Learning More About The Sautille Technique On The Cello

Sautille technique is a bowing technique on the cello that requires skill & finesse on the part of the cellist. In this article, we will explore the sautille technique on the cello, its origins, execution, musical applications, and the artistry it brings to the world of music.

Sautille, a French term meaning “to jump” or “to skip,” is a bowing technique that involves creating a series of controlled and rapid bouncing strokes on the cello strings. This technique produces a light, airy, and articulate sound, resembling the delicate dance of a skipping stone across water. Sautille adds vibrancy and precision to a cellist’s repertoire and is particularly useful in virtuosic passages, spiccato sections, and pieces that require agility and brilliance.

Mastering Sautille requires careful attention to bowing technique and coordination between the bow hand and left hand. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to execute Sautille on the cello instrument for cellists.

  1. Bow Grip: Begin with a relaxed but controlled bow grip. Ensure your hand remains flexible and responsive throughout the technique.
  2. Bow Placement: Place the bow near the middle of the bow hair, avoiding extremes at the frog or tip.
  3. String Contact: Start by applying gentle pressure on the string with the bow. The bow should lightly grip the string, ready to initiate the bouncing motion.
  4. Downward Motion: Begin the Sautille by slightly increasing the pressure on the string and pulling the bow downward. This causes the string to deflect and create the first bounce.
  5. Upward Motion: As the bow bounces back up, release pressure to allow the bow to rebound naturally. The bow should not lose contact with the string during this motion.
  6. Controlled Repetition: The key to Sautille is to maintain a controlled and consistent bounce. Continue this cycle of applying gentle pressure on the string followed by release, allowing the bow to bounce with each stroke.
  7. Bow Speed and Placement: The speed of the bow and its placement on the string will determine the articulation and sound quality of the Sautille. Experiment with different speeds and placements to achieve the desired effect.

Achieving mastery of the Sautille technique on the cello takes time and dedicated practice by cello players.

Maintaining precise control over the bow during Sautille passages can be daunting. Learning from a teacher and taking cello lessons in Singapore is a great way to help you progress much quicker as a cellist. Practice slowly and gradually increase speed to build control. Achieving a consistent bounce and articulation across different strings and dynamic levels requires practice and attention to bow placement. Understanding how to distribute the bow evenly across the string for Sautille passages is crucial to achieving a balanced sound.