Playing the Cello Well

According to my teacher, playing the cello well consists of two things:

  • Nice tone and intonation (those are the same, basically)
  • with a rhythm

Tone and Intonation

Low D needs to be your home base #1 on the cello. You should know when you hit it right and imagine the note ringing with all of its overtones. You know, this is the note Pablo Casals said he practices every day, just to make sure he has the hang of it. Seeking it out and getting the reward should become a Pavlovian response.

Scale F-major

Find the trickiest part of each scale; work on the shift need to make notes in tune. If you make a mistake, correct after, not “in flight”.

For practicing, Say “1 and, 2 and, ” shifting during the “ands”

Position Pieces

Idea for each position is to quickly find the target note with the correct finger, and be confident in arrival there. For extended third, this means 2 is on E,A,D,G for I,II,III,IV

Kol Nidre

Back to the beginning – play with a rhythm – make sure I am in a crescendo to the final note in each group. When I get to the B-flat in the 4th bar, hold it for its proper length but don’t hold the note after it. Then, ensure all those 16th notes that finish the phrase get the same length.

For next week

#36 in Schroeder – pay attention to the most important note and make sure it’s in tune. –

Position Piece: Waltz

From the mooney book – extended third position.