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Lullaby - Looking for phrasing suggestions
I know my bowing needs work, but I am looking for help in phrasing
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cid
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February 14, 2019 - 4:34 pm
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This is “Lullaby”. I could not hear myself clearly because I was wearing Rite Aide purple foam earplugs. 

I know my bowing is faulty, I am working on it. This was a partcularly bad day. It always happens when I record myself. What I am looking for is help with phrasing and dynamics. 

This is a soft song and needs to be smooth. I have not done anything with dynamics and phrasing in my lessons, and it has been a month since my last lesson, so I figured that maybe I could get tips here. Thanks in advance.

I had to break it into three small videos to upload it. Hope it works.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Bob
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February 14, 2019 - 4:59 pm
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@cid listening to the pieces of the lullaby, it doesn't sound bad, but being in pieces it's hard to get a feel for the phrasing and continuity.

Everytime I begin to record myself, all bowing, fingering, intonation, etc. go out the window, so I understand your bow issue 🙂

What many of us do to post a video is to post to Youtube as "UNLISTED". This means that nobody can discover your recording by searching. The only way for someone to have access to it is if you send along a link. 

To create an account for uploading to Youtube, it's not necessary to use your real name or any personal information. I think all I needed to give was an email address. I did use my real name, but it's not required.

Here's my Youtube page 😉

MyYouTube.JPGImage Enlarger

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Bob in Lone Oak, Texas

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cid
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February 14, 2019 - 5:55 pm
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@Bob Thank you for the input. The minute I start recording, a song I have memorized will go out the window. I did that recording about 4 times. I was doing it for my granddaughter for our shared album, decided to put it up here to get some advice. Even recordings for my granddaughter get messed up. Cameras make me nervous.

I don’t do YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, anything on the internet except this forum and another forum for a hobby of mine. For one thing, I do not trust any of the user agreements of the ones that I read. They are not giving you the service for nothing. I don’t like that most of the people on my contacts list are on Facebook, considering what I read and hear about their user “enhancements”. Needless to say, I am paranoid. Thanks for the info though. I am stating this so nobody else suggests anything like that. I can’t get myself to do it, and really don’t want to.

If it doesn’t work this way for input, no biggy. I can figure it out. I gave it a shot. Appreciate the suggestion, though.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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bocaholly
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February 14, 2019 - 6:05 pm
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Yay, Cid! cheerleadercheerleadercheerleader

You did it! A huge jump. 

I disagree with Bob that you can't get a feel for the phrasing. I think it's quite good.
I'm also impressed that you're looking fairly relaxed (as opposed to my left hand death grip when I was 5 months in, ugh, which took a lot of work... ongoing... to undo.) I was really miffed that my teacher hadn't honed in on that problem. It was only thanks to BillyG's straight talk feedback that I realized I had something so major to work on. 

You know the rest of the story from other threads you started... the one where we're all working on... our bowing.

Nice start ... and, gotta add, I love the backdrop 🙂

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cid
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February 14, 2019 - 6:24 pm
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Thank you, Bocaholly. Oh, right! It was you who I told that I would never be able to post a video of me playing. You can thank my most beautiful, kindest, funniest, sweetest sweet pea of a little wee one granddaughter because it was originally for her. I hope they video her watching it like they did when I did “You Are My Sunshine” on my cello. She sang right alomg with it. I think she knows this song, too.

Anyway, do you know anything about phrasing and smoothing some areas out?

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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bocaholly
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February 14, 2019 - 7:00 pm
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... and you may remember that I mentioned to you that I'm pretty much a newbie in all things musical so phrasing is a relatively new concept for me. 

Seems like you're a natural video editor though. It sounds like the first of your three snippets cuts just at the end of a phrase 🙂 

I did get one cool tidbit from my teacher about phrasing and dynamics. It's like telling a story... the story teller takes a breath. Sometimes we raise our voice, sometimes we whisper to be discreet. Or it's like a conversation. Folks politely take turns, waiting for the other to finish or sometimes someone just jumps in on the end of your thought with a loud exclamation. You come back at them with a quiet "shhhhh"... and the story goes on.

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cid
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February 14, 2019 - 7:10 pm
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@bocaholly That makes absolute sense. Now to transfer that to a bow! 

It took me so long to break them down. I tried to split it in half first. One was 6 seconds longer. That one was still too long. So I started over and did it in thirds. I watched my bowing and stopped where it looked like a new “phrase” starting. The next one, I started right before that spot so part of the end of the previous would lead into the new section, repeated for the third section. With the iPad I have the option of saving the cut to a new video clip or replacing the original. I always made a new one so I have the originals to fall all back on. Then I delete the ones I don’t want to keep. Took a while.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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mookje
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February 15, 2019 - 12:58 am
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Nice @cid and big compliments for sharing with us. I do recording myself frequently and I still find it aweful. It makes me very nervous too smile

As @bocaholly says, it’s like telling a story. But telling a story isn’t easy, it’s all in the ritme, the dynamics, the feeling and the bowing. If you wanna play harder or softer, you will learn to play in the middle, by the fingerboard and by the bridge. I do practice that but only on scales because I still working on my bowing. In other words, i still have to learn some more words before I can tell a beautiful story! 

Thanks for sharing and keep doing that!!

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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Gordon Shumway
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February 15, 2019 - 5:15 am
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There's nothing wrong with your phrasing.

The rhythm could be steadier: I don't know if that's what you mean when you refer to your bowing. Or perhaps you mean there might be a more convenient bowing pattern to express the same phrasing. Either way, your sense of phrasing is fine, and so the bowing will come. Or perhaps you refer to your bowing not being parallel. Perhaps there's still some shoulder movement you could eliminate.

I always wanted to be a juvenile delinquent but my parents wouldn't let me.

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cid
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February 15, 2019 - 7:11 am
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Thanks @mookje and @Gordon Shumway 

I think a lot of what I am talking about is the rhythm. I hear how I want songs to sound in my head, and try to mimick it and it interferes with my beat counts and flow because my bow and my mind are not in sync.

It happens when I do site reading, too. I get a feel for the song as I continue and am hearing how I think it should be and don’t pay attention to the notes. I love to site read abpnd expected that to help me pay attention to beats, but it doesn’t, i do a lot of site reading because I find it fun and chalkenging.

I also wish I could get my bow crossings to be smoother. But, in the recording, I noticed it has improved with my four weeks without lessons. I have been spending the four weeks fine tuning, so to speak. My instructor offered no advice when i asked about it. Just said iy will just happen. dazedMaybe tht is what has been happening over the 4 weeks? I habe been watching videos here and seeing what orher people are doimg, and watching Fiddleman videos. 

It is also my shoulder. I had that issue solved, but it has resurfaced. I can feel it. My arm was so relaxed before and it was so much better. I lost it when my instructor mentioned how good my bowing was, now 4 weeks ago. Lost it rightnduring the lesson as soon as she mentioned it, she niticed that, too. LOL Now, I am thinkijg about it all,the time when I bow. I guess I should go back to the routine I did to get it smoothed out? 

Thanks everyone, got me examining what I am doing as to what I was dking and what I should be doing. Very helpful. Might do this again sometime.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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mookje
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February 15, 2019 - 9:02 am
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You doing well @cid, you play with feeling and not only notes! And a steady ritme and straight bowing will come too, I’m sure of that. You can’t learn everything at the same time. You noticed your self that your bowing is smoother now, so that’s good progress 👍 I wonder why your teacher offered no advice? 

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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steveduf
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February 15, 2019 - 9:14 am
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I am not one qualified to offer advice...

but I do feel it is awesome you shared, wtg @cid 

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cid
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February 15, 2019 - 9:26 am
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mookje said
I wonder why your teacher offered no advice?   

I wondered the same thing about my instructor. I figured she knows more than I do and maybe that is what happens. If we get my lesson this coming week, I am going to ask her again and try to explain my question a little more exact. 

I had a post asking about whether strings affect playing on this forum somewhere. I answered myself with this video. I have Fiddlerman strings on Rudoulf now. I had recorded myself with the Obligatos about a week ago. Same song, same Fiddlerman bow, same rosin. These strings bow much more easily and actually have a better sound than the Obligatos, when I compare in areas the Obligatos were not scratchy sounding. 

It will be better to learn my bowing with these strings. Back to long slow bow length bowing on each open string again, while paying attention to my arm, shoulder, wrist and fingers. I have to remember to stop and shake my arm out loose when I start feeloing tense. Then just sit and let my arm dangle loose, and take a coulle slow deep breaths. That is what I did when learning to bow my cello. Seemed to work for my violin.

As an aside, I do use a viola bow. Violin bows are too light and don’t register with me that they are in my hand. Probably due to my cello bow. Don’t want to ruin my cello bowing, so rather than fight to get used to a lightweight bow, I compromise with a heavy side viola bow. Does that make sense? Hope so.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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cid
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February 15, 2019 - 9:28 am
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steveduf said
I am not one qualified to offer advice...

but I do feel it is awesome you shared, wtg @cid   

Thank you, Steve

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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JuanFiddler
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February 15, 2019 - 10:01 am
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Hi Cid 😊 I love that lullaby!! It is great to work on dynamics and melodic playing. I liked your videos a Lot. I think you can try as a warm up, doing open strings so you can find the feeling of a straight bow. To this day i do 5 minutes of open strings. I see that sometimes your bow loses its contact point but you can fix that taking your time with open strings. You will notice your bow is straight when the sound is even and clear. Another thing you may try is playing the piece without the slurs and do it as concious as possible so you can anticipate when you have to do your string crossings. Then when you feel good about it begin adding the slurs. Always slowly.

And last but not least, if you want to make a soft dynamic you have to play close to the fingerboard with Light pressure and a bit more speed. You are doing great Cid. Hope this helps. Juan.

There's nothing better than a cold beer and the warm soothing sound of a violin.

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cid
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February 15, 2019 - 11:13 am
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@JuanFiddler Thanks. Great help. 

Everyone, this has been so helpful. It has given me a lot of confidence. Thanks a bunch.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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wtw
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Nice @cid ! thanks a lot for sharing that with us 🙂 .

I too think that your bowing and phrasing are quite good already. Obviously you've got the "feeling" for the tune. The next problem is how to translate the sound we want to make into the bow – that's an endless pursuit...

Maybe you should try at some point to use the lower half of the bow more (the part closer to the frog). Maybe not on this song if you want to keep it real soft, but it's worth experimenting with it at least, the sound isn't the same. Harder, though (notably, it's more difficult to stay parallel to the bridge near the frog). I've got to force myself a bit to go there more too...

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cid
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February 15, 2019 - 1:30 pm
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Thanks @wtw . Yeah, the frog end is harder. The scales have me do them at the frog, middle and tip. Frog is the hardest. Today is not going so well. Going all over the strings so I hung my violin back up and went to my knitting machine. laugh

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Fiddlerman
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February 22, 2019 - 3:08 pm
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cid said
This is “Lullaby”. I could not hear myself clearly because I was wearing Rite Aide purple foam earplugs. 

I know my bowing is faulty, I am working on it. This was a partcularly bad day. It always happens when I record myself. What I am looking for is help with phrasing and dynamics. 

This is a soft song and needs to be smooth. I have not done anything with dynamics and phrasing in my lessons, and it has been a month since my last lesson, so I figured that maybe I could get tips here. Thanks in advance.

I had to break it into three small videos to upload it. Hope it works.  

Congratulations on this post Cynthia. Bravo

Your intonation is mostly good. You played an F# instead of a G in one place but that is probably just a misunderstanding rather than a mistake and not an intonation issue as much as playing the wrong note.

I can help you more with phrasing if you scan the sheet music and send it to me. I can draw my phrasing suggestions with a pencil and you can give it a shot. It would of course be my opinion only.

You get a badge. :))))))

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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cid
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February 22, 2019 - 4:24 pm
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@Fiddlerman  Thank you. I will send you the PDF. I have it on my pad.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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