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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
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Cello Lessons: Free Improvisation Warm Up

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It seems silly to do a video telling
you how to do free improvisation, but
it is an important part of developing
your relationship with the cello.
Before I even say anything more,
I would say pause this video and
just improvise for ten minutes,
however, you want to.
Turn the lights off, close your eyes and
just see what happens.
I'll let you pause it right now.
Now that you're back and
you had this experience of just freely
exploring the sound that you can create.
I wanna give you other couple other things
to think about as you move forward.
Sometimes It can feel stuck
when you're improvising,
if you don't have something to focus on.
So some of the things that I find
really helpful to think about when I'm
just improvising freely
are actually emotions.
Sometimes, I'll try and see if I can
improvise something that sounds sad or
if I can improvise happiness or
if I can improvise jealousy.
And often times,
when I use just a feeling as my guideline,
I'll end up doing all sorts of
interesting things musically that maybe I
wouldn't have thought off or
don't even necessarily understand, but
it's important to make that connection on
an emotional level with your instrument.
Some other things you can explore
that are kinda abstract are trying
to capture like an animal and
see if you can improvise the spirit of
a squirrel or the spirit of an elephant.
And really, it's about finding
different sides of yourself that
you can bring out with sound.
Not necessarily thinking about scales or
but just really connecting to
the sound that you're creating.
In addition to these abstract approaches,
I would also recommend doing free
improvisations on technical issues.
You know If we're working on smooth bow
changes, you can explore that through
improvisation and check out how it
feels around the whole cello or
even if we're working on different
chord patterns or double stops.
Any technical thing that we work
on in this school can be explored
through improvisation and
I'll be giving you some structures,
but I also want you to think
about what an improvisation would
sound like around a technique
like crescendoing.
What if you tried to crescendo
as much as possible?
It would be a really fascinating
set of improvisations,
cause every single one would be different.
And so as you develop,you know
I would recommend you to do for
your improvisations to start
every practice session.
So you really form a personal
relationship with your instrument of away
from sort of the choreographed
approach that I'm trying to offer you
through the structure of lessons and
feel free to at any point.
Send me a video of a free improvisation
that you're particularly inspired by and
I'd love to check it out.
And it'll be really interesting as
everybody submits their videos to
see the range and
diversity of everybody's improvisation.