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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
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Cello Lessons: A Major - Scale & Arpeggio

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A major is possibly one of the least
comfortable scales on cello that you're
unfortunately gonna have to play a lot.
A lot of fiddle tunes, in particular,
are in A, cuz it's a really
comfortable key for violinists.
On cello though,
we're gonna have to hold some
extensions on both the G string,
and the D string.
So, we've got A,
first finger on the G string.
We're gonna extend up to play
B with the second finger and
now we're gonna move our
left elbow forward while
leaving our fingers down
to reach the C sharp.
As annoying as that often is,
we have to repeat it all on the D string.
Open D, first finger.
Extend it back and
then second finger on F sharp,
and fourth finger on G sharp.
And finally, you can relax on open A.
Let's do that all the way down.
A and then we have high fourth finger.
Second Finger, extend back for
the first finger.
Open D.
High fourth finger for the C sharp.
Second finger B and A.
So as we learned some fiddle tunes in A,
we're gonna end up
kind of holding this extension hand shape,
for extended periods of time.
So you wanna make sure
that you're loose and
that you're not like squeezing
while in the extension.
You just want to be stretching your first
finger back, but you want your second,
third, and fourth finger to feel
like a comfortable unit and
they're all just half step apart.
So, I'll do a little bit of our scale
routine with you with the drone and
the metronome, showing you how to
practice A major with the extensions.
[SOUND] First we'll do whole notes.
[SOUND] Three, four.
Extend forward with the second finger.
Now, keep in mind your thumb
moves with the second finger.
Now, fourth finger, move your
left elbow forward to support it.
And actually leave your
left elbow forward,
cuz we're gonna stay in this extension.
And I'm always
just leaving all my
fingers down, so
that my hand shape stays.
Let's go down.
Actually moving my
left elbow forward as I go
to the G string cuz I'm further away.
Now I'm actually rotating
my arm back for the first finger.
[SOUND] It's worth pointing out,
that when I play the extension,
when my second finger slides up,
that my thumb is moving with it.
Cuz remember in one of our earliest
videos, we talked about the Suzuki C shape
and how the thumb always stays
behind the second finger.
That's true even when you're extending.
So I'm gonna kind of slide them up
together like this, and that's how my hand
will stay balanced as I go all
the way up to the high fourth finger.
Work on this one octave, A major scale,
with the drone and the metronome,
of course, and practice it in whole notes,
half notes, quarter notes,
and you guessed it, eighth notes.
Now, we're gonna extend that routine,
as well, predictably,
to the A major arpeggio.
S, let's just play that
once to say we did, but
I bet you can figure out which
notes it's gonna be already,
because every major arpeggio has the root,
then the major third,
which we have to extend for,
then the fifth.
Then we'll end with the A on top,
and come back down.
Practicing this arpeggio will really help
you get comfortable with this
extension hand shape and
getting comfortable with holding it
there for long periods of times.
But after you practice,
just kinda shake your hand out,
because you definitely
wanna stay loose and
not get too tight when playing in A major.