Chinese Proverb

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

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lesson #37 (12/12/11): Bowing & review of rep (Allegretto and Andantino) and intro to Rigadoon

My lesson notes are so out of order and late! I'll have to fix the order of the posts later. I have one more lesson blog to post from last week and then I'll be caught up with posts. Slacking big time!

I've been on vacation (Yaay!!), so I have some time off from BOTH work and classes since the semester is finally over, so lots of cello time for me! :). But both my cello teachers are also on vacation as well...darn...

Fortunately, Adam won't be gone as long as I thought he would be, although Clayton is going going to be gone longer than I expected. :(.
I was expecting Adam to be gone for 4 weeks so I took some videos of him playing Rigadoon and Etude so I'd have stuff to work on for the next 4 weeks, but I think he'll be back in a two weeks or so. Therefore, I won't start Etude just yet, although he said to have Rigadoon ready to review by the next lesson. Piece of cake - I really like that song! :).

Different bowing
I was curious how the different bowing techniques felt for Suzuki songs from 11 - 14 (Allegretto, Andantino, Rigadoon & Etude).
Trying to feel the difference in each type of bowing is helpful for me because right now they all feel about the same, so we went over the different bowing for the pieces below to distinguish the differences between them.

Difference in bowing: 
  • Allegretto 
    • I actually don't know if this is supposed to be martele or spicatto, but I guess it just depends on what sound I want, which I can't really tell right now. Both my martele and spicatto sound fairly similar! 
    • Things to work on: 
      • My bow shouldn't come off the strings and should feel similar to the bowing in Perpetual Motion
        • I was coming off the string too much, but this should feel like a heavier type of bowing with a stop and start 
      • I should try to use at least half the bow for the quarter notes - I'm using way too little bow again
        • Hmmm... I guess my default / instinct is to use as little bow as possible when I'm learning a new song. I wonder why that is...
  • Andantino 
    • "Brush stroke"
    • Should feel like a 'U' shape and very light 
      • Feels like a very shallow rainbow 
    • The bow should come off the string, but should still remain fairly close to the string
      • I was coming waaaay off of the string 
      • I should try not to go past the balance point otherwise it will bounce more and it will be harder to control 
    • For the middle section measure 9 through 12, I need to use lots more bow and be more smooth to be more obvious. This should not have any apparent stops or sounds changes with bow directional changes 
    • Slow down - I didn't pause enough to give myself enough time to reset between measure 12 and 13. I should take a breath to reset 
  • Rigadoon 
    • The bowing should feel like Allegretto(?) but not as heavy for measures 1 through 8
    • The middle section has a different bowing technique 
  • Etude
    • The front finger is much more active and "picks" the strings more
    • Shouldn't come off the string that much

Going over Repertoire: 
  • Allegretto 
    • During this lesson, my bow stroke was still way too heavy and sounded very closed and harsh
  • Andantino 
    • This one was better and the bowing was easier to do 
    • Adam moved the bow while I had my hand positioned over the frog so I was able to feel how the bow was supposed to move which helped a lot! It's probably why I got the bowing on this so easily
  • Recordings
    • Since I've had a few weeks to work on these two pieces I'm going to try and record Andantino by tomorrow and Allegretto by next week
      • Andantino is easier for some reason - I always have issues with short fast bow strokes!
    • I definitely don't have these pieces ready to go and my bowing still needs LOTS of work, but I think learning the different bowing will be something I'll be working on for a long time and isn't something I can learn very well at my level right now. 
      • I think if I don't move on, I'll get stuck on these pieces which will get frustrating - so better to do the recording, move on and then come back to it later 

More bad intonation:
  • Very bad intonation during this lesson again! :(
    • I've been working on extensions, which has really affected my first finger and has moved my whole hand so I'm flat most of the time
    • For me, extensions are so much more difficult than shifting to second - probably because I don't understand the mechanics of it yet
  • I had also skipped my usual scale warmups prior to this lesson and boy did it show! 

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