However, I've found that there isn't a lot of information that teaches jazz for cello or improvisational cello for that matter. Although I think the cello is a very versatile instrument, I haven't seen a lot of sheet music or information out there. I'm curious if playing Jazz with a cello is frowned down upon, or maybe it's not as versatile as I thought it was.
Anyway, I asked my teacher if he could teach any of this to me and he admitted he doesn't have much experience with this - which I completely understand. Jazz is just a whole different animal when it comes to reading and playing that type of music. I'm going to have to research this further.
I've also discovered that the guitar and violin have so much more literature, music sheets and information out there than the cello. Why is that?
My lesson notes:
- Since I removed the frets and thumb marker, I brought along my tuner to check whether my fingers were in the correct place. I didn't want to spend the entire lesson looking for a specific note and since I already know I need to work on this, I didn't want to spend much time on it
- Using the tuner
- Adam warned me about not becoming too dependent on the tuner. I told him I primarily use it to make sure that I can find my E because if my first finger is correct, than all of my other fingers are generally in tune
- Use chords and open strings to check intonation and find the E
- Listen for sympathetic vibrations, i.e. ringing
- Focus on bowing, not on intonation (for Perpetual Motion only)
- Just for this piece, Adam would like me to focus more on my bowing instead of my intonation, not to say throw intonation completely out the window, but for this piece he wants me to get the bowing down before anything else.
- He recommended going back to the older pieces to work on intonation since I had the bowing down for those so I can focus primarily on intonation
- Need more "bite" on the A string
- I'm still missing the "bite" on the A string which is noticeable compared to the notes on the D string. Notes on the D are nice and full, and notes on the A string sound like an after thought
- I can feel the bow grabbing the D string, but I can't feel the bow grab the A string, so I think I don't have the basic movement down to grab the A string. My angle is probably off or something so I'll have to work on this more
- Play open D on all notes on the D string and open A on all notes on A string to focus strictly on bowing. For example, the second measure is:
- F# => D G => D
- G => D E => D
- A => A A => A
- F# => D A => A
- Sounds easy, but it totally made my brain explode!
- First, I tried reading the notes, and playing only the D on the open strings. It was confusing because seeing and expecting a note, and not hearing it totally threw me off
- Next, I tried singing it in my head (I have this song memorized), but as soon as I played the open D string for the notes, the sound overrides what I'm thinking and I completely loose track of how the song goes! Very weird... talk about rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time! My teacher said this is definitely an indicator to show whether I know the piece inside and out
- My teacher warned me to keep practicing this even though it may be really hard now because this technique will be really helpful in the future. He uses this technique when practicing difficult pieces, if he can get the bowing down he can put his bowing on "auto-pilot" to work on his fingering
- The reason for the focus on bowing
- There is less bowing technique available than there are notes available on the cello, and intonation work is an ongoing thing. Therefore, the faster I can get specific bowing technique down, the more I can focus on my fingering and intonation, which will make it easier for me down the road
- Closer to the frog
- Make sure I bow closer to the frog and use the lower half of the bow only, even though the instructions state to bow in the middle, I should always look for the easiest most efficient way to bow
How to read Treble Clef
- I was curious how to read notes on the Treble Clef because I had some music sheets in Treble Clef and I didn't know how to convert it
- The most common is memorizing F-A-C-E for the spaces or E-G-B-D-F with the mnemonic Every Good Boy Does Fine
- Another way: I can simply think of it as a bass clef and then think of it as being two notes down