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Cello Lessons: Eb Major - Scale & Arpeggio

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Before we learn Deep River,
we're gonna need to take a second
to get to know the E flat major scale.
E flat is a note we haven't played yet,
we're gonna find our lowest E flat
on the C string with second finger.
[SOUND] Find that note.
[SOUND] Okay, I'm gonna call out
the fingerings for the whole octave up.
We've got second finger on the C string,
followed by fourth finger.
[SOUND] We're gonna cross over to the G
string but leave your fourth finger down,
so we can extend back with
the first finger to play A flat.
We want to leave the fourth finger down so
we don't lose our extension shape.
Because we're extended,
when I put down the second finger and
release the fourth finger finally,
it's a B flat.
And we'll put the fourth
finger down on the G string.
Make sure it's supported by
bringing your left elbow forward.
Then open D.
And we're gonna end, still extended,
with an E flat, a low one.
Notice I'm still leaving my fourth
finger down on the G string.
Let's walk this all the way down now.
One, a low one, then open D.
Fourth finger.
Second finger.
Low one again, stay extended.
[SOUND] Then now,
you can release the extension.
[SOUND] And then play fourth finger,
and two again.
That's the end of the octave.
[SOUND] Let's play that through
together with the drone and metronome.
Why don't we do what we always do,
let's do whole notes first, okay?
[SOUND] Three, four.
[SOUND] Going to fourth finger.
[SOUND] Leave the fourth finger
down as we play the open G and
we'll extend back to first finger.
[SOUND] Then we'll play second finger and
fourth finger again next.
[SOUND] Leave the fourth finger,
with an open D, and then a low one again.
[SOUND] Let's go all the way down now.
Repeat the top note.
[SOUND] See if you can
get a rich sound by
keeping all of your
arm weight dropped and
into the bow.
[SOUND] Good, this is an awkward scale,
kind of like A major,
cuz we're holding the same extended
hand shape over multiple strings.
Now, I do want to extend this scale from
E flat all the way up one more octave,
because it's gonna be
some awkward fingering,
because open A is not in this scale.
This is the first scale we've had
where we can't play an open A.
So, what we're gonna do is when we walk
up from a low one on the D string,
we're gonna keep our extension,
play second finger, and fourth finger.
And then, this is a new moment,
we're gonna shift up a half step.
We're gonna just slide everything
up until we hit that A flat.
Keep your same hand position though.
And let's slide back down.
[SOUND] And walk back down to the E flat.
[SOUND] This is kind of
an awkward little half shift.
[SOUND] You can kind of
practice it just walking
up those four notes up and down like that.
Let's do that together.
Do do do do do do do do do.
Ready, and.
[SOUND] Shift and shift back.
[SOUND] It will be easiest if
you can keep your hand shape,
even when you shift, so
that when you shift back,
all the other notes are right there.
Now, on the A string, well, we can't
use the open A, but we're gonna do
the same exact finger pattern on
the A string to finish the octave.
So it starts with a low one, extend two,
then four finger, and
we're gonna shift a half step up to
E flat, and that is the highest note.
You don't have to go any further yet.
Let's go down, keeping our extension.
[SOUND] Let's do that
same little riff,
do do do do, do do do do.
We'll practice walking up and
down on the A string, okay?
At this tempo, three, four.
Shift back.
[SOUND] We'll get more into shifting
after the beginner curriculum.
We're only shifting half steps through
the whole beginner curriculum but,
I do wanna tell you that when you shift,
you have to release your weight
off of the string for you to move.
If you're trying to keep the string
pressed down while you move,
it's like trying to walk
without lifting your feet.
It's really hard to do, and
it's gonna make you tight.
So even though we're only
doing a half step shift,
I want to release my hands.
Release, you can even see the string come
off of the fingerboard a little bit.
[SOUND] Release, and then shift.
[SOUND] Then on the way back we're
gonna release again for the move.
It's really important to release
every time you shift, okay?
So let's play the upper octave of E
flat major with the quarter note.
Again, we'll put on the metronome,
and why don't we play this at
whole notes again, just to really try and
relax into this extension.
The upper octave of E flat, three, four.
[SOUND] Extend to two,
leave your fingers down.
[SOUND] Fourth finger, leave your
fingers down, and shift a half step.
[SOUND] Now, we're gonna shift all
the way back to low one on the A string.
[SOUND] Extension two.
[SOUND] Now we're gonna release for
another half step shift right here.
[SOUND] Let's go down.
[SOUND] Now we have to
do a half step shift and
cross to the D string.
Release for
the shift back.
[SOUND] Okay.
Shake out your hand.
That's a lot of extension work again.
You can practice this E flat major
scale with just the bottom octave, or
with both octaves, with the quarter note,
and then with the metronome,
I want you to do it at whole notes,
half notes, and quarter notes.
Let's call eighth note extra credit for
this one,
because we've got these new shifts,
and this extension.
So, I don't need you to
do eighth notes yet.
I want you to just focus on doing
this as relaxed as you can.
And one more thing I'm gonna say about
that is, some people, when they're trying
to do an extension, their instinct
is to like turn their wrist out,
and try and
like stretch sideways with your fingers.
This is actually gonna be really
hard because you can't stretch very
far this way, sideways with your fingers.
And in order to do that, you're gonna
end up like putting your arm way out and
your wrist is gonna get kind of bent
out and it's not gonna look pretty, and
it's probably gonna hurt eventually.
So, the way to avoid this is by,
we wanna keep the wrist flat,
as always, and
we'll dive into this later in a general
technique lesson about oblique hand shape.
But the basics are, your hand can
stretch better this way, up and
down, than it can sideways.
So you wanna take this up and
down motion of the first finger and
by putting it at an angle to
the finger board, it's going up and
down now, if I take this stretch and
put it at an angle,
then my fingers can be stretching up and
down, even though the cello's at an angle.
And this is gonna be far more comfortable
than trying to stretch this way.
So, I'm turning my palm out.
If your palm is facing you, then you're
probably trying to stretch the wrong way.
If I rotate my arm, and
my palm is kind of facing the bridge,
it's kind of facing down,
that's gonna allow us to stretch better.
I'll be taking a look at your extension,
how your arm is looking
in your video submission.
And so, I would highly recommend you
to practice this for a week or two, and
do send me the video so I can make sure
that your extension looks healthy, okay?
Before we finish this lesson,
I want to show you just the arpeggio,
which has the root, third, and the fifth.
It's gonna start on second
finger again on the C string,
open G, second finger on the G string, and
then extend back for the root.
Now we'll repeat this up an octave.
We'll keep our extension all
the way to the A string and
if we wanna hit that top octave,
we have to shift a half step.
[SOUND] Shift back.
[SOUND] As always, you can practice
the arpeggio with the drone in
the same metronome as the scale.
But do be mindful of how you're
doing this extension, and
try and keep your wrist flat by
turning your arm this way, okay?
Good luck with the E flat major scale and
And I look forward to seeing
your video submission.