Tuesday, February 06, 2007



When I begin practice each morning, I start with various warmup exercises such as my (new) long "paint-brush" bowing on open strings, string crossing exercises, then scales, etc. Lately, I found myself hesitating to actually being playing the music. I just keep playing scales and the shifting exercises over and over. I spend up to half an hour alone on the countdown etude variations that I described previously, here. I usually do these with my eyes closed, letting my ears tell my fingers where to go as I shift up and down. The longer I do this the more accurate they get. But sometimes, I can't seem to stop.

Often, I have to actually take a break in order to transition from the warmup exercises to the actual playing. Sometimes, though I just reach over and turn on my metronome, and that does the trick.

Once I do start working on my regular pieces (I've been randomly playing from the Suzuki 1 and 2 books), they've been going really well, and time evaporates, especially as I start working on my more recent challenges.

I guess you can tell that I'm really enjoying my cello lately.

Last night at Orchestra, my focused work on the tough sections this past week paid off. My issues are no longer fingerings or bowings, my problems now are fitting my parts into the group as a whole - in other words timing and rhythms. Fortunately, the conductor has been extremely patient with me :) I still have to work out Ashokan Farewell. I'm just playing it pizzicato at very slow tempos, with steady progress.

The days are quickly getting longer (8 hrs. 23 min. today); gaining at a rate of 5 minutes a day. We've had about two weeks of beautiful clear sunny days and starry nights. This run of sunny skies started out with the temperatures in the 40s - even at night! In January! Each day, the temperatures have gradually decreased. Now we're seeing overnight temps around zero with daytime highs in the low 20s. But I can't complain. It is still winter. At least the sun is out...

hey, I know people that spend up to three (or more) hours of practice only on scales and warm-ups! They then go on to spend two (or more?!?) hours on actual music...I think these people are kind of insane.
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