thinking in Triads
Singing While Playing: Submit a Video
Mike Block with Rushad Eggleston: Singing While Playing - Discussion
Mike Block with Rushad Eggleston: Standing While Playing - Discussion
Mike Block with Rushad Eggleston & Jeremy Kittel: Ensemble Playing - Discussion
Mike Block with Rushad Eggleston & Jeremy Kittel: Improvisation - Discussion

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30 Day Challenge

30 Day Challenge - 2017 (Archive)
30 Day Challenge - 2018

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Contemporary Cello Etudes

Introduction to Amplification
Contemporary Cello Etudes - About the Book
What is an Etude?
What is Eurythmics?
Etude 1: “Nice Tuxedo” by Mike Block
Etude 2: “Cradle Song” by Stephan Braun
Etude 3: “Slap” by Eugene Friesen
Etude 4: “Kill the Bugs!” by Mike Block
Etude 5: “Don't Ever Rush!” by Mike Block
Etude 6: “Krakow” by Stephan Braun
Etude 7: “The Investigator” by Natalie Haas
Etude 8: “The Reformer” by Natalie Haas
Etude 9: “Bilateral Coordination” by Erik Friedlander
Etude 10: “In the Witching Hour”
Etude 11: “Bibi's Blues” by Mark Summer
Etude 12: “I Need to Go Outside” by Mike Block
Etude 13: “The Chicken” by Mike Block
Etude 14: “I Won't Ever Love You” by Mike Block
Etude 15: “My Toy City” by Stephan Braun
Etude 16: “Polyphony Utopia” by Giovanni Sollima
Etude 17: “Prelude to a Dream” by Mike Block
Etude 18: “Gaucher” by Rufus Cappadocia”
Etude 19: “I'll Never Clean My Clothes Again!” by Mike Block
Etude 20: “Bebop Bowing” by Matt Turner
Etude 21: “Going Home” by Mike Block
Etude 22: “I'll Escape the Spinning Planet!” by Mike Block
Etude 23: “The Blue Danube in Budapest” by Mike Block
Etude 24: “A Cat's Front Door” by Rushad Eggleston
Etude 25: “The Rake” by Jacob Szekely
Etude 26: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8!” by Ashley Bathgate
Etude 27: “Caribounteney County” by Rushad Eggleston
Introduction to Looping
Etude 28: “Mirrors” by Jeffrey Zeigler

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Cello Reference Topics

The 20 Times Challenge
Purchasing a New Cello
Creating a Practice Routine
Traveling with a Cello
Introduction to Amplification
Purchasing a New Bow
How to Memorize

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  • Unlimited Access to Lessons
  • Unlimited Access to Video Exchange Library
  • 1 Video Submission to Teacher
  • Music Theory Workshop
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