Thursday, September 11, 2008


Lesson #56 notes

I played through the first 92 measure of Breval's Sonata, more or less satisfactorily, considering... Now work in the next 13 measures.

Focus extra attention on the eighth-note string crossings beginning at measure 29; also the triplet scales, USING A METRONOME!!!

Isolate the tricky passages and break them down into two- and three-note segments. Play through them over and over, varying the bowing, rhythm, tempos, etc. The idea is to get my fingers used to the combinations. Then return to the proper rhythm and bowing; and finally start adding in the notes preceding and following these segments.

Keep playing through the whole piece WITH A METRONOME but don't stop on any errors - over time they should slowly disappear after a lot of work on the isolated segments.

After a lengthy discussion about my continued frustration at my efforts in the Mooney "Position Pieces" book, I'm going to set it aside for now (yippee!). Instead, I'll start working on several pages from the "New School of Cello Studies" book by Percy Such. These straight-forward etudes drill all the positions up through 4th. After I've reached some sort of comfort level with these, I'll return to the Mooney pieces.

Continue working in the Mooney "Double Stops" book, pulling out the trickier parts for extra attention.

I picked out three pieces from the second half of Suzuki Book 3 to work on exclusively (as a review). Rather than spend time just playing these through over and over, I'm going to highlight the tricky parts that always catch me up, and zero in on them... After I've cleaned up these tricky parts, I'll add them back into the whole piece and work on "performance".

I brought up my vibrato exercises, and demonstrated where I am, so far. Apparently, my arm motion isn't too bad, but I definitely need to work on the finger motions: Pick a note - D on the A string, or even A on the D string - "find" the note with my fingertip and then flatten it by straightening the outer knuckle and then return to the pure note. Do these "oo-ee's" slowly; exaggerating the flat; and USE THE METRONOME!! Then pick up speed and shorten the range. Exercise all four fingers.

Cellocracy and our Community Strings Orchestra will play some pieces at an Evening of Classics presented by the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra on October 10th. Cellocracy chose one of the Rudolph Matz trios that we played at the lunch-time concert at the library this summer. We're reasonably good at this, but we've scheduled a session with our coach to fine tune it.

Your goals are focused and well thought out. You'll continue to make great progress with your disciplined practice.

Which 3 pieces did you pick from Suzuki book 3? I either warm up or close out my practice sessions with both the Boccherini Minuet and La Cinquantaine.

For the past several weeks I've been revisiting the Breval. When I first played that 2 years ago I didn't like it, but it's grown on me now that I can play it better. It's worth the effort.

Thanks for the anniversary wishes!
Hi Donna!

I chose Bach's "Gavotte in C Minor", Dvorak's "Humoresque", and Marie's "La Cinquantaine" from Suzuki 3 to really focus on as "performance" pieces.

I've found myself enjoying Breval's "Sonata", maybe because I've approached it with much more discipline and am seeing reasonable progress.
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