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How To Start Playing The Cello

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hello my name is Matthew Forbes from the

music workshop company I'm going to take

you through how to tune some instruments

how to play them basically and also how

to read the notated music form here in

some very basic steps is how to get you

started on playing the cello I have the

cello on meat here it's about I'm set so

that my feet are equally apart flat on

the floor and my knees and my hips

around the same level my knees slightly

lower probably the cello sits on me I

put the spike about equidistant the same

distance between my chair and my feet my

spike goes there and it sits on me it

sits on my chest here but clear enough

from my ear so that it I don't have to

change the way I'm sat with my head and

it goes on my left side and my left hand

is what changes the notes the bow is

always in my right hand whether you're

right or left handed it is always the

same way around and the bow is the

hardest part of playing the cello

because that's where all the sound comes

from what we're trying to achieve is for

the bow to stay in the same area that we

start and also always to go in an

absolutely dead straight 90 degree line

90 degrees to the strings

so for that it's a combination of

shoulder elbow and wrist the shoulder

seeks the bow

into the string so you want to feel wait

this doesn't want to move a lot like

this it should just feel downwards most

of the movement comes from the elbow

joint so if you start a bow on any of

the strings right at the very tip you'll

feel that the the arm is at its that's

the longest it needs to stretch

most of the movement has come from the

elbow there the wrists job primarily is

to stabilize the line

so it doesn't move a great deal but it

needs to be flexible the fingers also

need to be able to move so that we get

different pronunciations and

articulations in the note that comes

from the fingers just while we're

talking about the bow the bow hold is a

very important thing the four fingers

need to be slightly apart so that

there's nothing there's nothing rigid

all four fingers do actually move

independently for the shape and size of

my hand it suits me to put my little

finger somewhere on the the button my

ring finger on the metal my second

finger sort of hanging over the hair

like that and the first finger just

sitting in front of it like that and

it's different from the violin bow hold

the violin bow hold is much more

pronounced towards then but of course

unlike the violin we don't have gravity

on our side so we need to keep the bow

off the floor and it needs to be a

little bit stronger

the thumb goes in the center of the hand

I play with the bent thumb again just to

allow flexibility and it sits in the

butt of the of this this part of the bow

here so it's

so it's flexible as far as the bowing

area is concerned between the end of the

fingerboard here and the bridge we do

get different qualities of sound

depending on where we are the near of

the fingerboard

sort of breathy and more flute like we


and we can't afford to give very much

weight in that area but as we drift


and the weight needs to increase from

the arm

and by the time we get to the bridge the

quality of the sound is a very different


it projects a lot more from that area


generally if you're starting off a

middle area for Boeing it's a good idea

so about halfway between


with the left hand obviously we've got

nothing - nothing to help us no there's

nothing visual and there are no frets so

everything is done by ear and by feel on

the cello there is a semitone between

each finger the exception being between

the open string and the first finger so

the first my first my index finger goes

a tone above my open string so if I'm on

the the D string

whole tone

to Annie and then after that it's


as we call first position to play a

major scale the doremi scale over two

strings starting on the lower and so

we're going it playing G major so we

start on the G

we go open one three four and then go to

the next string open one three fall out


sometimes we use extensions in the left

hand where we stretch between the one

and the two

to add another semitone

we wouldn't other ones to be able to


it's very important to get this hand

going best first of all

so perhaps practice

climbing changes of bow and also changes

of straight

and that should get started