Spooky strings for Halloween

Do you go trick or treating? If you are not the type to venture out and walk the neighborhood in the pursuit of sweet things, consider staying in and put on a great scary show for your family and friends – or scare the trick or treaters who come to your door!

TEN tips to create spooky sounds.  Try adding a combination of these techniques together and you have instant scary music.


1 SUL PONTICELLO — play on or close to the bridge with the bow.

2 TREMOLO — to tremble at the tip of the bow—remember to lift off your little pinkie to get it really fast and spooky!

3 HARMONICS — lightly touch your string with your left finger and glide up and down the length of the entire string using a long and slow bow—spooky ghost sounds!

4 DOOR SQUEAK — play with a slow short heavy bow right over the bridge near the string coloured coverings — it should sound like a door being opened in a haunted house!

5 WIND IN THE WOODS — try using your bow hair against the rib right side of the cello — makes a spooky windy sound.

6 HAUNTED WHISTLE — bow heavily on slowly on your endpin, it will make a high eery whistle like a kettle or the sound a dead witch.

7 CELLO BODY PERCUSSION — you can tap on any part of the body of the instrument and create scary footsteps or sudden knocks to scare your listeners.

8 LEFT HAND SLIDES — slide slowly and use a slow bow to create the feel of a sliding ghost.

9 BARTOK PIZZICATO — pizz but pull string up and slap against fingerboard instead of pulling to the side—snap pizz—scares everyone!

10 CHROMATIC SCALES — choose your speed, chosse your starting note and creep up and down a chromatic pattern.  Add tip number 1 and instant spook factor.




1 “Scaley Monsters” — Scales without tears for young cellists by Mary Cohen, published Faber Music.

2Witches’ Brew for cello and piano” by Caroline Lumsden — 16 Spooky Pieces to Play and Sing for beginner to prelim level published Edition Peters

3Wizard’s Potion” for cello and piano by Caroline Lumsden — 16 Spooky Pieces to Play and Sing for grades 1 and 2 published Edition Peters

4 Selections from Harry Potter: Instrumental Solos (Movies 1-5) – Cello and Piano Book/CD set – Alfred Music Publishing

5This Is Halloween Theme Tune” from The Night Before Christmas movie Tim Burton — Music by Danny Elfmann — www.musicnotes.com

6Thriller” by Michael Jackson — www.musicnotes.com

7Cello Macabre Halloween Music for Two Cellos” Frighteningly fun duets! Student solo & teacher accompaniment. Contains easy and difficult arrangements.

  • In the Hall of the Mountain King
  • Funeral of the Marionettes
  • Funeral March
  • Danse Macabre
  • The Erlking

8 Hector Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique”  “Dream of the Witches’ Sabbathwww.musicnotes.com/free/

9Technitunes Ghosts Student and Teacher Cello Duet” Sheila Nelson – published Boosey & Hawkes

10 Berrlioz Hector – “Dies Irae theme from Symphonie Fantastique“, Theme from Stanley Kubricks The Shining , sheet music  for  Cello  Trio  www.8notes.com/scores/14004.asp

Spooky Music for Strings with Louise King

Halloween Fun


WordPress Video Lightbox