Did you find this post useful? Please consider making a donation. The technique of stretching is one of the great challenges faced by progressing beginner cellists, and must be approached with care and precision.
The cello violoncello is the tenor and bass instrument of the violin family violin, viola, cello. In the 19th century the cello advanced along with the violin to become the most important bowed instrument for solo works. In the 20th century cellists began to specialize more, concentrating more on solo, chamber or orchestral playing.
In music performance and educationthumb positionnot a traditional positionis a string instrument playing technique used to facilitate playing in the upper register of the double basscelloand related instruments, such as the electric upright bass. To play passages in this register, the player shifts his or her hand out from behind the neck and curves the hand, using the side of the thumb to press down the string ; in effect, the side of the thumb becomes a movable nut capo. For the double bass, thumb position is used when playing above high G [ citation needed ] on the third ledger line in bass clef notation for the double bass.
These changes are particularly disadvantageous in the Neck Region because of the larger distances between the notes compared to in the higher registers. Those larger distances create a lot of extra tension for the fingers and hand which is why Thumb Position in the Neck Region is normally quite unergonomic, strained and uncomfortable. In the neck region, vibrato, expressive playing and extensions all become much more difficult as soon as we put the thumb up on the fingerboard.
Place the finger flat on the string and press down, and the third joint will bend inwards; put it down as close as possible to the nail and it will stay rounded. Duport was describing the common sensation of the third and fourth left-hand finger joints collapsing on the string. In the earlyth century, when the tenets of cello technique were still being codified, it was not unusual for musicians to attempt to place the left hand on the cello violin-style, with a pronounced inward slant to the hand now known as pronation.
Beyond fourth position, we encounter a new fingering system to accommodate the diminishing physical space between the fingers and the changing angle of the left arm. Hence, positions five to seven are called the three finger positions. Mastering this portion of the fingerboard is an exciting time.
Find a stable position for the upper body and the shoulders, so that the arms and hands are free. Begin with Exercise 8. Next, find a good position for the left hand, considering the effect it has on the shoulder musculature and the other muscles in the neck and back.
Some makes of strings are easier for the left hand than others. This is both a function of the tension of the string and its elasticity or pliability. The most pliable cello strings available are those with a gut or Perlon core eg.
In this video I would like to pay attention to the function of the thumb when playing in neck and thumb positions, as well as in the vibrato motion. Vibrato is a shaking action of the wrist producing a pronation, supination motion between elbow and fingertips and not a rolling motion of the hand. A common mistake is to press the finger down on the finger board as this action will tense up the whole hand.