Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Technical Talk

As a result of video myself, I discovered something pretty interesting that explains some of the trouble and insecurity I have with playing the cello:

I break the alignment of my arm to the cello a lot. Particularly when I play on my 4th finger or shift. This is something I had pointed out to me very quickly a while ago, but recently I discovered vampyresonata ( girl & after watching her & every other cellist out there & notice that they all had this consistent position and ease/strength/directness of playing, I finally put 2 & 2 together ...

I love the way Vampyre Sonata plays, especially with her left hand - it's so direct and structured and accurate & it produces a great sound

Teaching advice for Masterclasses or private lessons: Mirrors are great tools. What I think I'm doing from behind the cello and what I'm actually doing are often different. A mirror shows me what I'm actually doing. Had somebody explained this to me with a mirror and taken 5 minutes to go over it with me, it would have stuck much, much more.

Some other things I've noticed are that my left hand thumb is often unbalanced or behind the first finger - particularly after shifting, my bow hand fingers are not bending enough. I'm also learning that there are times to tense more and times to relax more (particularl with the left hand).

Also, playing a piano dynamic still requires a firm left hand that fully stops the string ... this is what Irene Sharp means by left hand doesn't do dynamics (I think) ... What the left hand does alter is the tone.

I've discovered part of the secret to playing in tune (and this is something I was taught long ago) ... I need to hear/sing the part in my head *before* I'm playing it. This means I'm constantly thinking ahead (something I was telling a student in a lesson the other day & something Amit Peled talks about in his ICS interview)

Also, I have to start thinking about bow distribution as a means of expression a lot more & start mimicking other cellist's bow distribution, as well as their left hand.

Today I tried a new method of practicing, which basically meant that when learning a new piece, I stopped after sections and wrote down the problems and then continued (I would have then worked on them, but I only had an hour for this particular session & lots of tunes to get through).

I'm going to make it a point to blog regularly & discover new Youtube regularly and start reading peoples' blogs again (because I have to confess, Emily's is really the only one I've been reading regularly).

I am very stressed out (compared to my usual level of complete non-stressiness), but it's the kind that comes from working hard ... I need that right now!


VampyreSonata said...

hey, one of my friends just pointed out your blog to me! thanks so much for the shout-out and i'm so glad you like my playing! :] i just listened to a few of your things and they were pretty sweet, hit me up sometime if you want to talk cello... :]

Mike Lunapiena said...

Thanks! I just friended you on FB ... I'm gonna be recording a cd of my own original music in July/August ... lots of rock/metal influence ... what did you listen to of mine?

Would definitely love to talk cello anytime & learn what you're up to ...

Feel free to shoot me an email anytime if you'd like - mluna87 ATTTTTTTTTTTTTTT