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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
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Cello Lessons: Non-Classical Pizzicato: Slapping

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One fun thing to do when you're pizzing
a lot is to add some percussive sounds,
bass players slap their string a lot.
So I just wanted to
address that a little bit.
A bass player, let's say a bluegrass
bass player, was playing this.
You know, you're slapping
the string against the fingerboard so
you get that metallic
snare drum like sound.
And you're basically just doing that
on the off-beat in between the notes.
And a bass player would just be slapping,
at the ends of his fingers right
around where he's pizzing.
It helps to do it towards the end of
the finger board.
However, I have found for cello,
like our strings are actually
closer together Than a bass player.
So I find I can slap a little more
like cleanly if instead of slapping
with a down stroke, I slap with
my thumb in a rotational stroke.
That's right.
I just sort of like throw my thumb [SOUND]
>> And like,
rotate my forearm as if
I'm turning a doorknob.
Just throw that at the string.
So if I'm pizzing with my second finger,
then I'll slap with my thumb and
that'll look and sound like this.
>> [MUSIC]
>> And
I find this actually to be easier to
maintain my accuracy because if I pizz and
slap, you know, with a big motion
like that, it's hard, actually, to
make sure that my finger gets back to the
string so that I can pizz the next note.
I feel like I'm likely to miss and
hit the wrong string, and
it's hard anyway, for me.
So, I would recommend doing
the rotational slapping.
Because when you rotate,
the pizzing finger actually is not leaving
the string area that much, so
your accuracy is gonna be a lot better and
that will help you play
a lot faster actually.
One thing you might hear
in bass playing is the double slap.
That sounds like this.
Again, I'm doing it as an actual bass
player would,
just kind of hitting with their hand,
although again for
accuracy and speed I've found
that I actually throw in the second
double slap with my left hand.
So I pizz, rotate, slap with the left.
Pizz, rotate, slap with the left.
And, I usually slap with the fourth
finger on the left hand.
If your married you can actually slap.
Your wedding ring against the wood of
the fingerboard, and that's a nice sound.
Hard to control.
Anyway, but so
see if you can do pizz right left,
pizz right left, pizz right left,
pizz right left,
pizz right left, pizz right left.
And just practice this with the metronome,
and eventually you can work it up.
It's kind of hard.
The double slap is definitely something
you want to pull out only for
special occasions.
And, frankly,
even the single slap Is not something
you want to necessarily do all the time.
I think your default, you know, like if
we're talking about this bluegrass grove,
would actually be to mute the string
on the off beat, and you can do that
by releasing the finger or just touching
the string with the other fingers.
See if you can hear,
the note and perfectly in time.
That feel is what the slap is going to,
you know, augment.
But you wanna
you wanna have your default just
be the muting, I think.
And then maybe just for, like,
the last time through a tune
you could throw in the slap for
some extra oomph.
good luck