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Cello Lessons: 2 Octave Major Scales

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Multi-Style Cello with Mike Block. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Cello Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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[MUSIC]
I want us to set up a regular routine
that we can practice our major scales in.
We're gonna expand our scale practice
to be two octaves in every key.
And we're gonna do this with
the metronome and the drone, of course.
But, before we run through it I need
to give you a very special fingering.
On the cello we always wanna fit
in three notes every position.
So, if you find yourself shifting
more than every three notes
chances are there's a better,
more efficient fingering to use.
For the major scale,
if we don't use any open strings and
we shift every three notes it's gonna work
out perfectly for a two octave scale.
In the key of D, I'm gonna start
out with one, extend to four.
Then, I'm gonna shift up the C string
an do one, extend to four again.
[SOUND] Then I'm gonna cross
over to the G string and
play one, two, four.
Gonna cross to the D string and
play one, two, four again.
These last two positions were closed, and
the first two positions were extended.
Then I'm gonna finish off
[MUSIC]
with one, two, three.
We've reached the top of the scale
playing three notes in each position.
I'll go down as well.
[MUSIC]
Three, two, one.
Shift.
[MUSIC]
Four, two, one.
Shift.
[MUSIC]
Four, two, one.
Again, shift.
Four two, extend one.
And then four, two, extend one.
Try just pitsing through these
fingerings a couple of times until
you get used to feeling these hand shapes.
And once you do, the routine I want you
to play daily is with the drone and
the metronome we're gonna play
whole notes, half notes, quarters,
eighth notes, and
maybe we'll stop there for now.
This is a routine very similar to
what I still practice everyday.
You can watch once and then play with
me as well as many times as you want.
[MUSIC]
Three, four.
whole notes
[MUSIC]
Make sure to keep
breathing in and
out fully.
[MUSIC]
I'm
also conscious
of using
the whole bow for
each note.
All the way to the tip and
then all the way to the bottom.
I won't repeat the top note.
[MUSIC]
I'm
gonna go
through
this
whole
routine
with you
now.
When we learn future scales, I won't
necessarily show you the entire routine.
But I do want to do it once with you
on the two octave D major scale.
The next rhythmic level is half notes.
Now the one thing we're
gonna do bowing wise,
is we're gonna keep bowing
four clicks per bow.
That means for half notes,
we're gonna play two notes for every bow.
[MUSIC]
Three, four.
[MUSIC]
This is a good
opportunity to
think about your
bow distribution.
To make sure you're changing
notes halfway through the bow.
[MUSIC]
The next
level is
quarter
notes.
This means we're gonna have four notes for
every bow because our bow is
still gonna last for four clicks.
Two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
Next is eighth
notes, so
eighth notes
with bow.
One and two and three and four.
[MUSIC]
Let's
actually keep
going.
We have two more rhythmic levels to play.
Triplets is next.
One and a two and
a three and a four and a.
[MUSIC]
Good.
So there's twelve notes per bow.
Now finally,
we have 16th notes with 16 notes per bow.
One, two, three, four, two, two,
three, four, three, two, three, four,
two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
Nice.
If you can't get comfortable with
the triplets and 16th notes right away,
don't worry,
just practice up to the eighth notes and
over time you can start to
tackle the faster subdivisions.
I would say that when you
first learn this routine
practice it just in D major maybe for
like a week.
But, eventually I want you
to do this in every key.
I want you to start from
each note in the scale.
You can walk up chromatically.
I'll practice it in D major one day, and
then the next day I'll
practice it in E flat.
And then E major the next day, and so on.
And because, as we learned at
the beginning, there's no open strings,
we can use the same
fingering in every key.
I really look forward to helping
you with your scale routine.
You can practice this every day, and
maybe after about ten days of practice why
don't you send me a video submission and
I'll see how you're doing.
[MUSIC]