Clayton had forwarded one of his student's parents who is a beginner pianist who wanted to work with a beginner cellist like me. She transcribed a few pieces for me to work on so we could do a few duets together but the problem is that I don't really know how to shift. I worked on the pieces but was struggling on finding the correct position and notes, so we worked on this during the lesson.
We went over what the difference between what an underhand shift does versus an overhand shift.
- Underhand shift
- Old bow, old finger
- New bow, new finger
Great video that explains this as well. She's recorded a bunch of videos on shifting which has been very timely for me! :).
Things to work on:
There were two parts for Greensleeves, Part I, the harder part has shifts to 2nd, 3rd and 4th and part II, the easier part, only requires one shift to 3rd.
- Shift to 4th position
- I don't like my tone in 4th position, so he recommended that I play closer to the bridge since I was getting a light ghosting sound. I think when I get scared to do something I lighten up on my bow to make it less obviously horrible, but in this case, lightening up makes it sound worse! Guess that won't work any more, actually I don't think it ever worked! Lol! :).
- Going from 4th position to 1st position, we did some exercises to make it more smoother to return back to 1st position. I was pausing between the shift so was messing up the phrasing.
- He said think of it as an airplane landing
- Shift to second position, fingering G#3, F#1, G#3, A4
- I was playing an open A, but Clayton recommended that I just play A on the D string to keep the tone sounding the same. Although I don't like how my A sounds on D...I'm going to have to work on that.
- Shift to third using Overhand Shift
- Shift with first finger and replace 4th finger C, then tunnel and play fourth finger on the C string (G#), second finger on the C string (F#) and then 4th finger on the C string (G#)
- Fingering: G#4, F#2, G#4
Measure 18 & 19:
- Shift to 4th position
- Think about hand positions as "blocks" and not individual notes so it doesn't feel like such a huge distance
Measure 26 & 27:
- Last note in measure 25 is an E on D string with 4th finger. Move first finger to fourth finger
Cello 1: Measure 1 & 2
- Shift to upper first position C1, Dx2, E4
- Play against a G drone
My fingering was a bit mushy and did not have very much "intention" or energy so Clayton recommended doing the Cossman Exercise below.
- Do this in first position, third position
- Hammer on / Pick off
- I can't get the "pick off" yet, but the hammer on is getting there!
- Think about tensing (I don't think this was the word he used...) and then releasing the fingers into the fingerboard, NOT squeezing the fingers.
- If I were to lay my hand on a desk and pick up each individual finger and drop it, I should allow gravity to take my finger back down and there should be an audible thump. I should remember how this feels like and apply it to my left hand.