Tuesday, December 26, 2006

 

Amping it



Z gave me an amp for christmas. It's a basic beginner's guitar amp, so it's not necessarily a perfect match for the cello, but with the separate high, middle and low adjustments, I am able to beef it up for the cello's range. So, it pretty much sounds like what I hear through my headphones. The amp has no reverb functions of its own, but it does play back the cello's internal reverb output.

However, the amp has a gain adjustment, which lets me distort the cello all the way out to Jimi Hendrix. That can be captivating! The best part is that it lets you convince yourself you're much better than you really are. Now I see how some guitar players get away with it. I'm going to have to control myself, or I'll end up wasting a lot of time trying to imitate a rock star cellist. To keep myself balanced, I play my trusty acoustic two days for every one day on the electro.

It is weird hearing my playing coming back at me from the front like that. It does help me hear my intonation better - which sure motivates me to intonate better.

In the last few days, I realized I've finally progressed to the third phase of my learning process on my two newest pieces. My first step involves some sight-reading and just finding the notes and working on the basic rhythms. For the second step I isolate the tough parts and work them repeatedly for as long as it takes to make them feel natural. The third step is integrating these tough parts into the whole piece and playing it through at 60% to 75% of tempo. I'll stay here for as long as it takes until it all comes together, and then move to the fourth step where I start picking up the pace. Eventually, I get to the final step, where I work on quality. Usually, when I move into the third phase on a piece, I feel ready to start working on some new pieces as well.

I've tracked down (sort of) the LeClerc piece that I've been working on. It came from a book called "Violoncello Duos for Beginners, Vol. 1", arranged by Arpad Pejtski, and published by Editio Musica Budapest. But I still haven't found out the actual name of the piece.

Comments:
I want to hear your amped-up rock star stylings!

Interesting how you break down your process of learning a piece. My own process is quite a bit more haphazard.
 
Gosh, that'd mean I would have to post a sample of my playing? I'm not ready for that... by a long shot.

I wish I could confirm that my learning process is actually sucessful...
 
Oh and you are always telling ME to be confident! Just some open strings would make us happy! You are making me want an amp... Jacqueline du Hendrix... Jimi du Pre... That has to be pretty cool!

My learning process is terrible, but Mrs. Lopez hasn't said it's wrong, so I'm sticking to it. XD
 
Busted!

You are right, Madeline. I guess I should go ahead and work on recording one of my older pieces a-la Ji-Mi Ma.
 
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