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  1. Hi Joseph, So, I guess to clarify. Given two instruments of the same body length, why don't they sound the same? Perhaps the answer is: the string gauges are different so as to be able to tune the "small cello or large viola" to the appropriate octave? I guess it's a crazy question. I sort of have the mind of a physicist with the knowledge of an amateur musician! Jill
  2. Hi My mind is always curious about stuff that matters to virtually no one but me (ha!) Question: why would, say, a small 1/4 'cello sound different than, say a large 21" vertical viola? Is it the string length, the scale length, the string gauge, the rib depth? Maybe this is a question for the builders out there, but I started wondering what actually makes an instrument's tone different assuming the body length is equal. Thanks Jill San Francisco
  3. Hello I've searched around on the internet with no success. Does anyone know the approximate scale length of some of the smaller 'cellos? Specifically the 1/10th and the 1/8th size? Thanks so much! Jill
  4. Hi Elisabeth, Thank you for your information. That is about the price range which I am considering. I live in San Diego and generally purchase instruments from Robert Cauer in Los Angeles. I'll check with Mr. Cauer as to his having a Jusek 3/4. I believe I have seen them at his shop before. Do you play a 3/4 or is it for someone else? Thank you. Jill
  5. Hi all Any opinions on a very good 3/4 cello? Not a "student" model, no laminates please. Would like great tone and craftsmanship, and attractive. With some of my injuries I'm considering "downsizing." I own a 7/8 but still seem to squirm a lot trying to get comfortable without overstressing my arm(s) and shoulders. Even my hips are a bit challenged these days. I know it is unconventional for an adult to play a smaller instrument, but sometimes we need to think and live outside of the box! It is worth a try, anyway. Thanks in advance. Jill
  6. Hi Andrew, I always appreciate your comments! Over the years you have sent information along to me that I still use. I've always been very good with muscle memory. (In music, sports, etc.) So that is a blessing. I actually was coming along pretty well at first with the cello. But I think the jumping around from 2nd, 3rd, and 4th positions all in my first year with the cello is where some of the problems began. (All in the way Suzuki is laid out.) I never quite understood what I was doing and I was going on to the next position and "numbers to play" to create the particular tune. My teacher is a nice person and we had a great rapport, but there is a difference I think between teaching and being a teacher. Not sure where all this will lead. I'm in the "slump" period right now and would love to have a teacher or coach nearby who could inspire me to push beyond! Thanks for all the great comments and suggestions. Jill
  7. HI I was completeley passionate about the violin. As an older beginner, I had the resources to find great instruction and schedule the time to practice and study. Then my left shoulder started to hurt. Just a little. Unfortunately, after years of physical therapy, I decided I was going to have to stop playing. The pain was only getting worse and affected other areas of my life, too. (That is my short version of the story.) Because I misssed playing strings so much, I took up the cello. Yes, the cello is more natural of a position and seems to not cause the problems. I still have pain in my left shoulder, but it is minimal and not aggravated by cello playing. Just another thought. I also own a vertical viola (it is actually an alto violin). It is played vertically, has an endpin, and has a nice, loud tone (tuned the same as a viola/cello). Built in the '80's by Hammond Ashley. Friends of mine who have "violin" injuries have tried it, too. Just a thought. Not sure if this is of interest to you, but I can pass along more information if you need it. But it seems to be a better option than having to quit entirely. The other thing that helps my shoulder is sleeping on a tempupedic mattress vs. a spring mattress. This really provides my shoulder with needed relief. Hope that helps. Jill
  8. Hi all, Another thought. Yes, I did talk with my teacher. But we kept droning on with the same 2 pieces, week after week after month after month. I actually went out and purchased easy bass clef rhythm books and etude books and asked her if she minded if we work from them, too. Andrew, I know of others who mentioned they went from first to fourth position as well. I think that would have helped me tremendously. Sometimes I just look at the fingerboard and wonder if I know where any of the notes are at all. All in all a very frustrating experience. I practiced some yesterday after several weeks off. (I think taking several weeks off is usually very harmful, by the way!) It went pretty well, but my heart just wasn't in it. I played the "easy" stuff so I could get my confidence back. Jill
  9. Hello Sunnybear, Yes, I have heard Natalie Haas and Alasdair many times (they will be here this weekend). Maybe hearing them again will motivate me, too! I also had a lesson scheduled with Abby Newton last year which, unfortunately, never came about.
  10. HI everyone, I began cello lessons about 2 years ago (as an older beginner). I doubt if there was another person on the planet as passionate as I. I play other instruments and was fairly fluent with the treble clef, and began "relearning" the bass clef for cello play. Using the Suzuki method went well (makes me feel as if I'm playing "real" music fairly early on) but I no doubt was relying too much on the "numbers" vs. the notes. Now, about halfway thru book 3, I'm just burnt out. I'm finding I don't really know the notes on the fingerboard in anything out of first position (unless, or course, I have the "number" of the finger to look at in the music). (Side note: I do not have tape or dots on my fingerboard.) And, well, the Suzuki music is just getting a bit dull. I am completely frustrated as I try to begin playing pieces a bit more difficult. (A side note here - my mother, who lives with us, is very ill, and trying to concentrate on learning new keys, notes, and positions is very difficult with my cluttered mind.) I put my beautiful little Jay Haide 7/8 cello in the case and haven't played since December. (Yes, it DOES have a gorgeous tone!) So, I miss the cello. But I am so VERY frustrated. Not to say that I wasn't frustrated before and persevered - but I don't feel as if I've really learned anything much. My teacher is a dear, but after spending months and months on the same 2 Suzuki exercises I thought I'd lose my mind. What would some of you recommend? Start again with a different method? (Clean slate.) Which one? I have other books that I purchased such as Strictly Strings and Mueller Rusch (sp.). They aren't as much "fun" initially but you learn notes and not numbers. My teacher is a dear, but I'm wondering if finding a different teacher with a fresh approach might help? Not to mention it is a 50 mile drive, which means leaving my mom home alone for several hours, which is distracting, etc. etc.) My ultimate goal for cello playing is either in ensemble work or as rhythm and/or duets with my Scottish band. (So, you can see why enough Suzuki was enough!) I think I need to learn something fun, which helps my technique, and also provides some sense of accomplishment as well. Thanks in advance. I'm thinking about pulling the cello out of the case soon for old-times' sake. Jill
  11. Hi all, I am a very new cello student and I'm looking for a piece, or music, for violin and cello duet. My violinist friend is quite accomplished; I am just learning second position on the cello. I would love to find some music suitable for for myself and my violinist buddy to play as a learning experience for me. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Jill San Diego
  12. Hi Karla, Just a note to say "way to go!" I was an older beginner (in my 40's) on the violin and just passionate, yet frustrated that I did not sound as fantastic as I so wanted to in my heart! Due to an overuse injury, I ultimately gave up the violin (after years of physical therapy - a shoulder problem). All that work, and desire, and hope.... But not to give up on strings, I recently took up the cello! I am loving it, but STARTING ALL OVER again with my frustrations (not to mention I have not read the bass clef in 30 years!) I really appreciate your post, and all the encouragement you've received as it continues to encourage ME to not give up! I would LOVE to play in a chamber orchestra someday with the cello, and sometimes laugh at the mere thought of it! But, I think I can do it eventually (I've been playing the cello for 7 months and just started Suzuki book 2 and second position :-)). Best of luck and keep us all posted. Jill San Diego
  13. OOOPS! I meant to say John Acosta (John, if you read this forum, my apologies). BTW, I received a very nice email from Louisa (for Dr. Hutchins)regarding bow selection. In a nutshell, the answer is "choose the bow which I like the best!" Jill
  14. Hi, You're initial comments include your expectations of a teacher. Can these expectations be met with this same teacher as your child progresses? My point, I suppose, is that your child enjoys violin lessons, and that is really a huge point. I don't know how long your child has been playing - and at some point (sooner, or later?) it is going to be very important to use a metronome, playing etudes and studies, etc. If your child is quite young, then perhaps the current teaching approach is "acceptable" and, a bit later on would be the time to seek out a different teacher? I have had teachers over the years that I was just about to "give up on" and, what seemed almost sudden, they began using a different teaching technique and I was very glad I stayed with them. Are there other students/parents that have had more/longer experience with this teacher and can assure you of reasonable, good and steady progress? I think I would make a serious attempt to change your lessons to the later time slot, if possible. Hopefully that would take care of your lessons being cancelled. No, cancelling a lesson regularly is not to be taken lightly. I am of the mind set that "talking things out" in a gentle, calm, and loving manner is commonly very helpful as well. Good Luck, Jill
  15. Hi Jerry, Thanks for your reply. I have heard the Hutchins. I love the voicings of the Octet. Joe Acosta played the Alto with the Hutchins for a while. Now Carolyn Tyler is playing the alto. Can we communicate off the web? I would really appreciate it if I could just ask you maybe 2 or 3 other questions about the alto. It has been quite the search regarding which bow to use. I am a rather new cellist, so I know very little about viola bows - I did inquire of Omar and he has been very helpful. Thank you so much. Jill
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