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Today, I learned two tips on how to break up a busy piece of sheet music to make it easier to make sense of it and learn it.
My lesson was quite helpful today in learning Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise
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December 4, 2019 - 8:22 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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My lesson was quite helpful today in learning Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise. I am having trouble learning Vocalise by. Rachmaninoff. It was actually written as a vocal piece without words. I am learning it in my cello lessons. Ot was apparently stolen long long long ago by cellists because it is such a beautiful song so suited to cellos. 

It is a slow song full of feeling, but has a lot of 16th notes, bow changes, etc. Not an easy song. I had found a version of it by a wonderful cellist. I wanted to listen and pay attention to the timing. Well, it it is so lovely that I start listening to pay attention to timing and technique, but I invariably end out just listening to enjoy and not listwn to learn timing. Happens all the time. I told my teacher this. That is when I learned it was written to be sung, but without words. He suggested I listen to it being sung. He said that timing and feeling will become much more clear. He pulled out his phone and we listened to it being sung in a YouTube. The timing was more clear and easier to make sense of. 

The other thing we did was break it down in a few places, but not like I do. We broke it down by starting at the beginning and going to the apex of that section. Where do notes lead to their climax? Wow, what a difference. We continued like that for a while. It was making much more sense. I cannot wait to try it on my own. If my knee pain eases up before bed, I will get out my cello and five it a try. This makes so much sense!


Here is a link to what we listened to in my lesson:

Anna Moffo performing Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise

The Bumblebee Flies!

December 5, 2019 - 3:57 pm
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Okay, so I just played Ada, German cello, for 2 1/2 hours. I was using the system or process my instructor mentioned and it really did help. If I can just get my fingering to be more automatic, I really think I could smooth it out and work on more accurate or fluid bowing. 

It also does help to listen to just the vocalized version of Vocalise, using the link in my original post. That is a great help in getting the rhythm and feel of the song. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

December 5, 2019 - 5:15 pm
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I just thought of something. I think that maybe I should listen to the youtube vocalized version with my headset as I try to play it with my cello? I am thinking it might make me play it with better timing. There is an issue that might crop up. I have a hard time playing with a metronome and not sure if it would transfer to this. Will have it a shot later on tonight. Hopefully, it won’t set me back.

The vocalized YouTube by Anna Moffo is at the same speed we play it. I found a cello version in the key of G, which is the version we are doing, but it is being played much faster than it should. Must be the YouTube version my instructor told me to dodge. He said there was one in G being played way too fast.

I am thinking this will also help me be a little quicker reading the the sheet music and force me to look ahead at the next note to be ready? In reading sheet music I don’t seem to be able to keep up and be prepared for the next note in any instrument. Any thoughts on playing your instrument with a YouTube while looking at your sheet music helping you be more efficient and capable of reading sheet music?

The Bumblebee Flies!

Mimi Aysha

December 6, 2019 - 10:08 am
Member Since: April 26, 2012
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Yes, I do that a lot when I am practicing solo - playing along to YouTube vids....the music in the background helps me with my timing, (which apparently I have none) my teacher advised me not to, and to count or put a metronome on...but I get in a pickle with it, and then I set myself up for panic and get so discouraged!....

I find playing along relaxing, as I only have to count on sight reading (which is the one thing I am OK at) while glancing at the next notes to know where to get to, even if it's just higher or lower to know which direction to go (not that I always make it there!) But it keeps me from stopping and continuing to the end of the tune. 

December 6, 2019 - 10:30 am
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I have issues with metronomes and counting while playing. Keeping track of up bows, down bows, etc and counting is a lot to handle for my 65 yr old brain! I think 75 is the new 65 for me when it comes to bowed string instruments!

Not that I want anyone else to have these issues, but posting the issue and finding I an not alone helps. I don’t feel it is entirely me.

Thanks, @Mimi Aysha, that really helps keep me motivated.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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