Does anyone know this song (cello)? I’m trying to figure out the note ordering from old lesson scribbles


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I took lessons with a folk cellist last year, who gave me a pretty beginner song to play. But she didn’t believe in writing anything down, so I tried to scribble down what she was doing as she did it. I haven't looked at this in about a year. The scribbles are hard to parse & I'm really hoping someone just knows the song.

Here is what I know:

The whole song is G and D string. I know that the (1) is all on the G string. I know that, at minimum, the DEGE on (2) is all on the D string. But what’s near the end of 2, I didn't even know and just guessed. C? D? G? On which string? 

I can ALMOST get it - there’s the 1 section, the 2 section with two endings, and lower there’s the three section. 

But then in the repeat ordering, it says 1, 2 end. And then underneath that vertically, 3, 2a, 3, 2b. But then if we're looking vertically, why does it start with "2end"?

I’m so lost. I’m trying to play different pieces to see what sounds good, but I'm too new to really know what's working. Thank you for any help!

cello notes.png

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It sounds a bit like a modal church song. Your diagram doesn’t include accidentals, so I’m assuming that’s C natural. However, most early string music is in G or D major, because they want to ignore the second finger-and the flat symbol- as long as possible, and because they are idiots... but it might be a bit more clear is you play C#.

Edited by PhilipKT
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16 minutes ago, Stringy said:

Nearly all Irish folk is in D and G as well

But almost none of that is in beginning String books, sadly.

I never understood why string pedagogy completely ignores the flat keys and the second finger(low 2 on violin/viola) for so long that by the time they are introduced multiple bad habits have been accepted  as canon, and must painstakingly be eliminated, When they could’ve been eliminated from the beginning.

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35 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

But almost none of that is in beginning String books, sadly.

I never understood why string pedagogy completely ignores the flat keys and the second finger(low 2 on violin/viola) for so long that by the time they are introduced multiple bad habits have been accepted  as canon, and must painstakingly be eliminated, When they could’ve been eliminated from the beginning.

Because the 'natural' hand position, when beginning, falls most naturally into D.  G is a bit harder.  A is arguably easier than G.

Moving a finger 'backwards' is very hard to both comprehend and to execute.  By the time a beginner really understands the concept of keys and has worked through D, G and possibly A, they are ready to tackle flats.

C is also 'hard'.  However, because it's the 'neutral' key, with no sharps and flats, from a music theory point of view, I wish beginner books would start with C.  Then the concept of moving fingers backwards and forwards would be easier to grasp.

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30 minutes ago, Rue said:

Because the 'natural' hand position, when beginning, falls most naturally into D.  G is a bit harder.  A is arguably easier than G.

Moving a finger 'backwards' is very hard to both comprehend and to execute.  By the time a beginner really understands the concept of keys and has worked through D, G and possibly A, they are ready to tackle flats.

C is also 'hard'.  However, because it's the 'neutral' key, with no sharps and flats, from a music theory point of view, I wish beginner books would start with C.  Then the concept of moving fingers backwards and forwards would be easier to grasp.

Well, I’m a cellist, so the effort of moving 2 isn’t an issue for us until we get to extensions.

However, I have also worked with multiple young violin students, and sliding a finger back-and-forth is as easy as sliding a finger back-and-forth. It is not hard. Plus, Maintaining a rigid position creates tension, but creating flexibility and mobility from the very start keeps that tension from ever appearing. Also, the natural fall of the hand on the violin would include fourth finger, yet fourth finger is also ignored for quite a long time. 

In the methods I have seen, and I have seen a lot, “low two” and “second finger” Are not introduced until February or March of the 1 year. By then, several very bad habits have been learned and learned well because they have been actually reinforced by the teacher, albeit unintentionally.

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I can't speak of issues with the cello.  I tried playing one, once, for about 2 minutes...no!  Make that twice!  Once in high-school and once about 20 years ago! :mellow:

I think I spent longer trying the double bass...:rolleyes:

Very young children have flexible hands and don't come with the baggage of "can, can't" that occur when children are older or as adults.  You just tell them to do something and they do it.  Or you show them something, and they try to mimic it.  As we age, we become less flexible, we question 'why' and we don't mimic as well.

The use of the 4th finger on the violin is an issue.  It's not a strong finger.  It really doesn't get used to do anything independently.  For most of it's existence it's a support finger.  Training it to move independently and to extend past its comfort zone is not natural and therefore not easy.  Compound all that with quite a few individuals who have a very short 4th finger...who then have to actually move the hand 'out of position' in order to maintain intonation, and you have an extra complication to deal with.

Telling them their finger will 'grow' is an out-and-out lie!

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44 minutes ago, Rue said:

 

Very young children have flexible hands and don't come with the baggage of "can, can't" that occur when children are older or as adults.  You just tell them to do something and they do it.  Or you show them something, and they try to mimic it.  As we age, we become less flexible, we question 'why' and we don't mimic as well.

The use of the 4th finger on the violin is an issue.  It's not a strong finger.  It really doesn't get used to do anything independently.  For most of it's existence it's a support finger.  Training it to move independently and to extend past its comfort zone is not natural and therefore not easy.  Compound all that with quite a few individuals who have a very short 4th finger...who then have to actually move the hand 'out of position' in order to maintain intonation, and you have an extra complication to deal with.

Telling them their finger will 'grow' is an out-and-out lie!

Agree and disagree. Your first paragraph is splendid, and exactly correct, but your first paragraph actually refutes your claim in the second paragraph. Yes our fourth finger is the weakest of our fingers, but it is also the most flexible, and it doesn’t need much strength. How hard is it to make a solid connection with the string? Not very hard at all. The difficulty is in controlling the flexibility and gaining coordination, but the very flexibility of the fourth finger is a benefit for learning coordination. Kids don’t know that it’s awkward, and they don’t know-if it is so-that their fourth fingers are proportionally short. I’ve had many students with disproportionally short fourth Fingers, and I tell them so, and add, “this is the finger that God gave you, we will just accommodate it,” and away we go and they never have any problems.

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The 4th finger is the most flexible?

I dunno...unless you count that it often bends backwards and locks in place (sometimes painfully) as it points up at the ceiling... Or maybe that's just mine...

I've also seen some that don't extend fully.  They're locked in a curved position (to varying degrees).

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On 6/6/2020 at 2:32 PM, Susi said:

I took lessons with a folk cellist last year, who gave me a pretty beginner song to play. But she didn’t believe in writing anything down, so I tried to scribble down what she was doing as she did it. I haven't looked at this in about a year. The scribbles are hard to parse & I'm really hoping someone just knows the song.

Here is what I know:

The whole song is G and D string. I know that the (1) is all on the G string. I know that, at minimum, the DEGE on (2) is all on the D string. But what’s near the end of 2, I didn't even know and just guessed. C? D? G? On which string? 

I can ALMOST get it - there’s the 1 section, the 2 section with two endings, and lower there’s the three section. 

But then in the repeat ordering, it says 1, 2 end. And then underneath that vertically, 3, 2a, 3, 2b. But then if we're looking vertically, why does it start with "2end"?

I’m so lost. I’m trying to play different pieces to see what sounds good, but I'm too new to really know what's working. Thank you for any help!

cello notes.png

We have digressed from your question entirely!

I tried to play this (on the violin)...in various rhythms, to see if it sounded familiar.  Nada.

But, you can try this (I'm assuming 1 count/beat per note):

1) C A G C

2) D E G E

First ending: D E G E   then D (hold for 1)     E (hold for 3)

1) C A G C

2) D E G E

Second ending: D E G E  then  D (hold for 1)     C(hold for 3)

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2 hours ago, Rue said:

The 4th finger is the most flexible?

I dunno...unless you count that it often bends backwards and locks in place (sometimes painfully) as it points up at the ceiling... Or maybe that's just mine...

I've also seen some that don't extend fully.  They're locked in a curved position (to varying degrees).

In my experience, the fourth finger is the most flexible. With children, it is quite possible to bend backwards, but that ability goes away with age. That “locking” to which you refer is eliminated with a bit of muscle development and it has never troubled me or my student either. We are aware of the issue, and it goes away, and everything’s fine. 

As a matter fact, I frequently lament the flexibility that young children have in their fingers, because it requires more muscle control. But I still stress that flexibility is most important and that control will come in time. And it always does.

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