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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
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Cello Lessons: Practice Tips: Recordings - Listening & Playing Along

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One of the difficult things about
practicing classical music is you're
usually playing something incomplete.
You know, the melody of The Swan
requires a whole orchestra
accompaniment that we can reduce
into just a single piano part.
But essentially, if you're playing
this melody by yourself a lot,
you're missing out on a lot
of what the music has to say.
The harmonies that are under your
melodic notes are so important.
And they should be shaping
how you are phrasing a lot.
And so it's really important to listen
to as many recordings as you can find.
And also, I highly recommend playing
along with those recordings,
especially as recordings have different
interpretations than each other.
You'll get used to phrasing like Yo-Yo Ma,
or phrasing like a different cellist,
and you can learn a lot from how they're
playing by just sort of playing along and
seeing if you can play
exactly the way that they do.
I should say that sometimes, and
actually, it's probably out of date, but
there's an old school
approach to classical music,
that where some people actually insist on
not listening to any recordings at all.
Some people feel that listening
to a recording might affect
how you would interpret a piece.
And some people prefer to start with
just what the composer wrote, and
just develop a relationship
with the score.
And come up with your own
interpretation without being influenced
by random other musicians.
However, the problem this creates,
is it ends up
creating a very academic
interpretation sometimes.
And the flow and sound of recordings,
especially when playing along with
recordings I think it's invaluable.
I think it's much better to listen to 20
recordings than to listen to 0 recordings.
I think this philosophy is true
in the fact that you don't
wanna only listen to
one recording over and
over and over every day, cuz that will
definitely affect your interpretation.
And your interpretation might end up being
just an imitation of the one version that
you've heard a bunch.
So, I would highly recommend
to on YouTube find
as many different versions of The Swan or
another piece that you're working on.
And also try and play along.
And try and learn from the whole world and
the whole range of possible
interpretations that already exist.
And I think that will actually
give you more options, and
more ideas when you're creating
your own interpretation.