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What are you practicing just now? Especially cellists :)
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (13 votes) 
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AndrewH
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August 6, 2020 - 6:25 am
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Well, literally no one seems to be treating this as a cello thread at this point.

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Ilona
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August 6, 2020 - 8:57 am
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I don’t mind if you play cello or violin, I can discuss about practicing with everybody 😊. I think everyone is tired to this lockdown anyway and needs some motivation for practicing. 

I’m fortunate because the covid19-situation is quite good in my country now. Our music school will open next week, and I’m so happy. I feel I have pushed my limits so far I can during this spring and summer and now I really need help to get further. 

Ps. My thumb was better today. I played only scales and some etudes very slowly, and the thumb stayed in nice position. It’s boring but probably best what I can do now. At least I can surprise my teacher with brilliant scales. 🤪

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Mouse
August 6, 2020 - 9:23 am
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@Ilona, since I am switching to viola lessons tomorrow, I have been going back to the cello Suzuki books 1 and 2 so I can take what I learned and work on improving on them. I can’t do that while adding more to it with lessons.

I have settled on a song in Book 2, can’t remember the name, but it is a good one to help me cement the fingering and bowing. After I am more secure with that and can play it to my satisfaction, I will pick a new song. I also am working on a scale with each song. 

So Suzuki Cello book 2 is on my stand along with Suzuki Viola Book 1. I don’t know what my instructor will use for viola, but I am working in my finger placement, and the C, D and G viola scales.

My cello is becoming more enjoyable now because I am not stressing over the lesson songs that I really need more time with before moving on. I know lessons are to learn techniques, etc, and songs are really not completely finished before moving on (that is what I was told by someone), but I was getting very discouraged with never being able to actually play one piece completely. I think I have reached as far as I can with it and just want to use all the shifting, vibrato, etc that I have learned and play songs using those techniques, that I like, and are in my range. I am not interested in performing and not interested in rankings or playing classical music. So, I am in a good cello place.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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starise
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August 6, 2020 - 1:47 pm
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What am I practicing just now? Staying awake.

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Ilona
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August 6, 2020 - 2:23 pm
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@Mouse , no cello lessons anymore? Oh, I’m just surprised. 😮

@starise , I should practice that too 😄 I just heard that I’m going back to my work on wednesday next week. I have been at home since April, my employer had no job for me because of covid-19. I don’t know what to think now! Of course going back is good but it will be huge change to my current daily routines too.
The worst problem to be solved is how can I wake up at 3.30 in the morning to go work at 4.30. 😬 (Well, not everyday but quite often.) And how to stay awake after that? 🤪
Also I don’t have so much time for my cello when I’m working, so I have to find new routines for practicing. 

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Mouse
August 6, 2020 - 4:25 pm
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@Ilona  I am still playing my cello. I just know that I have gone as far as I can in lessons. I am not saying I am super good. I am saying that I simply cannot do what these more advance (for me) lessons and pieces are requiring. That is fine for me. I am really not interested in classical pieces, fast pieces, pieces that are full of 8th and 16th notes, super stretches, etc. I am just not capable of that. If I was still a kid, this is one of the things I could have taken  lessons for and succeeded. I really believe that. But, that is not the case.

I am perfectly content in playing songs that suit my abilities and working them until I am pleased, adding what I learned about shifting and vibrato, etc. to spruce them up. 

I also cannot bridge strings. That was the bain of guitar and banjo. It just is not possible for me to do it. That put an end to those because I could not find an instructor who was not in love with bridging. Apparently, cello has bridging of strings. It was not happening and I know when to say uncle. There is a big bump at the first and second finger joints, or a big dip between, depending on how you look at it. That section between the joints dow not push down on any strings. Just does not happen. Not for banjo and guitar and wasn’t for the cello piece. 

I also am now not doing super stretching and hurting my finger joints. Keeping my little finger on the F# on the C string and putting my first finger on A on the G string, and keeping that little finger in place because it gets played again, hurt my joint and it was not a matter of getting used to the stretch (That was just an example of a stretch). My joints and tendons are 65 years old. Not going to happen at this point if it wasn’t done when younger. I now just release one finger and move up a little so that I can make it work. That is a no no for a real cellist. I am much more comfortable with it now. 

Not looking for any Abrms rating or whatever serious musicians talk about. Just want to have fun and enjoy it, and I am. I figure when I reach this point in viola, I will do the same. I need some in my life to just enjoy it. 😁

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Robyn.fnq
Queensland, Australia

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August 9, 2020 - 2:17 am
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Wow ... you're all so experienced!  I'm enjoying the Suzuki book 1 and 2, not ready for book 3 yet.  I'm also enjoying Schroeder etudes, well the easier ones at least.  I also have some transposed violin and piano music with fairly easy pieces.  I have so many technique problems that it's probably not time yet to try to progress to more difficult pieces.

I'm quite happy plodding along at my own (slow) pace.

I'm not in lockdown, and working extra shifts due to staff shortages, so staying at home the rest of the time is a treat for me.

If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.

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Mouse
August 9, 2020 - 7:25 am
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@Robyn.fnq I am not experienced, s far as being a good cellist. I have had a lot of lessons, but I, too started t an older age than most. The joints just don't like to cooperate. 

I, too, like the Suzuki books 1 and 2. I am not completely ready for book 3. I like some of the easier Schroeder etudes. You are rhe only other person I have heard from tht knows about those etudes. I love that book of Schroeder Etudes that I have.

( know exactly the feeling of being able to play at hime at my own pace. That is why I knew it was time to stop lessons. I am not encouraging others to do that, for me, because of my goal and age, in order to be able to have some time to just enjoy picking my own songs to learn from or hone what I have learned, or to just enjoy,  and working out the kinks, it was time to do that. Currently, that is what I am doing with Suzuki books 1 and 2. Book 1 allows me to concentrate on my bowing and fingering accuracy. Book two is a little more difficult and gives me a chance for using the other skills I learned. 

So, it sounds like we are bout the same, and seem to be using some of the books.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Ilona
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August 9, 2020 - 12:06 pm
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I found better position for my right hand thumb, and playing is smoothly again. 👍🏻

I thought I can’t start any new piece before I will see my teacher, but I was wrong. 😄Because the thumb is ok again, I decided to check out Marcellos sonata in e minor Adagio and Allegro from Suzuki book 4. I listened them couple of times and watched few different videos. Adagio has a bit of a challenging rhythm, but Allegro is just fun to play.

I wish I will soon get also something different than suzuki pieces to play. I like most of them, (well, I skipped one from book 3 and one from book 4, because I just don’t like them) and those has been very practical during this quarantine, because it’s so easy to watch examples from youtube. Following these books is also easy way to find pieces that are suitable for my current level. 

My ambition has grown as my skills has grown. I love to learn playing cello and I really want to reach as far as possible. I feel this is just a start! 

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Ilona
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August 20, 2020 - 3:48 pm
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I had my cello lesson today! It was  great, I have waited so long for this. I got also super hard homeworks but I don’t mind, I’m just in so good mood that everything feels easy. 

So my new goals are A Tear by Mussorgsky and one Dotzauers etude. Well, actually just two first rows of that etude, we will look more next week. There is some difficult double stops and I need time to figure out how I can put my fingers on the correct places.

I'm also a little confused about this all. 🤔 It is very clear now that my skills have already surpassed my daughters skills. I have made about 6-7 years progress since January! My teacher said that my daughter won't play these pieces for a couple more years. 😳

I never imagined anything like this when I started. I have only one question: why my parents didn't let me play as a child? If I can do progress like that at age of 38, where I would be if I had played all my life? Actually I don’t really want to think about it too much, I just want to enjoy this all to the fullest every moment.

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Ilona
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September 5, 2020 - 10:22 am
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I haven’t written anything here in a while ... I found a great Facebook group for cellists like me, and started actively following it. But I'm not going to forget you all!

I have enjoyed so much of my lessons when they finally started! After three lessons I feel that I have energy to learn whatever!

My Dotzauer etude is making great progress, I have practiced it almost to the end. My goal to next week is to play it from start to the finish. 

The piece which I´m practicing is also in very good shape. I almost memorize it, there is only tiny part left that I don´t always remember without looking the sheet music. And one little detail still need attention - I have to figure out how to do nice vibrato with 1st finger in 3rd position. It´s hard for some reason, but this piece definitely needs it. I got very good advices and I´m almost there. The key is the thumb - again...

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Ilona
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September 17, 2020 - 1:51 pm
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I have some significant news about my lessons!

My teacher wanted to move me from adults level to an actual student of the music school. Usually they take only kids, but he talked to the headmaster and they made a desicion to take me in!
This changes my situation in many ways. The biggest change is the duration of my lessons, it's now 45 minutes when it earlier was only 30 minutes. That's so great! More time to learn everything :)

I'm so happy and excited, this is going to be so wonderfull year! My dream is really becoming true!

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Mouse
September 17, 2020 - 1:57 pm
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Congratulations. Ilona! Very happy for you. I was just thinking about you the other day and was wondering how you have been doing sinc3 the last news. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ELCBK
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September 17, 2020 - 7:17 pm
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Ilona - that's great news!

I think you are a wonderful role model for your daughter, too! 

I

- Emily

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SharonC
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September 17, 2020 - 8:42 pm
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Ilona,

Congrats!  Your dedication and hard work is paying off.  Enjoy the journey—

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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Mark
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September 18, 2020 - 12:18 am
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Ilona

Congratulations on the acceptance to the music school,

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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Ilona
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September 25, 2020 - 3:20 am
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Thank you all!

My teacher gave me a new piece to practice, Valse Sentimentale by Tchaikowsky. It’s so beautiful! And of course it has some very tricky parts...

Just now I feel like I have some kind of a mental lock with one certain note. Sounds stupid, and it is! 😬 I have to go up to the 7th position on the A-string and play B, but for some reason I can’t trust I will find it. I have double and triple checked with the tuning app, that I know exactly where this note is and I hit to it every time, but I'm still not able to rely on my own ears. Very frustrating! But it will come, I know. Just more practicing! 👍🏻

We started also to play the scales. I have to learn a bunch of them to the exam I’m going to do. Two octave scales without the open strings, so lots of shifting required. 👍🏻

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Mouse
September 25, 2020 - 7:40 am
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@Ilona That B in 7th is tricky. If you can get it and start getting is consistently, the rest of the shifting on A will go much more smoothly, For me that A and B were the support beams for me shifting in the A string, but the B was particularly hard. It is a much more comfortable shift now. 

I was going from b and sliding to B, C and sliding to B, and back and forth, etc, Then the D and sliding to B, etc. Paid off, it is easier now, but I still miss the mark periodically. 

Don’t you just love shifting on the cello? I don’t play anything nearly as complicated as you are playing, but shifting is a blast. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Ilona
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September 26, 2020 - 1:34 am
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Yeah, shifting is normally not hard at all, I like it and I can do it.

This sliding up to the 7th position is just new thing for me with this piece and I need to do some work before I get it. I will. 

@Mouse I’ll try to slide back and forth to teach my ears, it should help. 😄

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Ilona
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October 16, 2020 - 7:46 am
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My cello teacher has stayed on the sick leave couple of weeks and I don’t know when he will be back...😔 I have had a substitute teacher, and next week there will be a new teacher again. It’s a little confusing...🙄 I just got used to this first substitute teacher, and now we need to start over again.

The biggest problem is just that, because of course nobody else than my own teacher knows me, what I’m doing and what I need. We were supposed to choose the pieces and etudes (2 of both) to my exam before his sick leave. Of course no one else can choose these for me, so I’m stuck with my old homeworks and can’t get forward. 🤔

The first substitute teacher gave me very good advices and also new perspective for some things and I’m gratefull of that! But I think you know that feeling when playing just that same over and over...

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