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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
30 Day Challenge
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Cello Lessons: Continuous Rhythmic Improvisation (CRI)

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All of the scale routines we've been doing
for these new scales all
start at the bottom,
go the top, and come back down.
That is our standard classical
way to practice a scale,
focusing mostly on physical,
technical considerations.
However, when we prepare for
improvisation, and
we want to train our ear, we want to get
to know the scales from the inside out and
get used to going from
each note to any note.
So this continuous rhythmic improvisation
exercise helps us do just that.
I may call it CRI for
short because saying continuous rhythmic
improvisation exercise gets
kind of tiring sometimes.
But we're gonna turn on the metronome and
the drone.
And there's two rules for this exercise.
I have to play continuously.
And you may have gotten
that from the title.
But it's all going to be
within a specific scale.
So let's take, we recently learned
the G harmonic minor scale.
I'm gonna take this scale and
I'm gonna improvise continuous
quarter notes in G harmonic minor.
The only rules are, I can't stop,
and I can't play a wrong note.
I can, however, repeat a note, if I
need to sort of take some time to think.
I'll demonstrate.
[SOUND] Quarter notes.
I'm just playing the scale up and
down first, but from here on out,
I can play any notes in any order.
It doesn't have to sound
particularly good,
as long as I stick to the rules.
Of never playing a wrong note.
And never stopping.
I can hang out on a single
note and repeat if I need to
sort of gather my thoughts.
Quarter notes should be pretty doable but
I'm going to kick it up
to eighth notes now.
The bowings are just improvised.
It really doesn't matter.
I do like thinking about
having a smooth bow.
Well so I have a continuous sound.
now I'll move
to triplets.
And 16th notes.
>> You can sort of start
to make it sound musical.
But actually the heart of this
exercise is not making phrases.
It's really about speeding up your brain
and your ear-hand coordination so that you
can, at these different tempos, access all
the notes in a given harmony accurately.
I just demonstrated this is G harmonic
minor, but I want you to start
with just the major scale cuz you've
been working on that the longest.
You can start in D major and each day,
you know, try a different key.
On day two try E flat major,
or and then E major.
You'll notice the keys that don't
have open string notes in them like G
flat doesn't have an open A,
or an open D, or an open G.
Those are gonna be the hardest keys.
But you can start with the major scale.
And anytime you learn a new scale, like
we've been doing through this technical
curriculum, you can explore it this way
through continuous rhythmic improvisation.
This CRI is going to really help you when
you start improvising in the bluegrass and
jazz curriculums and
it's really gonna connect your ear with
your hand while also being a great,
great technical workout.