Chinese Proverb

"Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I'll understand." - Chinese Proverb.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cello Practice Log #6: Back to basics

After my lesson on Wednesday, I was pretty bummed, so I took a "break" on Thursday. Okay - more like sulked, moped around the house,and complained and whined to my husband about my slow progress and terrible playing!

I decided to have an open practice session Friday and today; i.e. I worked on whatever I wanted and didn't watch the clock or use any technique books. I did this because I wanted to get out of my "funk" and get back into practicing mode. Friday and Saturday definitely was NOT productive, but it made me feel a little bit better, and I got to play with the new cello a bit.

Going forward, until my next lesson, I think I'll focus on basic technique rather than working out of any of the books. I'll try to apply and practice the correct basic techniques to the repertoire. I'll also re-review my lesson notes and videos on posture, bowing and left hand fingering.

I've watched the videos below several times in the past and found them to be very helpful, so I'm reviewing them again too. Have I mentioned how AWESOME these Cello Talk videos are? :)

To help with my posture issues:

To help with my bowing issues:

I'm still trying to get out of my surly mood, so I'll be taking it easy for the next few days. Besides, it's the Fourth of July Weekend!  Which reminds me - I'd better go visit my parents....*sigh*

Below is my practice log:
I've changed the format of my practice log on Tuesday. I added a column for metronome beats and tempo, and moved the total time practiced to the bottom so I could use that column for notes instead. 

I'm still in a bad cello funk, so I've just been practicing scales to try and get out of it.

I went to 4th position in the G Major Scale, but it's still hard for me to get there on time, and I don't think I hit the notes. But I learned 4th position 3 lessons ago, so I guess that's not too bad.

Things to work on:
  1. Curve my fingers more - My fingers didn't look as curved as I thought they were!
  2. Watch the angle of my bow with string changes
  3. Hmmm...not sure if my elbow level is correct for the G string - it looks too high
  4. Need to be less tense in my left arm - my forearm muscles are really noticeable!...maybe its just the lighting...
  5. I'm still over-rotating my upper body when doing the string crossing from D to A


  1. Update! Update!
    I Want to hear about your rocking progress!

    Oh wait... I get to hear it every day...

    Update! Update!
    I want to read about your rocking progress!

  2. Hey!
    Really great stuff!:)

    Would you become a superme-test user for our very soon to be launched - a practice log for musicians!?! Your blogs are amazing! You'd be THE right person to test our site and make it better.

    Also if you're interested, we would be honored to have you as a special guest blogger every now and then on some big issues you meet on your path to becoming a virtuoso? Please contact us at and let's talk more music:)

    All the best!
    Henri @ MusicLogg

  3. oops, the email address was miss spelled the correct one is naturally: or just hope to hear from you soon.

  4. Hi Henri,

    Thank you for the offer! :)
    I’ll sign up and take a look at it later this evening after work.

    Hhhmmmm… a virtuoso in the future? Nah… just someone who loves to practice to see improvement, and is always pleasantly surprised when something actually sounds GOOD! To play a piece not knowing what it is, but as soon as I play it recognize the song!! Totally awesome!! That’s motivation right there!

    And impatient enough to want to be good NOW, not later! :)
    I don’t care what people say, I’m going to get there quicker than the “10,000-hour rule!” I just need to find a way to do it more efficiently - there’s got to be a better way!

    I’m not sure what I can contribute, but I’d be happy to give some feedback.

  5. Thanks everyone for the emails and for following my blog! I didn't realize there were people actually reading it! :)

    I have 4 lesson blogs and another random blog that I have saved in my drafts that I need to clean up and will post shortly. I'll also post an updated YouTube video of my progress this Saturday - learned two more pieces!