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Cello Lessons: Hand Position: 6ths

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>> Sixths are a key hand position shape
where we have maybe a first finger
on G sharp on the G string and
then second finger on E on the D string.
Sounds like this.
>> [MUSIC]
>> Kind of in half position here.
This gives us the equivalent
of a major third.
>> [MUSIC]
>> But by putting that major third down
an octave, we actually get
what's called a minor sixth.
But what I want us to do is I want
us to explore this hand shape
chromatically first.
Basically this is really solidifying the
hand shape of having a higher finger on
the higher string, which is kind of
a really common, melodic shape to have.
So if I was harmonizing
at the E major scale,
the top note is gonna be the scale note.
And the bottom note is gonna be my sixth.
So with that E on the top [SOUND] then
I'm gonna move up to F sharp on top.
Harmonize with an A on the bottom.
So this is now from first finger and
second finger,
to second finger and fourth finger.
Then I'm gonna shift to G sharp,
on third finger and
first finger is the B harmony.
Then I'm going to go three and
four [SOUND] to harmonize the A.
Then I'm gonna shift back,
I'm gonna harmonize the B with a D sharp.
C-sharp with an E and
E-sharp with an F sharp
until they get back home
[SOUND] at the octave.
So again, I'm just taking all
diatonic notes from E major and
adding them a sixth below the scale notes.
Let me play it one octave up and
down so you can hear it.
>> [MUSIC]
>> I'm shifting every two notes, so
that I'm filling in the hand
position with each pair of six.
And keep in mind when you're shifting
you wanna release, release the weight.
Because it takes a lot of arm weight and
finger strength to push
down both of these strings.
So, you wanna make sure you're releasing
that tension with every shift.
Practice these major scales
in sixths in every key,
really, and
you'll explore this same sound.
And it's gonna keep solidifying
the same hand shapes.
After you practice it in the major scale,
you could also practice
it in the minor scale.
And it's just gonna result in a slightly
different combination of major and
minor sixth intervals.
Like in the major scale, we've got
a minor sixth [SOUND] and a major sixth.
>> [SOUND]
>> A major sixth and a minor sixth.
A minor sixth, then a major sixth.
And a major sixth then a minor sixth.
So they keep kind of alternating back and
For a minor scale it's
a different combination.
So the scale would be
natural minor.
And the harmonization
would sound like this.
>> I would say focus on the major
scales for a few weeks.
But keep in mind that you'll also want
to eventually explore the minor scale.
Now what we've been doing so
far are diatonic sixths.
We've been sticking to a key,
E major or E minor.
Another actually really great variation on
this exercise is to do chromatic sixths.
And this is really gonna
fill in the hand position.
If we start it in the same place,
[SOUND] basically we're just
gonna walk up with each finger.
So from first and second,
[SOUND] we're gonna do second and third,
[SOUND] and then third and fourth.
we're just doing chromatic minor sixths.
And if I went up the D and
G strings it would sound like this.
>> That's a full octave.
So that's really filling in
the entire hand shape as you go up.
I sometimes practice this,
you know, starting from here.
>> You know,
maybe a little slower but then I'll
shift up a half-step and change strings.
>> [MUSIC]
>> So
maybe from here [SOUND] I would cross
to the lower strings [SOUND] and
then shift up a half step.
[SOUND] Because if you shift up a half
step you'll be using different fingers for
those different parts of the string.
And I'd do the same exercise [SOUND]
starting from a different place.
>> [MUSIC]
>> So
this chromatic minor sixth
exercise is really great for
filling in a closed hand shape.
So particularly I want you to
explore the chromatic scale,
and also the major diatonic harmonization.
Start in E, and then explore all the other
keys, that you've gotten to know already.