Chinese Proverb

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

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Practice Log #20: Judas Maccabeus, Suzuki Book 2

The camera is at a weird angle because I wanted to see the angle of my fingers and the motion of my vibrato. I didn't realize the light was facing the camera, but I didn't want to re-record.

I was debating whether or not I should post this, but then I figured the worse I am in the beginning, the better comparison I'll have later when I finally understand how to vibrate!...I hope... ;)

Things to work on
1) Intonation - I was going to put a drone on, but I thought it would be more difficult to hear my vibrato. My intonation has gone out the window! :(  It got better towards the end though.
2) Pinky - stop lifting it up so high! Darn you pinky!
3) Motion - it does look like its coming from the pinky!! I think if I figure out how to vibrate without lifting my pinky I should be able to get it.
4) First finger - it looks like I'm in an extension the entire time... what is going on with that??
5) Slant - it looks like my hand is slanted correctly when I'm NOT vibrating, but when I start to vibrate I square up my hand? I need to stay at a slant the entire time. Clayton had pointed this out during the last lesson, but now I can see what he was talking about. It doesn't feel like I'm in an extension...
6) Too tense - for some reason my right hand was really tensing up and my left hand looks like it tenses up to vibrate which I should be doing the opposite!
7) Can't hear my vibrato - if I don't look at the video and listen only to the audio I can't hear my vibrato!! :(
8) Legato - more legato!! Not very smooth transitions between bow changes.
9) Dynamics - I need to be more obvious in my dynamics. I can't hear it.
10) Bow articulation - I missed a few spots, and didn't quite grab the string on a few spots.
11) Moving around too much - I know moving around is good because a static position is not good for the body, but I still think I'm moving around too much. Clayton recommend thinking about directing the energy into the strings, and not using the body as much. I'm still working on that, but had too much stuff to think about. :)

My list is getting longer and longer... thought it's supposed to get shorter... lol! ;) I look tired... gotta get some sleep!


Okay, now from some AWESOME cello-ing.... I just came across this Canadian cellist Denise Djokic, and WOW!! ...obviously I'm waaayy behind on current cellists!

Can I please please please have that sound come out of my cello?? ;) Then I'd never put my cello down! Her sound is just so resonant and open... the acoustics of the room perhaps? Regardless, she sounds BEAUTIFUL!!

I know it's a bit weird to have my practice video, and then this amazingly wonderful sounding professional cellist, but OMG I totally want to sound like her!!! Totally inspired!!! :)

J.S. Bach - Suite for Solo Cello no. 1 in G major - Minuets 1 and 2

J.S. Bach - Suite for Solo Cello no. 1 in G major - Prelude

J.S. Bach - Suite for Solo Cello no. 1 in G major - Courante

J.S. Bach - Suite for Solo Cello no. 1 in G major - Sarabande

J.S. Bach - Suite for Solo Cello no. 1 in G major - Gigue


  1. Nice Judas Maccabeus :) All in all, this piece shows a marked increase in sensitivity and basic skills even from your last recording. Good Job!!! Your vibrato looks even, your tone is becoming smoother and sweeter, and you recovered your intonation nicely. That last bit is really great, because it means that you're starting to be able to hear sharpness/flatness while under pressure, and make adjustments accordingly. Since hearing is entirely a mental process (ie subject to brain farts and freezes), the more automated your intonation hearing becomes, the more easily you'll be able to hear intonation when under pressure, and the more you'll be able to shift your focus to other important things during practice/drills/scales & then even during a performance. That's the theory anyway.

  2. I *definitely* heard some vibrato in there :-) And your intonation was pretty good throughout, not just toward the end. Glad you posted this.

  3. wow Canadian cellist! Immediately reminds me of my fav the late Yuli Turovsky :( When I saw his Haydn's Divertimento I was instantly hooked and inspired (even though some complained Haydn isn't supposed to be played that way, I love fierce Haydn). Little did I know he passed away in January 2013. World sees many loses of great ppl this year (yeah, Starker as well :( )

    BTW, nice Judas Maccabeus! and yes, I heard that vibrato as well, way to go! Only if I could see you bow hand, I love your tone so bow hand is definitely something to look for everytime you post a video!

  4. Thanks Ben, Joe & Thaddaeus!!! :)

    @Thaddaeus. ....had to look up Yuli Turovsky! Totally behind on my cellists! :(

  5. Hi! I stumbled upon your website when I searched for "Practice Log". I'm an electric bass player.

    First off, I'm impressed with your approach to practicing. The video recording and analysis... that feedback should inform your practice time and help you progress faster. You sound great by the way! I am going to start recording my practices as well. Thanks for the inspiration.


    1. Thank you BD! :)

      Sweet, you play my second favorite instrument, which I need to someday learn! lol!