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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
30 Day Challenge
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Cello Lessons: D Major - Rhythmic Improvisation

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We've spent a lot
of time in D major.
And we've already started improvising
over a drone exploring guide tones.
Now we're gonna balance that out
with some rhythmic improvisation.
We're gonna set up a tempo and we're
gonna practice a lot of or rhythms, and
a couple different feels,
using the notes of D major.
So we're gonna set the metronome at 50,
and we're gonna still have our
D drone playing underneath so that
we're always listening for intonation.
[SOUND] First, I'm gonna try and
improvise continuous notes,
one for every beat of the metronome.
It'll sound like this.
I can play any
note in D major.
I can even repeat notes, but I can't stop.
This is a continuous
improvisation exercise.
And I wanna use the whole scale if I can,
all the way up to the top.
And you can use
arpeggios that we learned.
Or you can stick to the scale
starting from different notes.
And so
I want you to practice doing this with
the drone and the metronome at 50.
And then, after you've done that for
a little while,
we can work on some different rhythms.
The next rhythm that we're gonna work
on is one of our variation rhythms,
Run Jimmy.
So, with the metronome and the drone,
we're gonna improvise notes in
the D major scale with Run Jimmy.
After you've
worked on doing
Run Jimmy on each note
try seeing if you can
change the notes with
every bow change.
It will sound like this.
You can
practice that for
a couple minutes and
the next rhythm
we're gonna learn is
eighth notes.
So, the metronome pulse is at
what we call a quarter note.
Four of those pulses would
equal a whole note, and
if we divide each pulse into two
that's what we call an eighth note.
So I'm gonna play eighth notes,
and in D major.
Let's see, maybe I'll start
from the top note this time.
I can play any
notes in the scale.
If that's starting to feel
comfortable for you we can again try and
change the pitch with the left hand
with every bow change on the right hand.
It will sound like this.
The last rhythm
we'll try improvising
in is the three,
three, two rhythm.
That will sound like this.
I'm changing notes
on every accented note.
One, two, three,
one, two, three, one, two.
Every accented note I'll change the pitch.
You've got a lot of
rhythms already that you
can explore with the metronome.
And so I encourage you to just take
five minutes a day, ten minutes a day,
and just freely improvise in D major,
trying out different rhythms.
And try the coordination of changing
the left hand with every bow stroke,
or with every accent of the bow stroke.
In addition to playing with just a drone
and a metronome, I wanted to give you
the feel of what it felt like improvising
rhythmically with a full band.
We've got a jazz band playing
a backing track of D major.
They're playing some other chords and
it's kind of fast.
However, every note in D major will
work and you can practice some of our
rhythms along with the band just for and
exploration to see what it feels like.
I'll demonstrate a little bit
with the jazz backing track.
You can explore as
long as you want if you
feel ready to see what
it's like playing
with the jazz band,
and I hope you have fun
improvising in D major.