Chinese Proverb

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

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I've been working on extensions lately, and I just don't understand the mechanics of it! :(
It's a definite hit or miss in finding the note!

Since Clayton was on break, he forwarded me a YouTube video to review since he wasn't in town. I finally have a lesson with him tomorrow so hopefully he can clarify some things.

I also found another helpful YouTube video on extensions:

Working on extensions has also messed up my intonation and fingering for first position. I thought I had first position down fairly well, but apparently not! Working on extensions seems to be making my hand drift towards the pegbox and is making my notes flat more often than not. And making my first finger waaayy too flat because I'm making the space too wide!'s just not clicking for some reason... grrrr...!


  1. wow thanks for sharing! i've been having extension prob last week, that i've to lift my 1st finger for my 1-x2-4 czardas passages to sound in tune. my teacher already pointed out that I was tilting my index too much towards my face but still, I'd repeat the bad habit since it's kinda ingrained. both videos really help (have to admit "pick your nose" kinda make it way easier :P works even for adults, proven =.=")

    p/s: had a great improv. session with my bro yesterday thanks to the scale theory you put on earlier. knowing the scale my bro played in, i tried some 1-3-5-7 variations in the ebook you shared and it sounded a little like the theme from Game of throne! still in mp3 form and will pen it on noteflight later. Meanwhile here some songs i transcribed this weekend :)

    1. Check you out!! :).
      Glad you're having great improv sessions!! I haven't been doing improv lately because I've been so focused in trying to get those darn extensions!

      You're really getting good at transcribing! Especially with the quicker notes - how do you pick out the notes? I mean, what's your thought process? Do you listen to the song a few times in sections and then try to find the notes, or do you just generally know where it is on the cello? For the most part, I can't find where the general vicinity of the note is supposed to be!

      Can't wait to hear your new improv session!

  2. wow thanks for the kind words:D

    Actually I dont really have what qualifies as a 'process' yet since it's a mixture of both intuition (or lucky guess :P) and re-listening when i am kinda stuck with the tune. But certain things really help with the progress though:-
    1)Memorizing the song/tune. It reduces the amount of re-listening, and helps with the 'try-and error' part big time. Although in my case, it doesnt prevent from writing the song in a wrong key! several times I've written a full song only to find it totally not in-sync when I tried to play together with the youtube. My solution : get the 1st note right by re-listening carefully & reiterate. Very important.
    2)Knowing what scale the song is written in. This one helps with the melody i.e. sorta like predicting what the next note would be. i found that many good sad songs are written in A minor, joyful songs in F major and C major( which we learn as basic scale in cello :)) could be wrong cuz still a newb myself
    3)Break down complex phrases by singing it in a very very slow tempo. That's my answer for short notes :) Same with articulation, but this one I am still weak at, especially for fast songs. slurred or detached? hard to tell especially in fast tempo.
    4)Finally, perseverance! Took me half day to transcribe the 4th song (a popular heartbroken song in my country currently). very slow and still not perfect in the end, but finishing it kinda makes me happy :D

    I think that's pretty much what I did but i am still learning and hope to get better & better (i am trying to write mozart oboe concerto strings part but, that's way too hard. maybe end of year aim?)
    Now off to reading your latest info-packed entry :D

  3. Thanks for your words of wisdom! :)

    My "process" just involved listening to a very short section over and over, and trying to find the notes on the cello! Very frustrating and not at all fun!

    I found a cool song I want to try and transcribe this weekend, so I'll try using your method! :).
    Hopefully I'll have something to post on noteflight by next week.