Unlock Your True Potential by Learning The Secrets of Intonation and Left-Hand Cello Technique

By Hans Jørgen Jensen and Minna Chung

Buy any two Ovation Press books and receive 20% off your order!

For a limited time, each purchase of CelloMind comes with a free bonus article bundle download. These articles will support and guide your journey through CelloMind.



How this book will help you...

Have you ever doubted your intonation? Have you experienced the need to place pitches differently from one piece to another, or even from one measure to another? If so, you are not alone. Trying to decipher intonation is often frustrating and undermines the confidence of some of the most accomplished and talented musicians. 

CelloMind is a two-part, pedagogical method book that has been written to help musicians understand HOW intonation works and, more importantly, WHY it works the way it does. Purchase of the book includes exclusive access to an online resource portal with supplemental videos and audio.

Complete with thorough explanations and practical examples, CelloMind is designed to enhance and elevate your cello playing.

Instructions to receive free bonus article bundle:

  • Get your copy of CelloMind
  • After completing your order check your email for the articles!

When you buy the book here you will automatically receive these free Bonuses:

Bonus Guide #1: The intonation principles compressed into a short guide including some important concepts not in CelloMind such as: Using the two intonation systems at the same time - Playing out of tune but nobody noticing - Why checking with the open strings is bad - Simple rule for using melodic and just tuning, and the most important aspect for understanding intonation principles.

Bonus Guide #2: The history of the two different systems of intonation “The Tale of Two Fingerboards” is revealed in this article. This article gives absolute unquestionable proof for when expressive Pythagorean intonation first started to become the norm of string playing. When CelloMind was written we had not found these historic testaments for the two different schools of intonation. Seeing these two methods next to each other is so exciting and suddenly clarifies all the issues about why we use different intonation systems.

Bonus Guide #3: S.M.A.R.T goals, a great system for organizing your practice! The concepts behind this system have been applied here to instrumental music practice. Organizing your goals with this method will make the whole practicing process much more organized and will eventually lead to a much more focused and successful effort.

Bonus Guide #4: A poster that you can view on your phone/computer or print out on a regular size paper of an historic fingerboard with just tuning.

"CelloMind is a wonderful new book on intonation. It is the clearest and most comprehensive discussion of the subject I have seen, and an important contribution to string pedagogy."

- Paul Katz, Cleveland Quartet, Professor of Cello - NEC, CelloBello.com Founder



The mystery of intonation is revealed in Part I by defining the scientific principles behind it, and providing easy, intuitive examples of each concept. Understanding intonation theories will improve your ability to play in tune and guide you to cultivate and sharpen your skills.

World-renowned Professor Hans Jørgen Jensen was once asked by his student: “Why do I have to play that note higher?” after he had asked for a certain pitch to be raised. His answer was simple: “Because it sounds better.” The student responded: “I don’t think so…I like it lower.” 

At its core, intonation is very personal, subjective, and intuitive. However, understanding the science behind intonation and integrating it with our natural instinct can open up a whole new world of possibilities in our playing. The student’s question above spurred Professor Jensen to begin searching for the answer to that seemingly simple question: “Why do I have to play that note higher (or lower)?”

This book is that answer.

Develop a solid left-hand technique

Embark on a journey exploring various left-hand techniques in Part II. The musical exercises have been specifically designed and written to teach you how to play faster, shift with greater accuracy, and develop proper left-hand balance in all positions.

The left-hand technique chapters in Part II of this book complement the study of intonation by providing a solid foundation for general cello playing. The topics and exercises have been selected to cover a wide range of different technical skills including playing with a light left-hand touch, speed, coordination, balanced vibrato, agility, finger independence, and efficient shifting.

These fifteen chapters include original exercises developed for students over many years, as well as studies from Klengel, Cossmann, Feuillard, Duport and others that have been specifically adapted for this book.


Take lessons on-the-go with digital resources

Purchase the hard copy and get access to our online video resource page, complete with supplemental video demonstrations of select lessons with additional content and resources. Conveniently access the portal anywhere using your computer or mobile device.

The portal includes over 200 videos that illustrate all the basic concepts and exercises from CelloMind, as well as diving deeper into advanced topics. It also includes graphics and charts that explore and clarify various scientific principles.

Praise for CelloMind

"CelloMind! I am totally impressed how thorough, how informative, and so well researched with depth. My heartiest congratulations! It is beautifully written, impeccably explained with details, and so well organized! It is a truly great work and will be really helpful to every person who wants to play the cello. And I am convinced that it will be one of 'The Real Musts' for anyone learning or teaching this wonderful instrument!"

Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi

International soloist and renowned teacher. Famous judge for numerous international competitions

“CelloMind is marvellous. Everything about it is classy-the pictures, the type set-but most of all it is very thoughtful and insightful. Great book!"

Richard L. Aaron

The University of Michigan, The Juilliard School, The Aspen Music Festival

"Hans Jensen, the eminent professor of cello has written a superb and comprehensive guide. It contains a particularly useful and thorough analysis of intonation, the most important facet in cello playing."

Myung-Wha Chung

International soloist and renowned teacher, Korea National University of Arts, the School of Music.

“CelloMind allows us to enter the workshop-and mind-of one of the world’s preeminent cello teachers. Through a perfect blend of explanations and practical exercises, it covers all of the essential areas of technique in a way that allows students to apply the ideas to their practicing and playing with both theoretical understanding and positive results. Every teacher and every student should own this book.”

Jeffrey Solow

American cello virtuoso and past president of both the American String Teachers Association and the Violoncello Society, Inc. of New York. Professor of Cello, Boyer College and Dance, Temple University

“CelloMind is really amazing. I have learned so much! And yes, the Tartini-tones, that’s a new idea for me, I love it. There are so many things that I like, but particularly the notion that one can move freely between the different intonation “methods”, not just from Baroque/Classical to Romantic but even within any given phrase depending on context. That makes complete sense, but I had always thought that you were either well-tempered or “expressive” kind of like being either a dog or cat person. Congratulations, it is a great achievement and I hope it brings you both much success, admiration and kudos.”

Collin Carr

Cello Soloist, Chamber Musician. Recording Artist, Professor of Cello at the Royal Academy of Music London and State University of New York at Stony Brook.

"CelloMind is a goldmine! From my perspective, as both a performer and teacher, this book is a priceless resource. The typical dry science of the various tuning systems is presented in a clear, easily-digested format and backed up with exercises and videos. This beautiful book has become a part of my daily technical routines and helped me be a better teacher when refining and introducing various left-hand techniques to students both young and advanced."

Desiree Abbey

Teacher and Principle Cellist of Manitoba Chamber Orchestra



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About the Authors

Hans Jørgen Jensen
Professor of Cello, Northwestern University
Bienen School of Music

Hans Jørgen Jensen, Professor of Cello at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the 2010 Artist Teacher Award from the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), the Presidential Scholars Program Teacher Recognition Award from the US Departmentof Education, and the Danish Music Critics Award in Copenhagen, one of Denmark’s most prestigious awards. Professor Jensen has performed and taught master classes across the United States, as well as in Canada, Australia, Brazil, Europe, Israel, Japan, and South Korea. Many of his students are first prize winners in numerous national and international competitions, as well as members of major US orchestras and leading music schools. Professor Jensen is also a faculty member of the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, Canada, and the Meadowmount School of Music in Westport, New York. Jensen has published the following books: Fun in Thumb Position, The Galamian Scale System for Cello: Volume I and Volume II, CelloMind, and ViolinMind, the latter two books published by Ovation Press. Jensen studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Denmark with cellist Asger Lund Christiansen and at the Juilliard School with Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins. 

Minna Rose Chung
Professor of Cello, University of Manitoba
Desautels Faculty of Music

Dr. Chung has an international career in all performance milieus (solo, chamber, and orchestral), has taught master classes across four continents, and is a frequent guest artist at music festivals worldwide. She has been reviewed as “a bright light, her intelligent musicality and rich resonance a wonderful addition to any ensemble” by the Winnipeg Free Press. Dr. Chung is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the University of Manitoba’s Rh Award for Outstanding Contributions to Scholarship and Research.

Dr. Chung earned her degrees in cello performance at Oberlin Conservatory of Music (B.Mus.) with Norman Fischer and Peter Rejto, Northwestern University Bienen School of Music (M.Mus.) with Hans Jørgen Jensen, and SUNY Stony Brook University College of Arts and Sciences (D.M.A.) with Colin Carr.