Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Practice Routine?? Not for me...

However, a technique routine is exactly what I need...

Copy/Pasted from an earlier post on the ICS - here's some stuff I've been developing or working with:

1. Universal Scale Fingerings - if the major/minor scale is the same no matter what note it starts on, then why shouldn't it be played like that?
2. Chromatic Double stops - I've been working on playing 5ths chromatically in a 1234321 pattern and then shifting up a half step and repeating (eg - on the C string - C#,D,D#,E, D#, D, C# then D, D#, E, F, E, D#, D etc.) So far I'm generally getting to the middle area of the fingerboard and there I start having trouble (what would be considered 4th, 5th, 6th position, etc) ... this middle area (and the thumb position area) are however getting progressively easier as I do this more and more.
3. Scale/Finger Mapping - going back to the non-universal fingerings, I am working on scales by playing in as many areas of the fingerboard as possible. What I do is essentially I do what I'm gonna call ladder scales (1, 2, 2, 1 then 1, 2, 3, 3, 2, 1 etc.) for as much of the scale as I can on the string I'm on. I start on the C string and go all the way up and down. Then I go from the C string and move over to the G string (ex. IV - CDEF, III - GABC and on), then I repeat with the D & A string. While doing this I force myself not to look at the fingerboard, but to look at the notes on the page, otherwise mapping doesn't occur and this would then only build up finger strength.

I guess what I need to do more of is bowing work (I'm starting to do some etudes a bit more and working with the Yampolsky for each scale, though I'm still working on a lot of the exercises for C Maj.). Practicing all intervals (1sts 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, 7ths, Octaves). Practicing scales starting on different notes (ex, In the key of F, Go from F to F, then G to G - this will help with jazz too since it basically unlocks all the basic modes)...

...

Anyways, basically, I'm not a routine kind of guy - just not me... however, I'm really aiming to put together a technique routine that will be as physically efficient as possible, while engaging the mind in important tasks & still be realistic to do... so in light of that, some more things I've come up with:

1. Counting out loud - extremely important to developing a good sense of rhythm and concetration ... also very challenging to do while you're worring about intonation or shifting or w/e ... so what I'm going to do is apply it to *every* exercise I do
2. Singing along - Very useful for developing internal pitch & definitely very useful for improvisation - I like to do this with scales, though, perhaps I should also do this with the pieces I play... at school, we'd do this with Solfege... I can't stand it though, so I just go with hitting the pitch and sometimes singing the note name
3. 1 finger scale in double stops - just your normal 1 finger scale that came from Margaret Rowell, however done in 5ths - as it is, the 1 finger scale develops finger strength/callouses, so why not push that to the extreme and really push for finger strength and intonation. The real challenge of course isn't getting it in tune, it's being relaxed and smooth while doing the exercise, which is the point of 1 finger scales in the first place...
4. Staccato Triplets in 5ths up and down a scale - going from C to C w/ the barred 5th or whatever... this is one of the few bow things I've tackled so far because I was having issues with one of the Dotzeaur Etudes... it's really challenging, but helpful...


What I need to find more of is ways to work on bowing techniques while doing this stuff... The reason I'm looking for some sort of routine is for the purpose of developing a better foundation (which I already have a pretty strong one) - I need to be able to move around all of the fingerboard with ease & have freedom with my bow... I wish I had the money to pick up Starker's "Organized Method of Cello Playing" or Victor Sazer's book (New Directions for cello playing??)... anyway, just wanted to repost that snippet from ICS so that I don't lose it (eventually, I'm gonna look back over all these entries & techniques & ideas & put together this routine...)

Any suggestions on the bow end of stuff?? I need to do much more with that... found Emily Wright's post quite helpful (you can get to her blog on the links on the side)

2 comments:

Scot Jones said...

How did you get from point "a" to point "b" in your cellistic career? You mentioned you were 16 when you started. That's about how old I am now, but I've played for about 4 years. I seem to be going nowhere... what's the catch?

Mike Lunapiena said...

What a question! I'm going to have to write a blog about that! (I think I will do so now).

If you'd like, feel free to email me at mluna87 AT gmail.com . I'd be happy to discuss things with you that specifically pertain to your individual cellist/career development.

All the bestest!

-Mike