Chinese Proverb

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

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lesson #98A (11/01/12): May Time & Gmaj

Adam's lessons this semester are only 50 min since I take them through the university to get credit for taking the class - the time just flies during these lessons! 50 minutes is just not enough time...

G Major Scale
Adam likes providing different ways of doing shifts and the two that I found most helpful and remember:
  • Hit the note the first time - don't squirm my fingers around until I hit the note. Practice hitting the note once and if I'm off don't squirm my fingers - just start over. This is important to building correct muscle memory and squirming my finger around to find the note won't build an accurate shift, it will only reinforce my habit of squirming my fingers around to look for the note. This is where a lot of repetition is needed and what most people don't like to practice, but it's what makes a good cellist good instead of mediocre. 
  • Rotating body - some cellists do the "swoop" with the arm before the shift. Adam mention rotating the body slightly before the shift which puts the arm and body in alignment before the shift. For some reason, this concept just really works with me! Although I tend to exaggerate my movement, so I need to make sure that it stays small and subtle. 
I'm feeling a bit guilty about not really focusing on this scale. I think I'll have to practice this a lot before my next lesson.

May Time
What can I say...I totally hate this piece. It just doesn't make sense! I don't connect to how it sounds and it has a bunch of string crossings, which I have discovered is my greatest weakness!
In fact, I tried to record this last week and it sounded AWFUL, so I couldn't bring myself to post it and decided that I should work on it some more.
  • String Crossing - Adam gave me an exercise to do to which was to play the A string and D string in a slur and then both at the same time and to really focus on how my arm feels, the level of my elbow, etc.  
  • Bowing - my sound was better than my previous lesson, but still pretty bad since I'm losing the string when I do string crossings. 
  • Eighth notes - he reminded me to give more time to the eighth notes and that I was rushing through the notes again. 
  • Left Hand intonation - my intonation was really bad as well and Adam diagnosed that I was bringing my elbow/arm forward again. I finally realized what I was doing wrong and found the "feeling" again with regards to how my arm felt when I was playing the notes correctly. Hopefully now I can play the piece more in tune!

[Fall CE Lesson #3]

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