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Cello Lessons: “Mr. PC”

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Multi-Style Cello with Mike Block. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Cello Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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[MUSIC]
Mr. PC is a really great blues tune
by John Coltrane, a saxophone player you
should start checking out
if you haven't already.
It's a simple blues.
There's not a lot of chord changes in it.
But I wanna use it to
explore one specific idea,
which is to use range to tell a story.
Range, whether we're playing low notes or
a high range with high notes,
we wanna be conscious about how
we build the range of our solo.
So one way we can practice this
is to practice an entire chorus
soloing just on first position
in the middle strings.
Let me show you what that would
sound like with the backing track if
I soloed an entire chorus just in
middle strings in first position.
>> One, two, one, two, three, and.
[MUSIC]
>> Those
are the only notes I'm
gonna use in this range.
[MUSIC]
Helps to say
something specific.
Now, if I move up to the upper strings,
[MUSIC]
it lets me say something else in
a different range.
[MUSIC]
Now, I'll try
the lower strings.
[MUSIC]
Focusing on the specific
range really helps us
bring out different
characters in our solo.
Once you start and string these together,
you can create really
long shapes to your solo.
So let me show one chorus where each
four bar phrase moves up a range.
And that way we have a really
distinct shape to our phrase,
over the course of a whole chorus.
>> One, two, one, two, three, and.
>> I'll start at the bottom.
[MUSIC]
Now, move to the middle strings.
[MUSIC]
Now, the upper strings.
[MUSIC]
And I'll go up even higher.
[MUSIC]
So you get the idea by just being
very conscious about limiting myself or
limiting a phrase to just a certain range.
We can really start to say
some really nice stories.
On the cello,
the best ranges to limit yourself to for
this idea,
are our first position on two strings.
[SOUND] It gives you a full octave
on any of the string pairings.
And also the same idea of
going to fourth position.
[MUSIC]
And focusing on fourth position in just
two strings, and
that will give you six different
specific ranges to explore
in your improvisation.
A lot of the shedding work that
might need to be done for Mr. PC.
We've got chord scales, arpeggiation and
a whole host of other topics we've
already covered in the curriculum.
So spend some time shedding Mr. PC, and
then submit your performance video.
Can't wait to hear you
play on this minor blues.
[MUSIC]