New “Setup Madness!” Series Launched on Cello Zone YouTube!

Hey There Cellists!
I just launched Episodes 01 and 02 of my new video series “Setup Madness!” on the Brian Grimm’s Cello Zone! youtube page! My goal is to eventually put out videos on Monday and Thursday – but I need to get faster at editing my videos before I can stick to that schedule for the long haul. So even if I can’t hit my mark of two videos a week, I’ll at least only upload on those two days, for consistency’s sake.

Episode 01: Series Introduction

Don’t worry, I won’t do this much talking in all of my future videos… But, I had to introduce this particular series in the first episode so y’all know what is going on and what to look for in the future!

In Episode 01 of my new series “Setup Madness!” we’ll be listening to the sounds of Pirastro Perpetual Soloist A D (medium) strings in combination with their lighter gauge Cadenza G C strings. These strings had been on my cello for about 10 months when I recorded this C minor warm up session back in late October, 2021. I’ll be switching the strings out one by one over the next few episodes with the Jargar Superior A D (medium) and Larsen Original G C (strong). The original music you are hearing in the background while I’m talking was composed and recorded a year ago, and I had just switched to the Perpetual Soloist string set while recording for that project. So you are also hearing the sounds of the strings when they were fresh too!

Original music in the background of this video is from the “17th Unniversary Suite” and is exclusively available on my GrimmusiK Records bandcamp page:


Episode 02: Pirastro Perpetual Soloist AD and Cadenza GC Deep Dive

In Episode 02 of my new series “Setup Madness!” we’ll be listening to the sounds of Pirastro Perpetual Soloist A D (medium) strings in combination with their lighter gauge Cadenza G C strings. These strings had been on my cello for about 10 months when I recorded this C minor warm up session back in late October, 2021. I’ll be switching the strings out one by one over the next few episodes with the Jargar Superior A D (medium) and Larsen Original G C (strong). Episode 02 is essentially a more in-depth continuation of Episode 1. It’s longer with more playing and you get to hear my observations and thoughts on the strings as I go. I still play through the open strings with each bow (incase you missed that in Episode 01); after which I continue to explore, warm up, and improvise in C minor. This is not meant to be a performance, but an open window into my warmup process and thoughts on the strings as I prepare for a recording session later that day.


More “Setup Madness!” episodes are on the way soon! Let me know what you think, this is a pretty loose, open format video style. I will definitely be putting out some official review videos where I lay out my thoughts in a concise manner. This is meant to be a little more free flowing, open-session style of video.

Let me know if you have tried the Perpetual sets and what you think about them in the comments down below!

Best Wishes,
~ Brian


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I’m Leaving My Teaching Posts…

Here’s a little Bach gigue to dance you away, in joyful spirit

Life Update

Monday, 8/23/2021 was my last day teaching cello lessons! I’ve kept this pretty quiet, but I’m stepping away from all of my teaching posts at Monroe Street Arts Center, Prairie Music & Arts, and Music con Brio. It was a hard decision to make, but ’twas something that had been on my mind for a few years (even before the pandemic hit). Though I’m sad to say goodbye to all of my cello students and supportive families, I’m glad for all of the time we got to spend together making music! That time means a lot to me and I hope that I was able to make a positive impact on your lives.

It’s been pretty surreal to say ‘good-bye’ virtually to all of my students and employers, as opposed to in-person… I’ve taught at Monroe Street Arts Center and Prairie Music & Arts for 7 years and Music con Brio for 3 years, time just flies! I became close with many of my bosses and fellow teachers, and was really lucky to teach along side some very good friends and even some bandmates (how cool is that)! Though I’ll no longer be teaching for Music con Brio, I’ll still be on board as the Music Engraver for their Black Composer Project!! Can’t wait to see how this program blossoms!

An enormous Thank You to all of the administrative staff who helped schedule lessons, handle payments, and recruit students who fit my teaching style. Big Love and Respect to my bosses for believing in me as a teacher, and for giving me critical feedback alongside educational training to better my interactions with students. I learned A LOT.

I’ll be posting up more video lessons on my Brian Grimm’s Cello Zone YouTube & Instagram pages once the dust settles on the next few projects. So folks can continue to learn from me in that capacity, if you find my videos helpful.

I’m stepping away from teaching to focus my energies on Composition and Recording. Now that lessons are finished, I’ll be diving straight into doing sound design and theater score for 2 different Plays under the direction of my dear friend Mikael Burke!! Super excited to jump into the deep end on these productions, including a return to my alma mater Butler University!

PS. If you or your ensemble would like to commission a piece from me, or your band is going on tour and could use my mult-instrumental services… hit me up!!!


“In the Practice Room” Bass Guitar No.1!

Replacement + Position Shift Fingering Exercise on Root 4th 5th in each position

This fall I switched back to standard 4ths tuning on my bass guitars. I had been playing bass guitar tuned in 5ths (an octave lower than cello) for the last 7 years!! So it’s been a totally mind bender to relearn the fretboard in 4ths. 🤪 Transitioning back really makes me appreciate all of the great things about a 4ths tuning system. Truth be told, I hadn’t been practicing bass much in the past 5 or so years, I’ve mostly been focused in on cello. But! Changing my tuning back to 4ths is forcing me to practice 😁 So! Every time I practice, I create multiple exercises and then work on it until I have it in the hands. Sometimes it is hyper focused on a certain technique or theory, but other times it is free spirited. This one came out of pure improvisation, and it is a finger twister! The concept is to play Root 5th 4th in the hand (ex 1 3 1) then Root 5th 4th again but as a 1×2 extension where 2nd finger replaces 3 (or stays put if already extended) in order to shift up a position to play the 4th on the lower string with your 4th finger (1×2 / 4). Then you are a up in the next position and can start the climbing cycle all over again! The key to this exercise is to lift 1st finger off the board when you are on 2nd finger and about to shift up, leading with the 4th finger. Good Luck!

You can purchase the sheet music for this exercise above and hear my play through the exercise (1) slow and staccato and (2) trying it out a little faster in the Instagram post below!

#bassguitar #etude #bassguitarexercises #bassguitarlesson #musiclessons #musicexercise #fingeringexercise #inthepracticeroom #briangrimmcellozone #cellozone #briangrimm #remoteteaching #remotelessons

“6 Ways to Improve Your Bow Grip”

Whether you are one of my students and we are currently working on your bow grip, or you are someone who has difficulty controlling the bow and feeling comfortable with your grip, or you are another cello teacher looking for additional exercises to send to your students for bow grip help – this video is for you!! Here are 6 ways to improve your bow grip. So grab your bow, tighten it up and join me in the #CelloZone for this #TechniqueTip#PlayAlong video!

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Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, I am unable to perform live, which has significantly hurt my income. In the mean time, I am putting more effort into online lesson content, in hopes to help as many aspiring cellists as I can. If you learned something valuable from these exercises or they helped you with your technique, consider making a one-time donation. Your contribution really helps me to continue producing content and putting energy into this project.

If you don’t take private lessons from me, but consistently come back to my site on a regular basis to learn helpful tips about how to practice, work on healthier technique, and discover music theory on your instrument… please consider making monthly donations! It will help me to continue providing quality online lesson content.

If you clicked on this tab, you are my hero! If you want to help me sustain quality online lesson content, please consider making a yearly donation! Your donations ensure that I can afford to spend the time to produce this online lesson material.

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I put a lot of effort into my online lesson content, so I really appreciate your support! <3 BCG

Thank you so much for helping me do this! It really goes a long way and your support means a lot. <3 BCG

Thank you so much for helping me do this! It really goes a long way and your support means a lot. <3 BCG

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TIMESTAMPS

@00:00 it begins…
@00:23 intro and helpful tips
@02:07 EXERCISE 1 – Bounce the Ball
@02:48 who dat?!?!
@05:05 EXERCISE 2 – Wave Motion
@07:25 EXERCISE 3 – Placement of Thumb
@08:24 Traditional Flat Thumb Style
@09:15 Modern Hooked or Bent Thumb Style
@12:05 Wrist Tips
@13:41 Waterfall Fingers
@15:05 who dat again?!?!
@16:01 Placement of other Fingers
@19:03 EXERCISE 4 – Bow Circles “Pool Stick”
@19:31 DO NOT USE “pointy from behind” pokey grip
@20:14 Lean In, pouring water from a pitcher
@22:11 EXERCISE 5 – Down Wrist, Up Wrist
@23:28 Wave / Energy Principle
@25:11 Train Wheel Imagery
@25:33 EXERCISE 6 – Open String Whole Bows
@25:59 Ellipse or Oval Bowing
@27:28 REVIEW
@29:53 discussion of multiple bow grips
@32:16 whhhhhaaaatttt???!?!? who dat again, again!?


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