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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
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Cello Lessons: Practice Tips: Double Stops

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In the extensive library of general
technique videos,
I talked a lot about hand position,
and there was even
an exercise where I had you
improvise double stops up a D major scale
to really solidify your hand shapes.
We can do this actually in repertoire.
For The Swan,
we're doing a lot of shifting.
And we're doing a lot of vibrating.
And both of those things will be so
much easier if you have
really good hand shapes.
Because we always wanna be shifting to
a position, never to a single note.
So the way I would practice The Swan
is to improvise double stops in
the hand shape that the melody is in,
and I wanna see if you can hear
the melodic notes amidst these
double steps as I would practice it.
Really not
moving on until
it's in tune.
It's pretty much out of rhythm.
You could go
through the whole
piece like this,
articulating the hand
shapes by adding
double stops.
I find this exercise incredibly
helpful for shifting and for vibrato.
And also, it strengthens your hand.
And it's just really, really helpful.
The one thing I would say is
while you're doing this exercise,
don't let your right arm get tense.
Try and keep your sound smooth and
your right arm just loose and everything.
But this is a really,
really great exercise.
You can apply it to any piece
that you're working on.
If you wanna solidify your intonation,
if you wanna solidify your shifting,
and make your vibrato even more
comfortable, improvise some double stops.