Cello Advanced III

Cello Advanced III: Week #2

Week #2

List of Goals for the week:

Warm Up: Bow exercises, G major scale 2 octaves, playing in a round, starting on every third note. One time through with longer tones, one time in a shorter rhythm.

Scale: D melodic minor (new scale, used in Tarentella)

Technique: trills, triplets in 6/8 time, how to practice with a metronome, music reading/sight reading.

Repertoire: First 8 measures of Minuet I in full. We looked at our first excerpt from our technical studies piece, ‘Tarentella’ measures 9-12 

Paragraph summary of what was covered in class

We reviewed what was covered in the first class and spent a little more time solidifying the first 8 measures of Bach’s Minuet I. We clapped through the rhythm. Following the bowings that are marked, we added our right hand and played individual measures only with the bow, using open strings to solidify the coordination in the right hand. Next, we added the left hand and ironed out any fingering issues. We addressed the ‘trill’ in measure 4 and ways to practice trills. After the first 8 measures were reviewed and solidified, we moved on to our technical exercise piece, ‘Tarentella’ and talked through some of the musical notations; we identified the key signature, time signature, character marking, etc. We talked about playing in a new time signature(6/8) and how to group triplets under a slur. We looked only at measures 9-12.

When looking at a new piece for the first time it is called “Sight Reading”. I’ve chosen ‘Tarentella’ specifically for this because Sight Reading is its own skill that requires practice and getting used to. This piece is good for introducing some of the more tricky elements you might see when looking at a piece of cello music.

When you’re comfortable with sight reading, even just the basics, it will allow you to just “sit and play the cello”. (:

Assignment for next week

Using a metronome, solidify the first 8 bars of Minuet I. (we will continue to talk about metronome practice/use and how to find a tempo comfortable for yourself). If comfortable, move on and work on clapping through the next 8 measures of Minuet I. We will work on the next section in our next class.

Listen to Minuet I via the link below.

Listen to ‘Tarentella’ via the YouTube link below. We will be focusing on the first part of the piece, so you only need to hear the first 2 minutes or so. Listen a few times so you are familiar with how it goes, especially the beginning section.

How to Practice this at home

Bach Practice

With Metronome:

Right hand - bow only (open strings) play through measures 1-8 three times in a steady tempo. (5 min)

Left hand - left hand only plays through measures 1-8 three times in a steady tempo. (5 min)

Combine both hands and play measures 1-8 three times through in a steady tempo. (5 min)

Without Metronome:

Both hands together - measures 1-8 (5 min)

For trill:

Without playing(no bow!), holding the first finger down on the A string in first position on the note ‘B’, and practice putting down and picking up the second finger right next to it. Pick up and put down the second finger very slowly, just noticing what it feels like. Pay attention to how little energy/effort is needed to achieve the motion. Eventually we will do this motion in time with a steady beat, and then will speed it up gradually to achieve the “trill” effect.

Tarentella Practice:

Review the new scale, as it pertains to our new piece.

D melodic minor scale(1 octave starting on open D string) - Keep the notes in separate bows for now. This week we are just focusing on the notes and fingerings. For reference, our D minor melodic fingering is below. Keep in mind that, in ‘melodic minor’, the scale is different coming back than going up. I have labeled the Ascending and Descending fingerings. 

D0 -1-2-4-  A0-1-3-4 (Ascending)

4-2-x1-A0    4-2-1-0 (Descending)


‘Tarentella’ (copy/paste into your browser)


Bach Minuet I (copy/paste into your browser)