How long will he/she take for it to “get going?” “Duh,” I said to myself, as I set the bow on a string and tried out a few notes from the D minor Op. 1. The music was “Bruz-Olivier” by François V. Mignot, recorded for the Paris radio station La Vieille Amour. “Ah,” I said, “that’s the note!” I held the string for a very short time, and then let it out. “Now that’s how it should sound,” I muttered. It must have lasted a few seconds before I realized that I hadn’t heard that note at all.
Now you have a violinist—either for hire or a private player for your own pleasure—who can play the cello as well as the cello can play the violin. If you want to play with her, give her the violin, but don’t expect it to be a good match.
As with any other instrument, if you’re getting good, you may have to try harder, although if you feel lucky, you might enjoy the feeling.
There are several ways to prepare a cello for your cellist. Many cellists know they’ll need to practice twice daily—about two hours’ worth—to master the technique; if so, you can start by trying the basic string theory exercises.
If you’re working on the technique with her, make sure you do them at the right time. When you feel you get the hang of it, you can practice the notes on paper or on an instrument, such as the guitar.
You can get the idea for the exercises the next time you practice with the cellist. If you’re a beginner, I suggest you begin with the first part of the D minor Op. 1, which begins in B flat major:
G minor chord, starting in C Major
(click the audio file for examples)
If you have a partner, don’t allow your partner to get too comfortable right away: she might think that doing the exercises on the cello is harder than doing the exercises on her violin. However, she can still benefit from the exercise because it helps to prepare for playing the cello. As the beginner, she should start out with a single sound and then gradually make changes. If she doesn’t practice the first half of the chord, you’ll have to make lots of changes and will start to feel like you’re playing badly
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