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Cello Lessons: Hand Position: 3rds

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Our accuracy on the cello is dependent
mostly on our hand position,
and there's a bunch
of exercises we can do to
strengthen our hand position.
One of the fundamental exercises
is to practice thirds.
If we were in the key of E major, I'm
gonna play a low E with my fourth finger.
[SOUND] Now I'm gonna play a major third,
G sharp,
with my first finger
[SOUND] on the G string.
So, I've got a major third here that
I'm playing on the bottom strings.
The reason this hand shape is so important
is because it's using our fourth and
first fingers, the outer,
you know pillars of our hand shape.
So actually what I'm going to do
is I'm gonna do is walk up and
down the E major scale
harmonizing in thirds.
So I'm gonna have some
major thirds like this.
This is a closed hand position.
[NOISE] If I move up the E
major scale to F sharp
the third above that is A natural which
requires an extended hand position
in order to play that minor third.
The bottom note of these double stops
is gonna keep walking up the scale.
Still with fourth finger
every single note.
So G sharp,
then we'll harmonize the third with B.
Also an extended hand position back for
a minor third.
The next note is A harmonize with
C sharp which is a major third.
So it's a closed hand position.
Now I'm going to shift
back to half position and
play B with fourth finger and
D sharp with first finger.
Then moving up to C sharp and
harmonized with E natural.
This is another extended hand position.
We'll keep our extended hand
position as we go from C sharp
to D sharp harmonized with F sharp.
And we're gonna end where we started.
E and G sharp in a closed hand position.
So, we're gonna be moving between closed
and open or extended hand shapes and
we're gonna be harmonizing
through the whole major scale.
Let me play it on octave up and
down so you hear it.
Some important
things to keep in mind
is because we're
using a lot of arm weight
from the left hand and
a lot of finger strength to
hold these double stops.
You really want to release the hand for
every shift.
If you try and shift without lifting or
releasing the weight of the hand,
you're gonna get tight and
eventually hurt yourself.
So this is a good opportunity to practice
releasing while you shift
with the left hand.
Work on this in E major and
as you get the whole
major scale into your ears, you can start
extending it to second octave
And, of course, you're gonna wanna
explore this in every key eventually.
But start slow and
really focus on staying relaxed and
keeping your wrist flat and
supporting your fourth finger
by bringing your left elbow
forward as you practice thirds.