Things I have learned while learning to play the cello

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  • vizviz Frets: 3661
    Sporky said:
    It's the silly names they get given that confuse me. Also (again) trying to let my fingers play the wrong scale without my brain taking over. There's a lot of deprogramming to do!

    The names do sound a bit strange at first don't they? Check their etymologies, it's quite interesting. Most come from regions in ancient Greece or Asia Minor, others are from Greek gods. When you've had enough of the diatonic modes, check out the hypo-modes. :)
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 7433
    "Silly" was a bit flippant, I will concede. It's just that calling them by numbers would be so much simpler and would save that internal translation from name to position shift...
    Self-appointed God Emperor of MonkeyRobotLand. And Sweden.
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  • vizviz Frets: 3661
    edited February 2016
    Abs, no wuz. And in fact having a name sort of helps give them something to tag their unique sound to.

    Edit - and btw numbers could be counterproductive because although they are all modes of each other, there's no reason why Ionian should be thought of as "1", nor why they can't be thought of as scales in their own right, regardless of all being modes of Ionian. Anyway, I do know what u mean!
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  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 179
    edited March 2016
    I played Double Bass for a while and what struck me was how difficult fast left hand position changes were, without the benefit of frets. 
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 7433
    I'm still finding it tricky getting my hands into the right places without looking - and looking is particularly bad with cello on account of the fingerboard starting right next to your ear...

    Did a bit more sight reading yesterday, and it's still painfully slow for me. The stave hasn't sunk in yet, and I even find do-re-mi confusing. Gah.
    Self-appointed God Emperor of MonkeyRobotLand. And Sweden.
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  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 179
    Sporky said:
    I'm still finding it tricky getting my hands into the right places without looking - and looking is particularly bad with cello on account of the fingerboard starting right next to your ear...

    When I bought the bass I said to the girl in the shop (fiddle player) how do you consistently hit the octave note high up the neck without the benefit of frets, she said "you use your ears, dear" . That was me told : >
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 7433
    :D

    My cello teacher is a lot nicer than that. There's a lot of muscle memory to develop, so it's not just grab and adjust, but I suspect it'll take a while to develop it. I'm not bad at finding first position which is a start.
    Self-appointed God Emperor of MonkeyRobotLand. And Sweden.
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 7433
    Ha! Geared tuners now fitted, and for 2/3rds the chap's estimate. It's like the cello was invented in the 20th century now.
    Self-appointed God Emperor of MonkeyRobotLand. And Sweden.
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 7433
    Today I learned to use the bow. A bit. Tomorrow is cello ensemble,  which I gather is a bit like fight club.
    Self-appointed God Emperor of MonkeyRobotLand. And Sweden.
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  • Dave_VaderDave_Vader Frets: 126
    Sporky said:
    Today I learned to use the bow. A bit. Tomorrow is cello ensemble,  which I gather is a bit like fight club.

    I believe you've just broken the first and second rules of cello ensemble....
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 7433
    Cello ensemble is a bit different. I dented rule 1, made screechy noises at rules 3 & 4 and seemed to get away with it. We played something by Apocalypta who I gather are popular with the kids.
    Self-appointed God Emperor of MonkeyRobotLand. And Sweden.
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 7433
    I have begun work on the Bach cello suite no1 prelude. There are a lot of notes in it but my teacher has pointed out that all the notes are my friends.

    Also second cello club yesterday. Another Apocalyptica piece and something by Pester that had even more notes in it.
    Self-appointed God Emperor of MonkeyRobotLand. And Sweden.
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  • vizviz Frets: 3661
    edited April 2016
    ^ yes, even those C#s and Bbs in those secondary dominants (flat 9) and the Eb as part of the German 6th!
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  • Paul_CPaul_C Frets: 3400
    Sporky said:
    I'm still finding it tricky getting my hands into the right places without looking - and looking is particularly bad with cello on account of the fingerboard starting right next to your ear...

    When I bought the bass I said to the girl in the shop (fiddle player) how do you consistently hit the octave note high up the neck without the benefit of frets, she said "you use your ears, dear" . That was me told : >
    image


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  • tabbycattabbycat Frets: 339
    i salute your ambition, sporky. cello is a interesting step out of the rock groove. i hope you're having fun.
    re the using your ears thing biglicks mentioned, i used to play my guitar in bed in the dark when i first started to stop me looking at the frets and to make myself really listen to what i was playing. can highly recommend it. it makes you link finger stretch and tone, rather than fret counting. you start to feel tone in space, if that doesn't sound too abstract and art student.
    re cello stuff, i don't know much but bach, britten and shostakovich are all things i used to have been into cello things by.
    re contemporary, the auteurs' debut album (1993) was decent 'left banke' revisited chamber pop, i remember that being very cello-y. best of luck with your endeavour.



    "be a good animal, true to your instincts" (d.h.lawrence).
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 7433
    tabbycat said:
    i salute your ambition, sporky. cello is a interesting step out of the rock groove. i hope you're having fun.

    I am having fun and improving.

    This is probably funnier if you'd been there when we saw a woman trying to convince two small children to play minigolf properly.

    "Pirate golf is all about having fun and improving! Why aren't you doing either?"
    Self-appointed God Emperor of MonkeyRobotLand. And Sweden.
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 7433
    Last week and this I have mostly been learning that Bach is really quite tricky.

    On the upside, my teacher quite often remarks that I am now doing things "like a cellist", which I gather is A Good Thing, when learning to play the cello.
    Self-appointed God Emperor of MonkeyRobotLand. And Sweden.
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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 3310
    I take it they look down on playing like a drummer?
    Prion Son - Alt/Prog/Metal: https://prionson.bandcamp.com/
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 821
    Sporky said:
    Last week and this I have mostly been learning that Bach is really quite tricky.
    ...
    I've been discovering that too. Learning Bach for electric bass. I'm using tab but thinking that it might be a whole lot easier if I just knuckle down and learn the music stave. It's weird, if I just let my fingers do the playing it comes out okay but as soon as I try to finesse my playing using my brain it all goes horribly wrong...
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  • equalsqlequalsql Frets: 1997
    I must admit I've thought about using one for an acoustic bass. My daugher studied cello at school and I would often grab it and play it in the manner of a double bass. It sounded great and I would get carried away until scolded by her for 'not playing it correctly'  :)
    (pronounced: equal-sequel)   "I suffered for my art.. now it's your turn"
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 7433
    I take it they look down on playing like a drummer?
    There's been no looking down at all - it's not at all like having piano lessons or guitar lessons was. I'm not sure if it's that I'm a grown-up now, or just that my cello teacher is a lot better than my piano or guitar teachers. There have been a few "I wonder if that's going wrong because of the bits missing from your cello" moments but it's usually turned out that it's going wrong because I'm doing it wrong.
    Self-appointed God Emperor of MonkeyRobotLand. And Sweden.
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 879

    What bits are missing from your cello?

    @equalssql I saw a great trio busking on a Berlin underground train using a cello like a double bass. Obviously the tuning is different, but it sounds good, takes up less space and is more portable.

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  • SporkySporky Frets: 7433
    The body! It's one of these:


    Also every time I go to Cello Club I am reminded how clever I was to have geared tuners fitted, while those suckers all try to jam ebony pegs into the scroll hard enough to stay put.
    Self-appointed God Emperor of MonkeyRobotLand. And Sweden.
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 879

    Oh wow, I didn't realise you were playing an electric! What do you amp it with? @DLMs_Girl tried one through a Marshall acoustic amp and we thought the highs sounded like dogshit.

    I've wiz'd geared tuners: I once watched her play in a crowded glass-faced school hall on a hot sunny day. Someone opened a window and the low C made a really interesting drop-da-bass sound as the draught caused the peg to slip!

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  • SporkySporky Frets: 7433
    For lessons and cello club I'm using a Roland Microcube which actually seems very well suited to it - not the acoustic setting though, I think it's either the JC Clean or the Blackface. Occasionally I accidentally knock the phaser on which is pretty weird sounding on cello.

    The geared tuners cost about £200 fitted, and worth every penny. Tuning is now just outright easy whereas before it was a frustrating chore.
    Self-appointed God Emperor of MonkeyRobotLand. And Sweden.
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  • hootsmonhootsmon Frets: 5185
    ....the plectrums are much,much bigger
    tae be or not tae be
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 7433
    I use frisbees.
    Self-appointed God Emperor of MonkeyRobotLand. And Sweden.
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  • hootsmonhootsmon Frets: 5185
    then what does Frisbee use?
    tae be or not tae be
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 7433
    Pie dishes.
    Self-appointed God Emperor of MonkeyRobotLand. And Sweden.
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  • hootsmonhootsmon Frets: 5185
    edited June 2016


    tae be or not tae be
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