How are you doing with your hip joints? Enjoying them?
It took me five years and the work with about 300 cellist to find out that bit of information I´m about to give to you now. Up to now I didn´t meet anyone in “Cello land” who teaches it like this,
for a powerful sound
and stable intonation
with minimum effort.
If you´re are “in balance” as you take up your cello to play YOU´RE LOST!!!
“WHAT?” – I hear you saying. “I trained all those years to sit upright and balanced and relaxed, and and and – and now you´re telling me it´s all WRONG?”
Well, o.k., it´s not wrong when you´re sitting at a desk or a table or in the train being upright an balanced is a wonderful thing. But if it comes to efficient cello playing it´s not.
If you´re “in balance” before you start to play everything get´s harder.
It reduces your freedom, reduces your power, weakens your intonation and control and creates unnecessary work for your back.
Before you shoot the messenger I ask you to do an experiment with me that can change your cello playing forever – for the better of course.
You need a plane area and two books, a bigger one and a smaller one.
- The bigger book represents you and the small book represents your cello.
- Place both books upright on the edge so that they “stand up straight” and are balanced. But is this the situation we have in cello playing? Of course not.
- Lean the little book towards the big book. What happens?
- Right – the smaller one drops and pushes the bigger one over.
What makes the little book so “strong” that it pushes the big one over?
Because the “dropping” object has gravity on its side. The small, dropping object is stronger than the weak balance of the bigger object.
- The big book represents you and the small book represents your cello.
- Arrange both objects in such a way that you create a “cello-playing-like” shape.
- You did it? Bravo! How did you do it? Be precise!
- Which of the objects has to move FIRST?
- Right. The big one has to move first. Which means: YOU!
The bigger object has to leave it´s balance in order to catch the movement energy of the smaller object. Together they form a new balance that is much more stable than each on their own.
“BUT” – you will think – “I do sit balanced and my cello doesn´t push me over.”
Correct. But who is doing the work?
Your back muscles.
If you don´t move towards your cello FIRST your muscles have to keep you from dropping.
A muscle being busy holding you up is not busy cello playing.
I hate waste of energy.
So here´s the new choreography:
Pick up your cello, put it on the end pin.
Step 1: “Stand” on your butt”
Step 2: Hinge forward a tiny bit from your hip joints
Step 3: Meet your cello on the way.
Step 4: Hug your cello to say “Hello”
Add smiling whenever you like!
You´ll have to adjust your end pin length again.
Stand – Hinge – Meet – Hug!
I hope from my deepest heart that – being a cellist – you have a sense what this physical truth can mean for your sounding point and your efficiency.
You must sacrifice your own balance in order to find a new – more stable and livelier one – with your cello!
I´m more than curious about what you think. Please, please, please – will you convey to me what you think about this? Thank you!