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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
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Cello Lessons: Shifting Exercises

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We wanna practice a few exercises
that get us use to moving up and down,
single string, really smoothly.
The main intervals that I like to
practice this at, are shifting fifths.
Shifting octaves and
even the double octave.
So if I was on the A string and
I started on first finger,
the fifth above that is F sharp.
So I would practice shifting back and
forth and few times.
Thinking about all the principles
in the previous lesson.
And after I sort of feel comfortable with
the general interval,
then I'm just gonna walk up
chromatically walk up the a string and
just modulate.
And it will sound like this.
can keep
As much as you want.
But now I'm getting a thumb position which
we haven't covered yet
in this curriculum but
you can get to it soon in a new lesson.
The octave, the octave shift will sound
like this from B all the way to B.
For the intervals of the fifth,
I was actually kind of consciously
changing which finger I was starting and
ending at to sort of
shake up my distances.
For the octaves, I usually only
practice first finger on the root and
then third finger on the top note.
So one and three, that'll sound like
this as I walk up the A string.
As you're
walking, you
can go as high
as you want.
And I actually find,
like I was saying earlier,
in order to hear all of the intervals in
between the origin and the destination,
I'm kinda really sinking in with the bow.
Whether I'm doing under shift
like I just did, or an over shift,
I always wanna hear the full span of
distance that I'm practicing.
The next interval which I find
particularly satisfying is really gonna
help loosen up your shoulder
is to do a double octave.
So from B, half the B octave
all the way to that B.
That will sound a little crazy, like this.
I missed
that last one.
But it's a good exercise to just sort
of get used to moving freely up and
down the whole finger board.
The one thing I wanna say about shifting
is even though, you know, we're just
kind of going back and forth and it's
really about getting into fluid motion.
You always wanna be
shifting to a position.
You never wanna be
shifting just to a note.
And so it's actually gonna help
your shifting be more consistent
if you're thinking in positions.
So if I was gonna practice
shifting a fifth,
let's say why don't we
move to the D string.
All of these intervals and exercises you
should practice on all four strings.
So on the D string,
if I wanted to shift from here to there,
that's a fifth from E to B,
I would actually add some filler notes in
order to articulate
the positions that I was in.
So I would articulate the first position
this way [SOUND] with fourth finger.
And before I get to the destination note,
I would add first finger.
So all together, it would sound like this.
And that helps me make sure as I'm moving,
I'm moving to an entire hand shape.
An entire position.
And then I would do
this in a few stages.
I would do all those filler notes, and
then I would leave out the origin
position filler the note.
So it sounds like this.
And after I do that then I'll leave
out the destination filler note and
I'll be left with just
the original interval.
But I'm still thinking about these
filler notes so
that my hand shape is strong.
Let me show you all these
steps just in a row so
you see here what that sounds like.
Then I would
modulate and
just walk up
the string
from F now
and so on.
You could go all the way up
the finger board this way.
For the octave,
the filler notes might sound like this.
I would still shift to first finger maybe
a whole step away from the destination.
No matter what the interval of
the shift you might need to practice for
a particular piece,
you can add these filler notes so
that you will really understand which
position you're shifting to and from.
And then by slowly getting rid of them,
you can really focus on the smooth
movements that we worked on.
Always keeping in mind the principles
from the previous lesson.