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Progress With the Cello
I feel like I am progressing
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cid
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June 10, 2019 - 8:11 pm
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I am endeavoring to tune my cello (and later my violin and viola) via an A tuning fork. I received my tuning fork today. I ordered the lesser priced of the two tuning forks at Fiddlershop. I took a break from my cello today. I needed a rest. I have really been going at it to improve my intonation and play the sonata we have been working on in class really good. So much fun! But, I needed a break.

I have been playing without tapes for a couple weeks now and do feel like my hearing correct notes has improved. This is most noticeably with the “E”, “F” and “G” on the “D” string, and the “C” and “D” on the “A” string. Yes, they are used a lot in that Sonata for Cello. I am working on the slide from the B to C and then playing D on the A string and then the E on the A string that follows the D. That E is not a first position note. I am getting better with the slide from B to C with my first finger. This has been an extremely fun challenge for me. I guess I am a glutton for punishment!

I have gotten so I can hear the C pretty good when I hit it right. The D note is coming along now, too. I can almost remember the stretch needed. That is an big help in hitting the fingerboard in the right place. The feel of the stretch (not always what is considered a stretch depending on how easy it is to spread your fingers to reach the next note). What does it feel like to play the D after the C on the A string? Knowing that feeling is a big help for me. Cues like that are a big help.

I do have an issue with the slide up to the E after playing that D. It is about where the curve is on the neck. I usually hit the F instead of the E, or the D#. I will get it eventually. I haven’t gotten the exact sound of that E in my mind, which may be one issue. Have not ventured that far down on the fingerboard before. My instructor said that I am way ready for that and we will be venturing down there more.

Back to the tuning fork. I think using the tuning fork to tune my A string and then listening and tuning the D string to the A string, G to D string, and then C to G string will help me tune my ears. As a result, it should help me know when I have fingered the fingerboard properly for other notes. At least, that is my theory.

I also have a Korg tuner on order because it will give me immediate response so I can note where I was on the fingerboard and the feel of that position when that Korg says I hit it. This will be for beginning to learn a scale and will only be looked at for a note I am completely lost finding. I need the correlation of the feel on the fingerboard and stretch, and the correct sound to enforce that trouble spot. Guessing and adjusting does not work for me with an issue spot. The instant read of the Korg (when I get it) will help. For non-trouble spots, I do not look at the slow reactive tuner I have. It is turned off unless I find a trouble spot. But, with the Snark’s slow reaction to low cello notes, it is cumbersome. The Korg I ordered has a mic included and should give instant read. I don’t think I will be using it for long, at least that is not my intention.

I was hesitant mentioning the Korg. This post is not a debate against using a tuner and not using a tuner. Using one or not is a personal decision. I am just explaining my steps in improving my intonation and making my cello playing more fun that it is already. I will be able to use these same techniques for improving my violin and viola intonation. That will come after I am more comfortable and consistent with the cello.

Right now I get my viola and violin down and just play what I already know to keep it in my mind. I am able to listen to my notes and their correlation with my fingers, just as I have been doing on my cello. My system on my cello carries over to the violin and viola. As a result, without any real formal effort to advance, the violin and viola have improved slightly.

I still have a ways to go to get consistency, but I really feel like I have improved, am advancing, and can do it.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Mark
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June 11, 2019 - 2:47 am
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Cid,,

Remember to Have fun,I sure the relative pitch recognition will come with you working at it 

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 11, 2019 - 9:21 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Looking forward to hearing how you like using the tuning fork. 🙂
I think I influenced you a bit on that one. Hope you like it.

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

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intrepidgirl
Bragg Creek, Alberta
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June 12, 2019 - 12:43 am
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@cid It sounds like you are really coming along on your ear. My teacher had me get an A tuning fork so that I can tune my cello every lesson. She has me use the A harmonic on the A string against the fork. Then the harmonic on the A string vs D string, D string vs G string and so on. It is subtle so trains my ear. Some days my ability to properly and consistently produce a good ringing harmonic sucks, but it is a great exercise.

Anyways, we should have a few cello videos on here, I think. 🙂 

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cid
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June 12, 2019 - 7:47 am
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@Fiddlerman So far, the tuning fork itself is what I expected. It sounds great when I tap and hold it on the top of the bridge. My coordination is not too good. Hard for me to do that and bow at the same time. Jer is going to make me a sound box and attach it.

At the violin shop they have a tuning fork on the big table in the midfle of the room. It is attached to a box. Very handy that way. Hopefully, Jer can do it and keep the sound coming out, and coming out loud enough so I can hear it. Wish it was louder. Maybe I should have bought the other one? 

The other one has that padded handle. Might not be able to be fit into a sound box. I think it is larger. Is a larger tuning fork louder?

When I did use it for the A string, I checked against my electronic Snark and it did match. Then I turned off my Snark and tuned my D to A, G to D, and C to G by ear. A check against the Snark, confirmed I had done it. 

Of course, the Jargar Superior cello strings do not go out of tune much it at all between sessions. They have been stable since I put them on. I did not have to do much adjusting when I tuned.

l really liked tuning that way, after I was able to hold the tuning fork and bow at the same time. Eventually, maybe I will know what the A sounds like better.

Yes, you did influence me. Maybe “influence” is not the correct word. Encouraged me to give it a try. The fork is not expensive to try. So, thank you.

There is a sense of accomplishment it gives when I use the tuning fork and my ears. Kind of a freedom to know I will be able to, eventually, not be tied to an electronic tuner for my cello, violin or viola. Felt good!

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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cid
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June 12, 2019 - 7:53 am
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intrepidgirl said
@cid It sounds like you are really coming along on your ear. My teacher had me get an A tuning fork so that I can tune my cello every lesson. She has me use the A harmonic on the A string against the fork. Then the harmonic on the A string vs D string, D string vs G string and so on. It is subtle so trains my ear. Some days my ability to properly and consistently produce a good ringing harmonic sucks, but it is a great exercise.

Anyways, we should have a few cello videos on here, I think. 🙂 

  

@intrepidgirl I will be bringing it to my lesson today. Strings will probably be in tune when I get there, though. I tune before I go and they seem to be tuned when I arrive, especially these Jargar Superior strings. I enjoyed doing it via tuning fork and ear yesterday. 

As far as videos, I would not hold your breath. I don’t do that anymore. I record myself for my granddaughter, a couple sibs, and myself, but not for posting. Please, do not ask why. Been through that. Didn’t go well. 😁

Thanks for the encouragement!

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 17, 2019 - 2:28 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14597

cid said
@Fiddlerman So far, the tuning fork itself is what I expected. It sounds great when I tap and hold it on the top of the bridge. My coordination is not too good. Hard for me to do that and bow at the same time. Jer is going to make me a sound box and attach it.

So the idea is to sound it, and remember the tone while you are tuning. 🙂

At the violin shop they have a tuning fork on the big table in the midfle of the room. It is attached to a box. Very handy that way.......

We had the same thing at Malmö Symphony Orchestra back stage except on a box on the wall. 🙂

"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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June 17, 2019 - 2:42 pm
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@Fiddlerman 

“So the idea is to sound it, and remember the tone while you are tuning.“

My memory ain’t so good! LOL I am trying to remember it an match it, though. I tried a drone A on my phone. Really not interested in using up my battery with that. Since I do not want to use my battery up that way, the good thing was that it had a horrible sound. It was not like the tuning fork. 

I was Googling how to make a soundbox yesterday after we were done painting the kitchen. Should be doable. But, we are now doing the floor replacement. Will be a while. I will probably have done it enough where I can remember the tone before we can get around to making a box for it, which would be a good thing! That in my goal. To just know when it is right.

They had one on a box at the violin shop that was for sale, but for more money than I wanted to spend. Would probably have gotten the 20% discount on that like I did my bow had I bought it with the cello like I did the bow. But even that would have been more than I would spend on it. We can make a sound box for it.

I like using the tuning fork for the A string and then the strings against each other. Still have some issues, but getting better.

.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 21, 2019 - 12:53 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14597

Good luck with the soundbox. Perhaps a plain wooden box would work well for this. https://www.michaels.com/woode.....57776.html

"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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June 21, 2019 - 1:14 pm
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@Fiddlerman 

Not sure if that will work. All the photos online have two open ends. I am trying to do it by remembering the sound. Worked on that yesterday. Mixed results, but it will take a while. The box is a ways off because we are still busy with the kitchen. Painted and new floor in. Have the new island to make and molding.

I am not sure about the Korg. After all trouble to get it, not sure I am going to keep it. Not so sure I need it now. It seems to me that if I get to be able to tune my cello sans electronic tuner, it should transfer to my viola and violin. Giving it a try, but I got really far with the tuning fork before the right Korg arrived. I think I am beyond needing it now. But I am wondering about it giving me the quick response to get me familiar with the shifted areas more quickly. I keep going back and forth about keeping it or returning it.

We should be shifting more next week when we move along with that sonata, so I should find out if it is needed then. I hate returning things, usually just keep them, but might return this if I find the shifting is achieved without a temporary aid. I have too many unused instrument items collecting here.  It is nice and if I had not progressed before it arrived, I would have kept it for sure.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 21, 2019 - 10:12 pm
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True. One can cut the ends off. 👍

"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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June 21, 2019 - 10:59 pm
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That is true, too. 👍

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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