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 #46 (Jazz #8 2/5/2012): Note values, Rhythm & Repertoire (Question and Answer)

We went over the repertoire, Question & Answer, from the Mello Cello method book.

Counting / Rhythm
  • We went over clapping out the rhythm to make sure that I was doing it correctly since after I left the last lesson I didn't review my assignment until later and had to Google it to figure out what I was supposed to be doing. Fortunately, for the most part I got it correct! Yaay! :)
  • Clayton again reminded me the point of counting out the subdivision is to eventually be able to internalize it. I have a bad habit of keeping the beat/rhythm by tapping my foot or moving my head or something. My foot was tapping away during the exercise and so he held it down my foot for one of the exercises! Lol! :).
  • After counting out the rhythm, I explained to him that I wasn't able to count and play the piece at the same time, but I could play it without counting. So he had me play it without counting and I was way off! Which was obviously the entire purpose of doing the subdivisions. Silly me...
  • It's funny, he asked what I was thinking when I kept messing up during a certain section, and I immediately thought, "none of your business!" in frustration and embarrassment. Followed by, "what was I thinking?  Had I blanked out and was thinking about absolutely nothing?" Which I have to admit, that happens sometimes! ;). But I had been quietly thinking something, I was thinking "1-2-3-4." 
    • However, I wasn't thinking about what my fingers or bow hand/arm was supposed to be doing, so I kept missing it! ..too much to think about...brain overload...counting, bowing, fingering, intonation... I kept wanting to do a string crossing, but that particular section had slurs. In the Suzuki book, there aren't a lot of slurs so my automatic response was to do a string crossing when I saw a separate note! 

Applying different rhythms to scale practice
  • I think Clayton did come to the conclusion that it was more of a coordination thing again, that I couldn't count, bow and do my fingering at the same time, so he had me break it down into smaller chunks and also had me apply the different rhythms and bowing to the G Major scale. He mentioned that these practice techniques is something I'll be using for the rest of my musical life.
  • I have to admit I was really hesitant and shy to try this during the lesson because I knew I would totally mess this up. I did try it a few times but I recorded him doing it and told him I'd practice at home. 

    1. Work on bowing and fingering with the rhythms in Question & Answer piece for G Major scale
    • Quarter notes
      • 4 beats (1-2-3-4) per bow
    • Separate 8th notes
      • On 1st & 3rd beat switch bow direction
      • Then, on 1st & 3rd note, switch bow direction and add note 
    • Slurred 8th notes
      • Two notes per bow, on 1st & 3rd beat
    • Separate dotted rhythms 
      • On 4th & 1st beat, switch bow direction and note
    • Slurred dotted rhythms 
      • Two notes per bow, on 4th and 1st beat 

    2. Review bow angles
    • Do the exercise "Rock & Roll" aka "Bow Tie" 
    • Watch myself in the mirror (which I haven't done in the last 3 months or so!) 
      • He mentioned that when he went home for the holiday break, he didn't get to practice in front of a mirror so when he got back he noticed that his angles were off, so checking the mirror is always helpful and should be part of my practice sessions. 

    I love Sundays, nothing but practicing and geeking out on cello! :). 


    1. Hi Cello Brained! I am also a Gemini Beginner Adult Cellist!! It's a blast and a most humbling experience to learn and fail in front of another adult. My teacher keeps telling me to be a kid, and not to worry about mistakes, she's heard it all!

      1. Very humbling... even more so that BOTH my teachers are younger than I am and pursing their doctorate degrees! Very talented those two!!!

        ...if I could only remember how it feels like to be that care free as a child! :)