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Cello Lessons: Mike Block with Rushad Eggleston: Standing While Playing - Discussion

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[MUSIC]
Okay,
standing while playing.
>> Mm-hm.
>> Mr.
Rushad was one of the big inspirations for
me to stand while playing cello, and for
a while I thought it was like your thing.
Just cause like what you do with it is so
unique and it wasn't until like at
summer camps that I saw all these kids
just like enthusiastically embracing it.
>> Yeah.
>> That I was like
maybe it's not Rushad's thing,
maybe it's just the next thing.
>> It's just the next thing.
>> And so that's, that's when I started
doing it like two years ago, but you and I
actually, we still do it differently even
though there's not many standing cellists.
I think everybody kind of
does it in their own way.
So like briefly say what got
you started standing and
what do you like most about it?
>> Started out as a street
performing thing.
I was going down to play in the street
in Oakland with my buddies and
they were portable and
I wanted to be portable.
>> Yeah.
>> So I was like,
we're not gonna be playing like
something that Beethoven and Bach, and
Charlie Parker, and Bill Frisell
are all gonna be judging up there.
>> [LAUGH]
>> In their judgment quarters.
Today, we're just gonna go have some fun.
So I was like fine,
if I can't shift very good and
I just have to go [SOUND] and
I approached it,
because the reason I had
tried strapping on before.
The reason I didn't like it is because
it was, it changed the way I played and
made it harder to play the things
that I was used to playing.
>> Yeah.
>> I didn't realize, but
then I figured how you could,
>> Get accustomed to it.
>> Yeah, and
play stuff that works with that.
Yeah.
>> And so, I think I've heard you
talk about Michael Katz doing it or
like an early,
it's like he did it at camp years ago,
like-
>> No,
I didn't ever see him do it at camp.
I only saw the pictures and
heard the legend.
Mark Zamos told me about that and
then I tried to strap on like in 2001 or
something.
I was still too classical in my mind sake,
it was only two years after
I quit classical music.
>> Yeah, yeah.
>> And I was like, no,
that's not comfortable, I can't play my
most beautiful masterpieces with that.
But then, yeah, when I was ready to
start a rock and roll band, 2008,
I was definitely ready to just
stand up there and be like, yeah,
I mean you can hold it like this.
It's like a little bit of sacrifice on the
like sacredness of tone and technique and
whatever.
>> Yeah.
>> But then again, you can be like.
[SOUND] I mean and
you can get carried
away in a way that you
couldn't if you weren't.
>> So, like on a technical sample is like,
I mean the whole reason I even embarks
down this like nerdy design of a cello
strap was to figure of out the technical,
like how to overcome the technical
limitations I was feeling on the strap.
>> Yeah.
>> So what have you learned like,
how do you adjust your
technique to the strap?
Was there anything that
you find is helpful
to keep in mind when you're standing?
>> When you're playing with a strap?
>> Yeah, like technically, what's some
of the differences that you're aware of.
>> Well, but you're playing like this, and
like this, instead of like that and
like that.
>> And so how do you adjust to that and
not hurt yourself and like,
put your muscles into weird situations?
>> Well, this does feel like
a pretty natural way to play chords.
I think I have changed my hand
position from being like that,
like a proper, to being like that.
More like you would hold a bat, or
a broomstick, or something like that.
>> It seems like actually that you're just
pulling in with you arm rather than like
falling with the left hand, you're
pulling in with the left hand almost.
>> Yeah, it's a pretty
comfortable way to play chords.
[SOUND]
>> And then I noticed,
it's like using the full bow, and
having like a good bow angle is hard.
I feel like at that angle,
like I notice sometimes
you'll like get the cello like this when
you wanna do something more melodic.
Like can you just tell us
a little bit about that?
>> Yeah, if I want to play
something real serious and melodic,
I have the power to adjust, and
in my personal world it doesn't, I don't
care that I'm doing something different.
[MUSIC]
>> So you've got your knee here.
[MUSIC]
>> Yeah, your knee can act as a control,
it's like playing pedal steel or
something.
>> Yeah.
[SOUND] Yeah.
>> [SOUND] But it should be said also that
with cello, we generally approach cello
in such a more,
it's like everything is sacred way and
there's the hallowed halls of history,
HHH is coming at you the whole time.
But you think about Jimi Hendrix, or
Slash, or people that play the electric
guitar, they weren't caring if it was good
tone or not, or like good techniques.
Like Slash plays
the guitar like down here,
you can't possibly imagine
somebody could play like that.
But because it's cool,
like you learn to play like that, and
then it becomes part of your thing.
And maybe it's even cool a little bit
to have a limitation if you're going by
a more artistic standard, and
not by a standard of like who's playing
the ultimate like most beautiful and
perfect music all the time.
It's like, but my mind set was shifting
away from the virtuosic like historical,
like desires to you,
the next Margaret Connor type of thing.
And then, into being just like
more of a personal contribution.
What can I do with this whole thing of
music and maybe I don't need to be like
living up to any standards at all time
>> Yeah.
>> So.
>> You inspired me man.
>> Thanks.
>> Thank you.
[NOISE] Good to have you here.
>> Well,
it was all cuz of Slash and stuff.
You see Slash down there, it's just not.
>> Yeah.
>> If Slash can do that on the guitar,
then I can play cello like this, you know?
>> Somebody's got to.
[MUSIC]