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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
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Cello Lessons: “French Folk Song”

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French Folk Song is one of my favorite
melodies from the Suzuki method.
You'll find it as the second
song in book one, and
it's kind of called
the cellist's national anthem.
Because in the Suzuki method,
almost all the cello songs are also
shared with the violin method.
But the French folk song is
the one that only cellists get.
And it's particularly beautiful.
This is gonna be the first time that
we play in a new time signature,
called Three four.
Up until now, Twinkle, Twinkle
Little Star, Boil Them Cabbage Down,
Little Liza Jane, and Ode to Joy,
were all in four four.
Four four means that there's
four quarter notes per measure,
which you can also call bar, per bar.
And basically, the measure, or bar,
is the unit of music that
the phrases sort of get grouped in.
So, all of those tunes were in four four,
but this is in three four, which
you can count like this, one, two,
three, one, two, three, one, two.
Sounds like a waltz two, three.
And so this song is in three, four.
And also, we're gonna use this melody
to work on our smooth bow changes and
our even vibrato.
Let's learn the melody first.
At this point, I'm gonna stop
calling out the finger numbers for
you and I want you to use
your ear to find the notes.
I think you know all of
the notes in D major so far,
so you should be able to do it.
Or you can also check
the written music and
I'll put the fingerings in there for
you if you wanna double-check.
Repeat after me.
Ready and.
So that was one bar and it was three
quarter notes of D on the A string.
I'm gonna add another bar of three quarter
notes on the next note down, C sharp.
Let's play that together.
Ready and, two, three.
The next part goes like this
That's a little scale walk up
from B through C sharp to D and
then we end on open A.
Let's play that together.
One, two, three.
I'm gonna put all of that together once.
I'm gonna play it first.
You can sing along with
the finger numbers, and
then I'll have you join
me the second time.
set, play.
Very good.
The next phrase is gonna sound very
similar to the first phrase but
it's all gonna be on the D string.
Sounds like this.
It's just a downward scale from
G all the way down to open D.
And each note lasts for a whole bar,
it gets three quarter notes.
Let's play it together.
One, two, three.
I'm gonna play both
of these first two phrases twice.
You can sing along or pizz along,
or sing the finger numbers, and
then I'll have you play
with me the second time.
One, two, three.
Let's play
it together.
One, two, three.
Remember to
keep your bow changes
really smooth, so
we get a continuous
sound in this melody.
The next part of the melody has a little
repetition here on the D string.
It sounds like this.
So, that's just a three note pattern,
D, E and F sharp on O, one, three.
It happens three times and
then we end with a G.
Let's try that together.
One, two, three.
Good, the next phrase is
also gonna be very similar,
although it starts from a different note.
Because it's actually the same
exact sequence of pitches, but
starting from a different note.
We actually call that a sequence,
when you have the same type of music
appearing, starting from different notes.
So let's learn that part of the sequence,
starting from first finger,
we do the three notes, [SOUND] scale up,
three times, and
then we finish one note higher on open A.
Let's try that together.
One, two, three.
Okay, let's put this sequence all together
from the phrase that starts on the open D.
I'll play it twice.
You can sing along, pizz along, and then
we'll play it together the second time.
One, two, three.
Very good.
Let's do it a second time now.
One, two, three.
Okay, the last part of this
melody is a big downward scale,
all the way from the top of D major.
It's a little tag,
a little two note tag at the end.
So it's just a scale all the way
down plus another one, O at the end.
I'll play it.
Why don't you sing along.
Sing with the finger numbers at home,
and then the second time through,
you can play it with me.
One, two, three.
Let's play together.
One, two, three.
That's the whole melody.
That's French Folk Song.
Let's try and put it together.
I'll play the whole thing, and
I want you to sing along again.
We're gonna keep connecting our voice
to our plan and our instrument so
that we're always hearing things, and not
just moving fingers in the right order.
So sing along the first time, and then
we'll play it together the second time.
One, two, three.
One, two, three.
>> The last thing I want to say is
remember, again,
we want a continuous smooth sound.
We don't wanna lock our wrists,
we don't wanna raise our right shoulder,
and we don't wanna sound like this
That's bad.
As I'm sure you can tell.
So see if you can relax your shoulders.
Really work on loosening your wrist so
we get smooth sound.
And we'll also work on playing with
a even vibrato through the whole melody.
You can play along with
my performance track and
also notice everything we're talking
about with the bow sound and the vibrato.