Sunday, January 16, 2022

A Lesson about Cello Posture and Technique For John Ryan's Polka ABRSM Grade 1


hey cellists welcome to world class i'm so glad you could join me today um now then let's have a little look at john ryan's polka i think we might be able to finish that top line today um so i hope you've practiced from yesterday's if you haven't go back and do it now this is a lively piece but actually i listened to the uh recording by the abrsm examination board and it they don't play particularly fast so i may be

uh going a bit too fast um from time to time so i'm going to make myself slow down because i'm always tempted with something uh a traditional irish to create a bit of a jig uh feel and and uh i don't think you're expected to do such acrobatics on the strings of the cello for grade one so although i'd play it a bit faster if i had my way for grade one we need to be relatively uh calm about things okay so yesterday we did this one and today we're going to look at now what i want you to focus on is you do you you've come from here and then you're doing an open string but i want you to put your three fingers down on this the g string next to the d string that you're playing before

you have to play it and then i want you to keep the three fingers down play the d but keep those three fingers down because if if you're keeping them down you haven't got to go anywhere do you see so we've come from here and then we're doing a down bow and we've got our three fingers on the other string and we're going to keep them on the other string while we do that okay and we can practice that actually keep those fingers down

look look at the bow

you need to just change the direction very slightly because your axis your horizontal axis is changing because you've swapped strings as you come down

prepare yourself to change just before you change strings you don't want to be coming down and twisting on the string that's going to give you a bad sound so let's just go over that again down below on the d up boat but we've already changed direction keep those three fingers down do you see now look we may as well do the next bar because i'll tell you why it's exactly the same as the first should we do the next one as well okay

well that's the same as what we've just done open d three on the b and keep those three fingers down and so that they're all there ready at the ready so you've got this open d b and then one and then open do you see so all three fingers down then one finger down and then open and that's the way to um save too much effort the thing is in this last bar if you lift all your fingers after the bee you've got to put it back down again what would be the point have all your fingers ready so when you've got four fingers down or three fingers down you've actually got fingers one and two down as well okay so let's just go over everything nice and slowly at the top of the uh piece

okay that's your rhythm slow slow faster faster faster faster ones slower gain slower gain slower gain slow again slow slow

now i recommend that you practice

and then when you feel that you've got summer with it and you're quite good do the next bar

and then put them together because what you need to learn is getting from one bar to the other so what you don't want to do is learn little tiny bits in total isolation yes you do need to learn them in isolation to start with but you need to put them together in a long line of fluid music at some point so that's how i practice i would practice on i think over and over again but not just not just repeating i'm thinking about my body i'm thinking about where my elbow is what how do i make the best sound with those two notes and then i go on how do i do that

okay now i think i've got that

always evaluating evaluate don't just repeat for the sake of it unless you're trying to learn um specific fingering or very fast passages there's not much point in just repeating for the sake of it you need to develop uh it you know each time you play something you need to develop a style that is more conducive to what you're trying to achieve okay

let's just cover

when you're coming down into a phrase finishing a phrase you see this was like uh going up and this was the breeze of sort of think about the importance of what's the purpose of each bar so the purpose of this

is to introduce you to a dance tune this is to really focus the melody

and that this bar

is um it's a lovely bar isn't it but it's it's cut it's almost calming down a bit so there's almost a sense of uh not resolution because we haven't finished yet but um the sense of the end of the phrase the sense of a breath that might be taken before

we go on every every bar has a message to tell you so when you're thinking about this this

bar being the end of a sentence do you see when i talk to you as i get to the end of the sentence i start to come down and there's a different internet not a different intonation a different articulation and i think you need to

get that across when you play that ball so you're coming down into it okay because in the next bar you're going to get a bit louder and you're going to have a rising surge so this is a sort of downward um release isn't it we've come up and we're going back down so let that uh translate into your body and and how you're going to speak because you wouldn't it wouldn't make sense if i was going like this but every time i came i mean that certain uh cultures do that don't they they they um i think the australians go up at the end of the sentence but i can't do it you see because i'm not used to it um but it makes a difference it it it me uh it's you know it's cultural um and if we did the same with this with music we'd actually you know really affect the way it's performed if we're not aware of the phrasing now in grade one they don't really talk about phrasing we have it hasn't been introduced to us yet um and it hasn't been introduced to us yet in suzuki either but i like to sort it out quite early but you don't have to do it for grade one but i think just to be aware of it especially if you're an adult learner i think adults can grasp this concept much better and i'm not sure that podcasting is particularly good for children um it requires a certain amount of engagement that that's probably quite tricky for children so i'm assuming although i don't know but i'm assuming that most of my listeners are adult learners um and certainly my teaching experience at the moment is definitely with adult learners um in covid so there we go uh i think that's enough for today for john ryan's polka we've got a lot of tunes coming up every day and i'm going to just cover d major now in the next broadcast you can catch up with all the broadcasts they're all free at the cello school the cello music or the music school pages at tail teller club and everything's free which is fabulous isn't it so i'll be back shortly with the d major scale let's let's do it

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