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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
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Cello Lessons: 1 String Scale Exercises

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Through our whole beginner curriculum,
we stayed in first position
with brief journeys
to half position and
one and a half position.
But now that we're in
the intermediate curriculum,
we need to start exploring
the geography of our fingerboard.
One great way to do this is with the major
scale, which you're familiar with already.
You know the sound of it,
you know all the intervals.
And we're gonna practice one octave major
scales but we're gonna stay on one string.
This is gonna get us used to
traveling up the fingerboard.
I'll start on the A string and
I'm gonna play a one octave major scale.
I'm always gonna play three notes
per position, fingering wise.
So even though I start with open A,
I'm only gonna play three
notes before I shift.
If we do this for every key,
we can have the same fingering no matter
what key or what string we start on.
A major one string scale.
Now we've reached the highest note.
Now we're again gonna shift
after every three notes.
So our shifts will be in slightly
different places on the way down.
Once you can play the A major scale in
tune with the drone,
I want you to work through
a routine with the one string scales.
I'm gonna put the metronome on at 60 and
I'm gonna play one string scales going
up from each note on the A string.
And they will get me progressively
further up the fingerboard.
[SOUND] I'm gonna do
this in quarter notes.
Now I'm
gonna go up a half
step to B flat.
Every time I shift I'm
thinking about releasing
the pressure of the hand
on the fingerboard.
The fingering I'm using
is one, extend, two, four.
One, extend, two, three, and then two,
three, back down to three, two, one, four,
two, one, two, extend back, one.
Now I'm just gonna keep going up.
As high as I can.
Every scale will have
the same fingering and
the same hand shapes.
You're going to get really used to
the few hand shapes that the major scale
requires and after you feel comfortable
doing this at quarter notes,
up the A string,
you can also practice it in eighth notes.
I would also recommend to practice
these one string scales on each string,
because each one is gonna require
slightly different angle of the elbow.
And you're also going to need
a little more strength on the thicker
lower strings.
But these one string scales are going
to really make you start to feel
comfortable up and
down the entire finger board.