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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
30 Day Challenge
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Cello Lessons: Different Characters

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We've talked a lot about
harmonic analysis and historical
considerations with this movement of bach.
But ultimately, we really wanna just
make our listeners feel something.
And you wanna be able to
embody a character, or
an emotion while you're playing
this music, or any music.
And so, we can practice this,
and explore which characters, and
which emotions work for this movement,
or at different parts of this movement.
And so, I just want to do
a little bit of an exercise.
I'm gonna take the first phrase
of this Bach movement, and
let's come up with a couple of
different emotions, or characters,
that we can use to affect
the way we play it.
So, it goes like this.
Let's see if we can play that super
strong, like almost like
somebody who's about to,
I don't know, lift 300 pounds, okay?
whoo, Yeah!
Let's see if we can play it super-weak,
as if we were like a small mouse
who didn't want to wake a cat,
even though he was practicing Cello.
Obviously I was using a smaller sound,
but I was actually also being a little
bit less like obvious with my rhythm.
I felt a little more hesitant.
You know, this suite I think
is ultimately pretty happy,
but let's see if we can explicitly
try play this phrase happy.
And conversely,
could we play it like, maybe sad,
as if we were remembering
a happy time that is no more.
Or, I don't know,
let's get crazy.
Let's have a, actually yeah,
let's just play it crazy.
What would crazy sound like?
I actually know some
Cellists that play it that way.
But the point is,
you really want to just open yourself up.
Open up your emotional state, and try and
also approach this music from just
a feel standpoint, and
stop worrying about harmony and
bringing out certain voices and
see if you can just you know,
use your techniques of, of articulations
and volume and vibrato and
rhythm to just completely change
the way that you could play this piece.
Try, try playing the first phrase or
even the whole piece embodying a very
specific emotion or character and
see how differently you can
make this one movement sound.