This is the first in a 12-part series about playing the cello. Each issue will discuss in depth a different aspect of technique that will help you reach your playing goals more quickly, with less effort, better sound, with an alert eye to avoiding common (too common) playing injuries.
The Cellist offers a unique perspective to your overall relationship with your cello. My name is Paul Perley. I am a performing cellist (as well as a conductor and composer), a cello teacher of over 20 years who has guided youngsters through university and adults into chamber groups and higher level orchestras, and a luthier who, with my wife Melissa, has successfully operated a cello shop for the past 20 years. This publication is not meant to be a complete substitute for regular private instruction: nothing can replace that, although it can serve as a technique improvement tool if you are between teachers. It is a supplemental series of essential, concrete, usable ideas, a different one each issue. Each topic will benefit you whether you are a beginning, intermediate, or advancing cellist, or a teacher. Each topic includes detailed photos, organized, practical and successful practice plans for that topic.
In addition to providing you with technique ideas, as a luthier I will relate each topic to your own cello and bow, offering some options of things you can do to them to help you advance faster. And, as a teacher, I have helped guide students of all ages and abilities through injuries, helping them advance their playing levels in the process.
Topics include: Your Bow Grip // How to bow for sound // A CD-quality vibrato // Secrets of dead-center intonation // Shifting; smooth, accurate and secure // Playing fast // The importance of fingering and how to do it // Overcoming the difficulties of lyrical adagios// Etudes: the secret to great technique // Playing in an orchestra // Relaxation; the ultimate key to your best playing // Holding the cello; more options and more important than you think // Injuries: how to deal with them, how to prevent them// Performance Anxiety: some new ideas on something everyone faces // Sight-Reading // Successful practicing// and more.
The Cellist is NOT intended to sell you things. You may want your local luthier to make some adjustments, or purchase small items from your local shop, but that profit will be theirs, not ours.