We reviewed the quarter bow D major scale. This is helpful to prepare for the rhythmic variety in Scarborough Fair. Keep practicing the D scale in the various lengths we've learned in class. Adding a metronome pulse as you play is particularly helpful.
We also reviewed the Scarborough Fair melody, part 1. Keep practicing this slowly to coordinate bow changes and the fingerings. Use the finger chart if it helps, but keep trying at least once per practice to play it without reading! Your hands and ears learn a lot on their own if your eyes aren't reading.
Lastly, we reviewed part 2 of S.Fair, plucked.
The G scale is exactly like D, just transferred down one string. For our purposes, this is to prep for a couple notes we play in Scarborough (namely, 4 on the G). Here is the scale and recording for reference. Play two notes to a pitch:
G0 G1 G3 G4 D1 D3 D4 D4 D3 D1 D0 G4 G3 G1 G0
Scarborough Fair, part 2 bowed
We went over the last section of S. Fair, open strings and with fingerings. Remember our practice order: plucked, open bowed strings, bowed w/fingerings. This will aid your mastery of the song and overall playing prowess tremendously if you do it in this order!
Open Strings, part 2:
A A-- A 2-- A A D D D G---- D D-- A D-- D D D G D---
Here’s a recording of that:
Fingerings, part 2:
A4 A4-- A4 A2-- A0 A0 D4 D2 D1 G4---- D1 D0-- A0 D4-- D2 D1 D0 G4 D0---
We’re getting close to knowing the whole song! You can play it all plucking this week. Here’s a reference:
Notes on headspace
If you're ever feeling at any point that the class material is burning you out, or maybe you're just hungry for a little something outside of our curriculum, that's totally fine! It's natural to want to just play the instrument without focus on technique and memorization - this is music, after all. Let yourself have fun with the instrument too. Here are some suggestions for creative exercises you can try out:
Meditation Guru: Drone on the G or C (or whichever string is your favorite) and enjoy the sound and vibrations. Treat it like a mantra or one of those ringing bowls, where you just focus on the sound and enjoy it.
Pop song replay: Take a pop song or common tune you know/like and try to figure it out on cello. Pluck it if the bow is slowing you down. Some suggestions; Ode to Joy, Doe a Deer, New York by Alicia Keys, Falling Slowly from Once, anything by the Beatles. Depending on the song this can be really challenging, but it is like calisthenics for your brain.
Horror movie soundtrack: String instruments are capable of some of the most horrifying sounds I've ever heard. Play the cello "wrong" and discover some truly nasty sound effects. A couple of my favorites: playing right next to (or on top of) the bridge with your bow; bowing the strings below the bridge, snap pizz the strings so hard that they thwack the fingerboard.
Compose: Make up your own song! Use the scales we learned for reference, or maybe part of the scarborough fair melody or rhythm. A good trick to making your own music is to give yourself one or two perimeters (use the D major scale, only pluck, etc.) and go from there. It doesn't have to be Rihanna's next single or something you ever play for anyone else. Let it be for you and just go with what sounds good to you.