Cello Advanced

Cello Advanced: Week #6

List of Goals for the week:

Warm Up: Long Tones, D, G, C Scales, dynamic long tones

Scale: Bb

Technique: Extensions, dynamics

Repertoire: N/A

Paragraph summary of what was covered in class

We explored the dynamic phrasing in the piece, and incorporated it into our performance


Assignment for next week

Be mindful of the dynamic markings and work them into your performance

How to Practice this at home

Warm up with dynamic long tones - gradually crescendo, decrescendo, swell in the middle, etc. on your long tones.  The combinations are numerous, but mix up different “volume control” ideas and practice executing them. Also play your scales in different dynamic settings (super soft, super loud, etc).


Ginger DoldenComment
Cello Advanced: Week #5

List of Goals for the week:

Warm Up: Long Tones, D, G, C Scales

Scale: Bb

Technique: Extensions

Repertoire: N/A

Paragraph summary of what was covered in class

We continued to drill the piece in its entirety.  

Assignment for next week

Listen to a recording, as well as other pieces by bach - cello or otherwise.  What are you hearing in the phrasing, and how could you incorporate that in your own music?

How to Practice this at home

Practice other pieces you enjoy, or are curious about learning.  Listen to them online as well.


Ginger DoldenComment
Cello Advanced: Week #4

List of Goals for the week:

Warm Up: Long Tones, D, G, C Scales

Scale: Bb

Technique: Extensions

Repertoire: N/A

Paragraph summary of what was covered in class

We learned the whole piece to the end, skipping over the first ending as we won’t be repeating in the performance.

Assignment for next week

Focus in this week on your “blindspots” - what are the technical challenges you face with your playing?  What would make the difference in getting those to disappear? How can you relate to the music more emotionally, rather than playing for the sake of technical perfection?

How to Practice this at home

Get clear on what your blindspots are - tension in the shoulders, a stiff bow hand, collapsing fingers.  Practice your scales with the intention of freeing yourself from these blocks.

Listen to recordings of the piece, and other pieces by Bach. There are a dozen “student” versions of this piece online, but listen to a recording of the piece which is ACTUALLY musical,  like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on1DDSLdDOo

Listen to the cello suites as well. My favorite artists who play them include Yo-Yo Ma, Mischa Maisky, and Mstislav Rostoprovich.


Ginger DoldenComment
Cello Advanced: Week #3

Review 

We reviewed all exercises: shifting, 2nd position extensions, bowing patterns. We reviewed m. 17 of Minuet  

Part 3: Minuet mm. 17-24

We covered Part 3, or mm.17-24 measures of Minuet. This section, and the second half, are the most challenging part of the piece.  Practicing the denser material early on will help facilitate memorization and a better performance overall.

Measure 18 is identical to one of our shifting exercises, so that should hopefully feel familiar. Same with mm. 23-24.

Here’s a recording of Part 3 (mm. 17-24)

 

Here’s the entire piece.

NOTE: I’m posting the piece in its entirety because a) I’d like you to start strengthening your note reading skills, and b) I’m too lazy to cut up the piece in week-by-week segments of what we covered.  Do NOT overwhelm yourself by trying to plow through the whole piece!  This piece is designed to build new skills, insofar that if you don’t have the skills developed first, the piece will sound like crap. There may be skills in this class you feel you can wing - shifting and extensions will not be them. Stay methodical, friends.  

Minuet no.3 Suzuki bk 2 (PDF)

Ginger DoldenComment
Cello Advanced: Week #2

Week 2:

Review:

A scale, shift exercises, bow patterns We reviewed all techniques from last week.  Hopefully you’re gaining some comfort in the A maj extensions, shifting, and most of the bow exercises.  Hone in on any that are giving you trouble, and speed up the easier ones.

New:

2nd position ext ex We learned an exercise for extending in 2nd position.

Each of these help develop the backwards extension in the first finger.  As in the Bb scale from last week, the minus sign indicates a backwards extension.  

Minuet: Hard part

We looked at m. 17 in Minuet, which uses 2nd position extension. It’s the trickiest technical part of the piece, so better to get a head start!  This week, drill the 2nd position exercises before attempting this excerpt.

Here’s a recording of that. I play through it four times:

Ginger DoldenComment
Cello Advanced: Week #1

Goals for the week

Warm Up: Long Tones, D, G, C Scales
Scale: Bb
Technique: Extensions
Repertoire: N/A

Summary

Today we worked on the Bb major scale, to continue developing extensions. We also worked on shifting the left hand into 2nd position and playing an exercise there. 2nd position occurs when you’ve moved your hand down the cello neck so your first finger is placed where the 2nd finger was in our original position, a.k.a. first position. We also worked on various bowing patterns that are relevant to Minuet no. 3. See the charts below for all exercises.

Assignment for next week

This week’s assignment is to review basic technique, practice the Bb scale and bowing patterns featured in the technique chart.

How to Practice this at home

Warm up with any and all of the long tones and scales we’ve covered in various speeds and bowing patterns.

Charts + Sheet Music + Diagrams

Exercise worksheet PDF


Ginger DoldenComment