Cello, Bow, Sicilian, Metronome, Sight Reading: 1; Elysia: 0


I’m seriously getting my butt kicked by pretty much everything cello right now. I seem to be failing at everything, and I really mean everything, to the point where I somehow accidentally flung my metronome across the room and broke it and dropped/flung my bow about a dozen times. (Metronome and Bow: 1, Elysia 0) Thankfully the bow is okay, especially because I had a cello-mare last night about my bow. (In this dream the stick broke and I took it to the luthier. He sanded down the broken edges and glued them with this never drying glue, so that the pieces were always moving around and I couldn’t get enough tension to play.)

My teacher had me buy the Schroeder etude book for sight reading, and I have thus far failed at all the songs, even played as slowly as I could possibly go. (So, Sight reading: 1, Elysia: 0)

On to Sicilian… I’m having tons of trouble with D-E-F# on the A string. For whatever reason, that is the hardest extension for me. My teacher wanted me to have my wrist loose, like turning a door and sorta use rotation to throw my fingers to the right spot, because my fingers are so inflexible that I can’t reach. Yes, I know that’s not how it’s *supposed* to be done, and so does she, but we have to get me on the right notes without injuring me. However, as much as I’ve tried this, it’s either nice and loose but the D is sharp and the F# is flat, or I can be tense and have good intonation. I tried having a nice, loose, slow, round vibrato and going between the notes, but the intonation is terrible (like I said before.) Somehow everything in this song seems harder the more I play it. (Sicilian: 1, Elysia: 0)

I went back to some earlier songs, such as the lovely Bach minuet. I thought since they were easier I’d be okay, right? No. I couldn’t even get through a single phrase. It was awful. It sounded worse than it did the first week I was playing that song.

What the heck is wrong with me?


3 responses »

  1. I know I shouldn’t, because it sounds like you’re having a bit of a hard time at the moment, but you made me laugh *sooo* much.

    Never drying glue, chucking the metronome across the room followed by the bow, wish you’d youtubed that!

    I suggest an evening with a bottle of wine and Hugh and Keira.

  2. Because of the angles involved, doing an extension the way it’s “supposed to be” is relatively easy in first position, impossible in sixth position. By sixth position we have to put a lot of bend in the first finger, rather than “extend”.

    Third position for me ends up being something of a compromise. Extended in a way, but also bent in a way, and hard to maintain for more than an instant.

  3. Les- glad I made you laugh (because I sure wasn’t!) I didn’t chuck them thought — it truly was an accident (which I think makes it worse!)

    Terry- I so wish 1st position extensions were easy for me, or even relatively easy. I’d label them more “differently difficult.” I have extremely inflexible fingers and despite a year of stretching and wearing gloves while playing to keep warm, I still have to do more of an extend-shift to stay in tune, which sadly my teacher is now okay with. Also, I’m not up to 6th, but in extended 5th my fingers are straight, not curve, because the odd angle with thumb make things start pulling all funny and I have to be straight to make up for the lack of flexibility. And funny you should mention third. For me it’s the most difficult extension of all!

    Glad I’m not alone in this. Thanks guys 🙂

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