Wednesday, January 02, 2008



I don't really have any special goals for the coming year other than what I mentioned last month for my third year of learning the cello. Everything else that's important - family, health, happiness, and so on, are permanent things that don't start or stop just because the year changes.

In the coming year, I am hoping for even more music opportunities. Our Cellocracy trio's performance at the Christmas concert was so satisfying that we want to continue playing together, maybe even adding some few pieces that include a viola.

I've continued my slow-playing all week, mostly without the metronome. Today I brought out the metronome and set it at 80 bpm; but I found it to be rather distracting - it took away some of the enjoyment - so I put it away. I've also been playing all my scales slowly. This week I started working on the C-major three-octave scale, while continuing to learn the A-major two-octave scale (and the corresponding one-octave scales on the C, G and D strings). The challenge right now is finding the third-position/third-finger location on the descents.

I'm now playing the latest Suzuki piece (Bach's Gavotte in C-minor) - slowly - without any errors at all (usually, by now, I would have picked up the pace regardless of how accurate I'd become, which means any minor mistakes would become magnified at higher tempos). Once I got used to the fingering on the D string it all seemed to fall into place. So now I'm working on intonation - especially that Ab on the D-string - before picking up the pace. I've also started working on the fingering (pizzicato) for the next piece, #7 in Suzuki Book 3, which is Bach's Minuet #3 repeated from Suzuki Book 2, but with an additional part in C-minor. I like playing C-minor.

My cello continues to sound so nice. It seems to weather the ups and downs of temperatures and humidities without any noticeable change in sound quality. A few weeks ago I moved the wolf-suppressor over to the C-string, after reading a suggestion by Andy Victor in Cello Chat. That seemed to take care of the "refracted" wolf that had been bugging me off and on for more than a year.

These short days have really been tough for us SAD sufferers... We had just enough snow at Christmas to cover the inch or so of hoarfrost that had accumulated the week before, but since then the daylight hours have been gray and cold. Strangely, the nights are often clear and starlit. Why do the clouds show up just before daylight?

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