Starting A Piece with Great Intonation

Sunday, January 21, 2018 | Uncategorized

Have you ever begun playing a piece, only to completely botch the first note? It can be totally frustrating and demoralizing to have this happen over and over again. Here are two quick exercises for beginning a scale or a piece on the right note.

1. Start with both hands down by your side. Then, making sure that fingertips/bow are leading and your whole arm is following, bring your left hand and right hands to the cello. Play an open string followed by the 1st finger on that string. Listen. Ask yourself, was that correct? Or am I sharp/flat? Or am I not sure? If you’re not sure, try it again, this time trying to sing the two notes in your head. If you are sharp or flat, try again, this time singing the two notes in your head before you play, and aiming slightly lower/higher as needed.

2. If you find that you are worrying about whether or not you’re going to “hit it” as you are bringing your hands up to the instrument, come up with a constructive replacement thought to think.

Ex: “Don’t screw this one up!” can be replaced to say, “full, round sound on open D and connect to first finger E.” 

3. And to check your intonation for the rest of the scale, try practicing with a drone.