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nathan slobodkin

Cello playing posdition

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Dear cellists,

There is a thread running on the "pegbox" side of this forum concerning the relationship of the fingerboard surface and top of the bridge to the body of the instrument.  We need to know if the player finds a comfortable position for his shoulders and elbows and the adjusts their knees to hold the cello there or if the knees are in a fixed position on the cello and  used to spin the cello on it's end pin until comfort is achieved as regards the hands, elbows and the rest of the upper body.

 Please ignore the somewhat inappropriate humor in the middle of the thread and read pages 3 and 4  where it gets back to the matter at hand.

Your thoughtful replies are appreciated

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Cello position is based on the needs of the individual. There is no “one way fits all” because I’ve seen many successful players holding their cellos in awkward ways.

I orient the cello so that the lower corrners are nestled atop my thighs, which brings the C peg to within an inch of so of my ear. It fits me perfectly. God wanted me to be a cellist and who am I to say otherwise?

thats the orientation I seek for my students but they all grow into themselves and develop their own best practice.

also the angle of cello to body both fore and aft and vertically, and the pivot along the long axis are individual and variable.

overall I think the question has too many variables to answer effectively.

however now that I understand the concept of projection( I had always thought it was a length measurement and not a height measurement) I think it isn’t an issue for any cellist because they adjust to the instrument 

 

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In my opinion, Victor Sazer's book "New Direrections in Cello Playing" (not so new any more) provides excellent guidance for returning cello players who might have forgotten this and that and would rather not engage a teacher again.

The cellists I make music with these days range in height from less than 5 feet to at least 6' 2" and all manage to do a great job with 4/4 cellos.

PhilipKT has written nothing above I could possibly disagree with.

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11 hours ago, Andrew Victor said:

In my opinion, Victor Sazer's book "New Direrections in Cello Playing" (not so new any more) provides excellent guidance for returning cello players who might have forgotten this and that and would rather not engage a teacher again.

The cellists I make music with these days range in height from less than 5 feet to at least 6' 2" and all manage to do a great job with 4/4 cellos.

PhilipKT has written nothing above I could possibly disagree with.

I read that book enthusiastically, and I generally think it is the best book of this type I have read.

One thing with which I strenuously disagreed was his advocation of the bow describing a frown as it traverses. when I bow I describe a smile with the stroke. I experimented with his method and found nothing beneficial about it. However, if it works for you, it works, and I would never dissuade someone From trying it. 

One fascinating discovery he shared with which I do agree quite a bit is the idea of playing on half of the string. Instead of fingers on top of the string, fingers beside the string. It really does increase the resonance of the string, But it is so awkward to do in faster passages that I never use it except for very slow passages. It does work, however, and I wonder, if I had learned it as a child, if it would be second nature to me now.

Edited by PhilipKT
Clarity

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