Not overwhelming either, I'm finding the more busy I am at work and school, the more I want to "cello-out." Hhhmmm... I guess it's a form of procrastination for me! Practice the cello or do cello-related stuff (i.e. blogging) instead of homework! :).
We went over Etude and had a few corrections to go over:
- I know I always write about intonation in my blog entries, and I'm sure a lot of the info is repeated in my previous entries, but I think I just forget about specifics sometimes, and most times, I just can't tell if my intonation is off... I understand the concepts, but my ear hasn't been able to distinguish the minute differences yet, so I think the repetition of intonation correction is just going to occur over and over until my ear finally picks it up! Or until my teacher gets sick of repeating it over and over again! LOL! :). I hope he doesn't, otherwise I won't eventually pick it up. Anyway, if all of this sounds familiar, I apologize because I'm sure I've probably repeated it in a previous post.
- For Etude, which is in C Major, the E I normally play in D Major is too flat. Adam mentioned that in C Major the notes need to be more spot on because its more noticeable when its off
- I remember from a previous lesson when playing in D Major that playing the F# a little bit higher was okay because it was leading up to the tonal center/home and it had to feel like it was going somewhere. I think he mentioned something called tonal expression. I guess in C Major there can't be as much "fudging" in intonation - I wonder if its because it doesn't have any sharps or flats?
- Anyway, to check whether I am in tune, he wants me to play:
- 4th finger on G - play against open G
- 1st finger on E - play against open G
- When playing this, I should remember the hand position to get used to the 1st and 4th finger relationship
- Also, if I'm having issues with my my pinky feeling weak, I can move my elbow slightly forward to get more weight into the pinky. This is something I can also do with my extensions
Closer to the bridge & more articulation
- With this piece I should play a little bit louder and closer to the bridge
- We played this together with him doing two different accompaniments. I mentioned that I did NOT like the accompaniment that he preferred because I couldn't hear myself play. He said if I had trouble hearing myself, that may be a good thing because that meant I was in tune!
- However, this led up to a good point, he recommended when playing with other musicians and instruments, I needed to make sure my notes were more articulated. So for this piece, I really need to make sure that I have my martele bowing down with a good start and stop, otherwise it'll easily blend in with the accompaniment
- Adam mentioned it's really important to have an articulated sound because its really hard to compete with a grand piano if the bow strokes are in tune with a piano, and a legato-like sound or a stroke that is similar to a piano key stroke, would just get lost. One of the best ways to distinguish notes between a piano and a cello is to have an articulated sound using different bow strokes
- I need to revisit the different angles for the string crossings and remember that there is a minimal amount of bow movement
- I was having issues when I bowed on the A string and came back to the D string, that my bow was in a different spot. My bow hand also felt less secure after I did the string crossing back to the D string
- Exercise: String crossings
- Make sure my bow stays in the same spot
- Do this at the frog, middle and tip (as many different location to get used to it)
- Get a BIG sound!
- Adam mentioned that my favorite string should be the C string because it can be very robust and beautiful sounding! Right now my favorite string is the G string because it sounds really nice and it's easy for me to move, but I do love the C string as long as I'm not the one playing it!
- Currently, I don't like the C string as much because its harder to move, although I've been working on playing the C string so its not as difficult as it was before.
- I have discovered that I can make a fairly big sound from the C string, but I always feel like it completely over powers the other strings so I always hold back on trying to get a big sound from it.
- Also, when I first started playing the cello, I didn't like making really big loud sounds and used to play with a mute on all the time, and I feel like I'm having that same issue with my C string right now. I know I can make a loud sound, but I don't particularly want to....I know, I'm weird. Loud sounds scare me! LOL! :). I'll just have to start playing this loud for awhile so I can move on to the next piece - it doesn't look like the next three pieces use the C string. Yaay! :).
- Wait, I shouldn't be thinking that way...love the C string, I love the C string...
Anyway, Adam finished the recordings of the cello accompaniments and gave them to me on a CD during our lesson, so I'm REALLY EXCITED to do my next recording because I'm going to play it with and without the accompaniment. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do that until next weekend because I'm way too busy with class and work. I signed up for two history classes this semester, which was not very good planning on my part because both classes require a LOT of reading. Not that I don't like to read, but trying to read a lot of pages under a deadline is hard for me to do - so much easier (and quicker) to read when I feel like I have all the time in the world!
Hopefully I'll have something up next week, and I still have to transcribe a song too!