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Cello Lessons: Singing While Playing: “You Are My Sunshine”

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[MUSIC]
Many of the pieces we learned in
the beginner curriculum
are actually songs and have words.
And you can start to learn the vocal
versions of these melodies after you've
learned the instrumental version.
I wanna start with You Are My Sunshine,
and just show you a couple of basically,
rhythm patterns,
that would feel good under this melody.
Before we get too technical with some of
the exercises of singing while playing,
I just wanted us to do it once, and
to sing the chorus of You Are My Sunshine.
So basically, our thumb is going
to be our primary strumming tool.
[SOUND] Why don't you strum
your open strings a little bit?
[SOUND] See if you can get a down and
an up stroke.
[MUSIC]
I'm gonna assume that,
that's sounding amazing
already on your end, but
why don't we put a C major chord
which is fingered one, two.
[MUSIC]
This is, a really good starter chord on
the cello, and
if you could just strum back and
forth, that's gonna be what we need.
So, once you get that simple strum
going I just want us to learn the,
a basic rhythm that we can use for
You Are My Sunshine.
Why don't we do an Oompah rhythm.
So we'll kind of hit the base
notes with our thumb and
then the upper strings
also with the thumb.
So it'll just be a bunch of down strokes.
[MUSIC]
Thumb, thumb, thumb, thumb, thumb.
Low, high, low, high, low,
high ,mm, pop mm, pop, mm, pop.
And we're gonna put that
over the chords of the tune.
So we have a C major,
we're also gonna have an F major,
which if you walk up the C string
to F is fingered one, one,
three, four, one, one, three, four, and
then the other cord we'll need is
the five cord, a G major, o, o, one.
And it'll all come together like this.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear,
how much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.
So we've got,
I'll just call out the harmonious once.
One, one, one, one, one, one,
one, one, one, one, one.
That's C.
Up to the F chord, and back to C.
Now up to the F chord,
which is the four chord.
Back to C.
Then we'll C to G, then to C,
you are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy, when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear,
how much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.
Basically all the patterns we're gonna
use with the bow we can do pizzicato.
Let's do pizzicato first,
the chugga, chugga rhythm.
One, two, three, four, one, two,
three, four, one, two, three, four.
Is it gonna sound like this?
[MUSIC]
One, two, three, four, one, two,
three, four.
One, two, three, four, one,
two, three, one, two, three.
[MUSIC]
You are my sunshine,
my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear
how much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.
Let's actually do just those
two rhythms with the bow.
We can do the same groove,
but with the bow.
So the Oompah rhythm
would sound like this.
[MUSIC]
Low, high, low, high, low.
I'm doing all of these on downs again.
You are my sunshine.
My only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear,
how much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away,
and then the chugga,
chugga you should know on the bow by now,
from a bunch of other videos.
One, two, three, four, one, two,
three, four, one, two, three, four.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear,
how much I love you.
Please don't take, my sunshine away.
Basically, the big part of this journey
is gonna be working on your rhythmic
string playing, and there's a whole series
of videos on rhythmic playing, and chords.
And then it comes down to also
developing your singing a little bit.
We'll get to that and
some singing exercises.
But I just wanna say something
about working on coordinating,
doing these two things at the same time.
It can feel a little bit like
rubbing your stomach and
your head In opposite directions while
walking backwards on high heels.
It's a lot to coordinate, but really,
just your standard ways of practicing,
with a metronome, really slow.
And just sort of isolating which
actions of the bow happen with which
words of the melody.
That can be a really great way
to sort of line everything up.
So, if you were going
[MUSIC]
like a chugga, chugga pattern, you are my
sunshine, and really figuring out which
words happen on the accented notes.
[MUSIC]
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
you make me happy, and
just starting slow, and
then eventually you can work
it up faster with a metronome,
and it's really just
a physical coordination feel.
And once you get used to singing
over different grooves, you know,
some of your standard grooves like chugga
chugga, then you'll be able to access that
in new songs, and you'll be able to keep
the rhythm going without any problem.
But as you're working on songs like, in
addition to doing, all of these rhythms.
You'll definitely want to start
incorporating the chop, and learning those
patterns the same way, and learning
how to coordinate them with the voice.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy, when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear,
how much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.
And really the ultimate, you know,
issue here is, is the coordination.
So what I tell students is work on like
just playing the chords by themselves, and
then sing the melody just vocals, and
just kind of alternate, doing them,
isolating and then putting them back
together, and just going back and forth.
So you're really checking in on
each part individually While
you're trying to do them together.
Another really invaluable tool is to sing
along and play along with recordings.
So that you're really getting into the
feel of a performance version of the song
if you can find a version in
the key that you wanna sing it.
But I just wanted to sort of maybe touch
on a few of the issues that you can
be thinking about as you're
starting to sing while playing, and
we've got a couple other exercises
that might help with the coordination.
And I can't wait to hear you
sing a song with your cello.
[MUSIC]