Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Practicing & Scale Methods

Was practicing some scale method stuff earlier (Galamian & Yompolsky) and a few things came up:

1.  Not slurring scale practice - many exercises introduce scales and patterns slurring as many notes as possible.  This is initially a good thing, and great for developing long/legato bow control & beautiful tone...

However, it's also crippling if one doesn't practice things with separate bows & bowing patterns.

As a rule, I am working on nothing slurred anymore.  This is important for metal specifically, and other styles.

2.  Minimal movement - as always, it's essential to find the most efficient way to physically do something... this means the least excess motion... eventually, this becomes natural/direct.  It also means minimal excess tension.  When shifting, keep weight down/keep connected to the cello.

3.  Don't look down!!  I first really encountered this idea while watching a Steven Isserlis masterclass... when you look, you are not listening, and not learning how things feel & you are trapping your face in your cello, which is terrible for audience communication

I wish there was a method oriented around "progressive/alternative styles"... galamian & yompolsky are definitely great though

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