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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
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Cello Lessons: Pinkie Strength

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A sometimes underappreciated component
of a really good bow hold is our pinky.
The pinky actually drives
the boat a lot of a time,
because if you pull the pinkie in,
it can help you with string crossings.
And also,
as we'll see in the future lesson,
putting the pinky on top can also
help with the string changes.
So I wanna to you about strengthening our
pinky, so that it can be more engaged and
play a very active role in our bow hold.
The first thing we're gonna do
with the pinky is pinky push-ups.
So I'm gonna put my bow out front and
with my pinky on top of the stick, I'm
gonna push down to send the tip upwards.
And then I'm gonna just
curl the pinky back up
to allow the bow to go
to an even plane again.
And basically I'm gonna keep pushing
down with just the pinky and
then slowly letting the bow come back up.
These pinky push-ups are gonna
increase the strength of the pinky and
also help train the other fingers
to support the pinky well.
The great thing about this exercise
is you can do it while watching TV,
you can do it while watching Netflix.
You can do it while checking out
YouTube videos of Daryll Engler.
I may or may not have done all
three of those things before.
After you do just some pretty
straightforward pinky push-ups,
you can extend the tip all the way down.
If you bring the pinky extra high up,
you can do kind of like extreme push-ups
where the angle of the bow
tip is much more extreme.
Other than pinky push-ups,
we can explore the three-dimensional
strength and flexibility of our fingers.
And the way I like to do this is by
drawing shapes in the air with the tip.
So I'm gonna put my pinky back
on top of the bow stick and
over to the left, I'm gonna draw a circle.
The more smooth and even my circle is,
the more control and fine tuning
of my bow hold is gonna develop.
And so you can draw various shapes,
you can draw a circle,
you can draw a triangle.
Bam, bam, bam.
You can draw a square, [SOUND].
And eventually, you can work yourself
through the entire alphabet.
So we got a.
And then b.
All of these shapes are gonna require
the engagement of all of your fingers.
C and so on.
This is a really great strength exercise
that's gonna increase the subtlety.
And all of the different sound colors that
you'll be able to produce with the bow.