Chinese Proverb

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

Monday, February 6, 2012

Lesson #45 (2/5/2012): More Etude & Happy Farmer

I'm going to try and catch up on my lesson notes and blogging so I can focus on practicing, doing my assignments, and recording Etude this weekend. I don't quite have it down yet, but I think I can clean it up by Saturday or Sunday. My 12 month goal is coming up so I'm trying to get as much stuff done as possible!

Lesson notes:

  • Intonation
    • Yikes, I was off during this lesson! I've been trying to use my tuner less and am trying to listen to my cello to see when I'm in tune or not, i.e. seeing/feeling when it resonates and also playing it against chords, and boy is it NOT working! Frustrating...I was much more in tune when I was going off of muscle memory and the tuner! It definitely is sounding like I'm regressing with regards to my intonation! :(
  • C& G needs to be more smoother
    • I forgot that when I'm at the frog I don't need to do as much work because the weight is already there, so the sound was much louder at the frog and very inconsistent throughout my bowing. 
    • At the tip, I can do a  little bit of an accents, as long as the accent is not from speed, but from using my first finger and using the weight of my arm. 
    • Also, the weight of my back and my arm wasn't translating down to my bow. I tried applying what I know with regards to partner dancing and right hand connection and that seemed to make it louder. I'm going to have to work on that a little bit more. 
  • "Exaggerate and then shrink down"
    • Once I get the grab or bite on the string, I can start making the bite less obvious and more smooth and legato-like, but for now its best to exaggerate it until I get used to the motion. 

  • Bow closer to the bridge for more focus. I need to find the sweet spot for my bow to get a nice clean sound! I could have sworn I had the sweet spot a couple weeks ago, but lost it when I started working on Happy Farmer! Darn you Happy Farmer... 
  • Doubles - bring the bow closer to the fingerboard 
    • Don't forget about my bow angles 
    • Work on string crossings - bring the bow back a little bit on the G string instead of straight to the side.
  • Endurance
    • Work on one section first, and then slowly add the next section, but only add the next section when I'm consistently getting a nice focused sound.

Happy Farmer
  • I was finally able to play this during the lesson without totally messing it up! Overall, not bad! :). I was able to play (more or less) the way I play it at home! Yaay, finally... I did mess up in a few sections, but not that noticeable... I think.... 
  • Things I need to work on for Happy Farmer:
    • Reduce arm movement - I'm over doing the string crossings. Again, think less effort and conservation of energy.
    • Don't cut the quarter notes short
    • Work on bow angles and placement

As of late, my teacher Adam has been sending lesson summaries, which have been very helpful! It's always interesting to see what I think I should be working on and what I come away with, as opposed to what my teacher was actually trying to teach! 

I happened to type up the notes above before he sent me the email. Below is a list of items from the email that he wanted me to focus on:
  1. Bow placement - find bow placement appropriate for certain speeds of notes and strokes, keeping in mind the faster and scrubbier the stroke, the closer to the fingerboard it needs to be. Otherwise, I need to work the bow closer towards the bridge. 
  2. Use whole arm - find a way to think about using my whole arm and not letting all the energy end at my hand, i.e. the cello should be absorbing all the energy, not my right hand.
  3. Bowing - start with little pressure accents for C and G, and then make it less and less noticeable, but do NOT use a faster bow to get the string to move.
  4. Angles on Etude Doubles - make sure my bow angles are correct when doing doubles.

And, big news, I finally told my teacher Adam about my blog - almost one year later! 
...not sure why I finally did though...I was pretty apprehensive about telling him, which is why I waited this long. hhmmmm...I don't know... I guess I felt if I told him than I couldn't be completely honest in my blog and I'd change how or what I'd write about since the majority of the information I post is about my lessons. 

I totally adore the guy, but what if I wanted to have a long bitch session about my playing / learning or about him (not that I would) or something! Or if I were to post something that was completely incorrect, which it's a learning process so I'm sure I have somewhere in my long string of blogs. Ack... Oh well, I'll just pretend I never told him about my blog, although I have yet to tell Clayton...! 
Well, I can only handle telling one teacher at the moment, I'm too self-conscious as it is, so I'll just tell Clayton next year! :).

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