Thursday, March 30, 2006


Sweet sounds from my cello, today

Each day sure can be different! Today I got the nicest sounds from my cello, especially the D and G strings, and even A sounded nice! Yesterday it was OK and I felt good about my playing, but today was just wonderful! My cello actually sounded like a real cello! I could hear ringing tones on almost all the notes I played! Even E (on D string) and B (on G string) sounded nice. I know at least some of it was that my fingers were automatically finding the right places (now, when they don't my ears immediately notice).

Why was it different today from the other days? Ambient conditions have been about the same the past week, so I don't think that was a factor - unless it took a week for the cello to optimize to the ambients(?) The only setup I did differently today was using less rosin on the bow (there sure is a lot of confusing information out there about rosin use!)

I played two and a half hours today - the longest run I've been able to manage without tiring. I put a lot of time in on chords at the beginning. Several days of slow playing "The Happy Farmer" and the "Minuet #2" paid off - I played them both largely error-free (still at a reduced tempo). I'm especially happy with my fingering/bowing coordination with those first measures of the Minuet. Finally! It felt so good, I kept playng it over and over just to enjoy the how smooth it sounded.

Then I played against the Rodney Farrar Fat Notes CD, for the first time. I used a mini-boombox with headphones, set the playback on repeat, and played the CD at full volume. Whew! I have a lot to do to get that right. My problem is that I had trouble keeping up with the tempo (I'd even lose the rhythm, once in a while); and it was hard to hear the CD over my own playing. But, I do think I can eventually get it right before the recital in 6 weeks - especially if I work on it daily. I started the new piece, Mary-Zuki Blues, and played it through several times. Not hard, mostly just repetitive - the problem for me is that the score is so confusing, it's hard to tell from the score what is happening next. I'd sure like to be able to see the whole thing laid out with all the parts combined. I'll try to lay it out using Finale Notepad, but I think it has too many limitations.

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