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Aha, It is a shift!
Did you ever have an, “AHA!” moment? I had mine a couple days ago. Making shifting easier, at least for me, and thinking outside the box to figure things out.
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cid
August 29, 2019 - 9:46 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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Did you ever have an, “AHA!” moment? I had mine a couple days ago with my cello. I have issues leaving first position. Well, I have trouble just getting first position right. First position is getting better.

For clarity for those of you who do not do cello, here is a little string info. The cello has strings C, G, D, and A. As opposed to the violin’s G, D, A, and E. The cello uses the four fingers. I will use the A string in my example or explanation of my “aha” moment. 

The A string has the following notes in first position:

Open A

B - First Finger (Index)

C - Second Finger (Middle Finger)

C# - Third Finger (Ring Finger)

D - Fourth Finger (Pinky)

At the bottom of this thread is the section of Humoresque I am talking about. It is the very first line and is repeated in some form or another, throughout. This is bass clef, not treble.  

Starting with the first measure, the notes are, D, E, D, E, F#, A, B, A, (2nd measure starts here)D, C#, E, D, C#, E, D, B, (3rd measure starts here) A, A, B, A, D, B. That is all the notes that are visible here. Note the numbering over the second measure. That is my issue, or was my issue and became my, “Aha” moment.

That D with the 2 over it would normally be played with the 4th finger in first position. The other notes, except the E, with the numbers would normally follow the first position fingering mentioned at the beginning of this post, also. 

I was playing the first measure and then rushing up to put that 2nd finger on the A string where the D would sound. It was kind of clunky and inconsistent. I have struggled with it for 1 1/2 weeks. A couple days ago, it dawned in me, it is just a shift. I was just shifting from 1st to upper 2nd position. 

How did this just dawn on me? I credit a number of things that have happened. I switched from 1/2 hour lessons every week for cello to 1 hour every other week for cello, the other hour lesson week is violin. 

In previous cello 1/2 hour lessons everything was rushed and with the lesson every week, I did not have time to sort it all out and practice it before my next lesson. If I can have time to figure things out myself, after being guided in the right direction, I can usually make sense of it, and it will usually stick with me. Well, it really made no sense to me. Asking would not have helped with that half hour format. I needed more time. It was also mentioned that you lead with the index finger in the left hand when finding position. Never mentioned in previous cello lessons with another instructor. Did not really understand it with the half hour session.

I now have an hour lesson every week, but one week will be cello and the other will be violin. My first hour was last week and was violin. In that lesson the instructor (same as my cello instructor) said, “Remember in cello that you lead with the first finger for placement on the fingerboard? You lead with the third finger on violin. The rest of the fingers will follow.”

A couple days ago, when working on my cello, I caused a city-wide blackout with a light bulb moment. I am to lead with the first finger. What does that mean for that measure in the attached photo? I do not rush to get the 2nd finger in the D, just move the 1st finger up to the C#. The rest of the fingers will follow, maybe with a tad adjustment. Yep, they do, and it is easier. 

Well, then I got to thinking. I am moving, this is a shift. Yes, shifting was mentioned in the half hour lessons, and I always tried to figure it out for the next week’s lesson. I had time to think between lessons this time because each instrument gets a lesson every other week.  I was just shifting. But what shift was it? It was a shift that has the 2nd finger on D and the 1st finger in C#. It wasn’t third because I knew that would put the 1st finger on D. Second position would have the first finger in C natural, not C#, or so I thought. The sheet music clearly said it was 2nd position. Did not make sense. The 1st finger would have to be on C natural for that 2nd position like the sheet music says. I needed C#.

I Googled, “shifting on the A string on cello so 2nd finger is on D”. Weird, I know. Well, I got hits. Before, when I Googled for a chart, the charts just made no sense. I got a chart with that weird search. That chart made complete sense. There is an upper and lower second position shift. I am doing the upper 2nd position shift. First finger is C#, second is D, third is D#(E flat), and fourth is E. Exactly what I needed.

The sheet music just says, “2nd pos” for that section, and it made no sense. It is technically UPPER 2nd pos. For some reason, knowing this has made this section, and the repeats, and the similar areas, much easier. I have to know the exact what, and why. I have to have time to connect dots.

Why is this in the general Learning, and not Learning Cello section of the forum. No, I am not trying to mix cello and violin, it is just the thought process is general learning, and maybe this will help others to think outside the box to help with learning your instrument.

7240AB15-4E95-4BB0-8A5E-56616831B949.jpegImage Enlarger

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Pete_Violin
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August 29, 2019 - 10:04 pm
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cid said
Did you ever have an, “AHA!” moment? I had mine a couple days ago with my cello. I have issues leaving first position. Well, I have trouble just getting first position right. First position is getting better.

Many Aha moments!  My problem is keeping those epiphanies in my head for longer periods of time!  LOL!!!

How did this just dawn on me? I credit a number of things that have happened. I switched from 1/2 hour lessons every week for cello to 1 hour every other week for cello, the other hour lesson week is violin.

It is so cool, to see the way music opens your mind to concepts.  This is why playing an instrument has been proven to increase the ability to learn and understand.

In that lesson the instructor (same as my cello instructor) said, “Remember in cello that you lead with the first finger for placement on the fingerboard? You lead with the third finger on violin. The rest of the fingers will follow.”

I need you to help me understand how leading with third finger on violin works.  I would think that it would work the same as cello... lead with first finger on violin.

My teacher has another way to put it.  When I find the correct fingering (intonation) on first finger, the half and whole steps follow after.  It is like the first finger is establishing the position for the other fingers to follow.  That has worked for me for a lot of fingering.

The sheet music just says, “2nd pos” for that section, and it made no sense. It is technically UPPER 2nd pos. For some reason, knowing this has made this section, and the repeats, and the similar areas, much easier. I have to know the exact what, and why. I have to have time to connect dots.

Violin uses upper and lower position fingering as well.  I am still learning these.  And yes, I need to connect the dots too!

Why is this in the general Learning, and not Learning Cello section of the forum. No, I am not trying to mix cello and violin, it is just the thought process is general learning, and maybe this will help others to think outside the box to help with learning your instrument.

Very helpful.  I believe this is very appropriate for this learning section

- Pete -

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cid
August 29, 2019 - 10:56 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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@Pete_Violin 

I need you to help me understand how leading with third finger on violin works.  I would think that it would work the same as cello... lead with first finger on violin.

I think it has to do with the perspective and direction. With the cello, you are looking down, the cello is vertical in front of you. The violin is on your shoulder. You are looking out. I think that is why when placing the fingers on the cello, the first finger goes down and the rest of the fingers just follow through, most often spaced correctly, depends on how stiff I am that day. 

With the violin, you have the instrument on your shoulder, angled away from you. It, for me, is easier for that third finger to hit its mark in position and the rest follow through, going towards you.

I will have to pay attention to how it feels next time. I won’t be picking up a violin until Saturday. I have cello tomorrow. I stop playing the instrument that does not get a lesson that week the day before the lesson of the other instrument’s lesson, and don’t play it the day of that other instrument’s lesson, either. The next day, it is one instrument in the morning, the other the afternoon, until the day before the next lesson. 

So, in two days, I will see if I can figure it out exactly. I really think it is perspective and positioning of the instrument.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Pete_Violin
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August 30, 2019 - 12:21 am
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@cid 

I see what you are saying now.

Here is how I look at it... 

Think about 1st position on the violin, or really any position...  Where is the bow?  Where are your fingers?  You are undoubtedly familiar with the term, to stop a note, for string instruments.  Especially the non-fretted instruments we play, e.g., violin, viola, cello, bass.  The bow has to be drawn directly after the fingered note.  

So the fingers behind the stopped note can be placed on that string.  We do this for a few reasons like creating solid, consistent tone, providing added support on the string, avoiding "high" fingers and maintaining good position on all fingers.

The reason I am describing this in detail is to show why I think of going from 1st finger to 2nd finger to 3rd finger to 4th finger as the logical direction.  That is how I see the one following the next.  You cannot guide the 2nd finger with the 3rd when you play.  It will get in the way.

Of course we play in both directions and notes often "jump" around unless you are playing runs.  But still, going from 3rd toward the nut, all fingers behind the one stopping the string are supporting it, not the other way around.

Ok, I feel like I am being a bit redundant and over-describing this.  I am not sure it still makes sense.

Please let me know how your perspective is when you pick up your violin again.

- Pete -

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