Chinese Proverb

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

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lesson #102C (11/18/12): Left-hand and bowing

Clayton will be graduating this month so I'm just counting down the days when he'll be offered a job out-of-state or something. Bummer for me, great for him! He's just way too good that I don't expect him to be around long after he graduates! ...darn...Luckily, Adam won't be moving any time soon!

During this lesson we went some technique.

Thumb Placement 
  • My thumb seems to move around a lot so we focused on making sure my thumb is secure on the neck, but of course, not squeezing! 
  • I've discovered that my hand feels more secure because my thumb typically "floats" above my cello neck and doesn't really touch the back of it
  • Shifting seems to be easier because I can feel my cello pass beneath my thumb which helps me determine the amount of space I've moved my hand to shift  
  • For the next few days, Clayton recommended just bringing attention to the thumb while I play to see what it's doing 

  • Sustain my notes and use smoother transitions between bow changes. 
  • I tend to decay my notes. Clayton provided a few ways of thinking about this:
    • Think of the bow going in diagonal lines 
    • Remember to feel the bow and string => this is what I like the best
    • Think about releasing or relaxing the bow into the string 
  • The funny thing is, I like how decaying notes sound sometimes. A legato, consistent sound is kind of boring to me... maybe it's time to start bothering my teachers about doing vibrato again! 
    • In a few months, I know when I look back at the sentence about decaying notes and vibrato I'm not going to like it! ;) 

Position Pieces

  • Fanfare 
    • I was hitting the notes more consistently, but my rhythm was terrible. I really need to start counting instead of feeling how long a note should be! Not very accurate...Lol! :) 
  • Assigned the next piece: Skating
  • This is a great book - highly recommended! :)


  1. I assume she means "Position Pieces" by Rick Mooney.

    1. ah...thank you. I have that one but have yet to work it into my practice.
      I think my teacher intentionally assigns me more than I can keep up with to stop me wandering off on my own.
      I showed her by adding Potter.

    2. Yes - that's Rick Mooney's Position Pieces. :)
      It was recommended to me by two other cello teachers last summer (6 months ago) and I'm finally getting around to it.

      I'd love to have some time to wander off on my own!! What fun music mischief I'd get into!!!

      LOL - Potter's is quite the handful! :)