Joseph Mendoes - cello expert
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John Roberts * VSM MEMBER * on June 17, 2015 @10:41 am PST
I enjoyed your video on playing fast. It is an interesting and different idea to not ratchet up the speed gradually, but to play small passages quickly and build from there. I will give it a try. Thank you.
Baard * VSM MEMBER * on June 13, 2015 @2:23 am PST
Hi again - thanks for competent and contstructive advice! one more question for you: you talk about writing up a list to adress problems and enable good practice - what if I feel i do not know what to put on the list? that I do not know enough to see what is my biggest challenge? could you from your experience write a sort of "general list" for an old student that has picked up playing after 25 years? medium level...and motivated.
Baard * VSM MEMBER * on May 18, 2015 @2:10 am PST
nice videos! I struggle with rosin...any advice? I find all kind of advice on the internet - and David Finckel is the most decisive...but I find that when I put on much, I struggle in the orchestra with playing ppp for good sound without more power and then too strong...see what I mean? So I end up taking it off again - and then I can struggle with spiccato and fff....???
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on May 18, 2015 @11:13 am PST
Hi Baard. I know that what I am suggesting is not strictly "cello related", but Lora Staples, our beginning violin expert, made a very comprehensive video on rosins that cold answer some of your questions:

I am sure Joseph will have more to say though. Thank you for your question!
Joseph - host, on May 21, 2015 @10:43 am PST
Hello Baard,

Rosin is a fairly individual thing, but how I approach it is a little different I think. I think the rosin should do the work, not you. I learned this from the great violinist Joseph Silverstein, who reportedly used to rosin his bow between movements of a concerto! I think most players do not use enough rosin. For soft playing in orchestra, make sure that you are not overly concerned with producing a good sound! The kinds of soft sounds that you need to play in orchestra will never be used in a solo or chamber setting, as they are at times barely audible. Just use the weight of the bow only and play over the fingerboard, and allow your fingers to feel the smallest of pulling sensation and the sound should be soft enough without getting harsh. But never use this sound anywhere else!
M.Murat Dincmen on May 8, 2015 @5:11 am PST
Thank you for your videos on youtube.. Could you perhaps show us with examples on your cello how can we learn better to play the prelude of Bach's suite no 1. Thanks once more.
Joseph - host, on May 21, 2015 @10:43 am PST
Check out my first video!
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on May 21, 2015 @4:09 pm PST
Yes, Joseph's first video was about the first suite by Bach:

John Roberts * VSM MEMBER * on April 13, 2015 @2:08 pm PST
Thank you again for your videos. I found the video on Bach's Cello Suites Prelude #1 to be very informative.

I would love to see a video on BWV 1011 Sarabande (Largo). A specific item I would like to see would be any suggestions for hitting the harmonics, especially the the last G in measure 3 and then the subsequent transition to the F in measure 4.

I am playing from the Kalmus Classic Edition Bach "Six Suites."

Thank you
Joseph - host, on May 21, 2015 @10:53 am PST
Sorry for the late reply... I forget to check this page!

The spot you are talking about is easier if you release the harmonic early. The harmonic should still be ringing without you actually touching it (this takes some practice, because you have to leave the harmonic in exactly the right way.) This will give you time to set the next note.

John Roberts * VSM MEMBER * on June 17, 2015 @10:42 am PST
Thanks. I will work on it.
Kathryn Bowman * VSM MEMBER * on April 1, 2015 @9:05 am PST
Joseph, I can't thank you enough for your videos! The latest one about score study is really helpful, because I have never score studied before learning a piece. If I'm struggling with something, I always go to the piano and play it, and that is a big help (I was a pianist first), but now I am going to score study before ever trying to play a piece! Great idea!! Thank you!
Jan. on January 28, 2015 @6:52 am PST
Hi Joseph,
Thanks for all the informative videos. I am wondering if you could help with this problem I am having.
I struggle to play fast passages, despite practicing slowly & building up speed. At a certain stage my right & left hands won't play together and and my bow gets out of sync with my left hand fingering. I've been working on the Breval Sonata for months now (allegro & rondo - Suzuki bk 4) and still cannot play the fast passages. Any advice on how to effectively practice building up speed?
Joseph - host, on May 21, 2015 @10:56 am PST
You just gave me a great idea for my next video!
Elizabeth on December 16, 2014 @7:40 am PST
Hi Joseph,
I have really enjoyed the two videos that I have watched and plan to watch the others after I practice what I am learning. I am very new to the cello and not so new to music. Although now with a family I have found practicing to be a challenge. We have 3 little girls ages 5, 3, and 1. They are learning to wait until the end of a song. (I play short songs.) My goal is to not only learn the cello but to also help teach them that with practice it will sound better. Thank you so much for the helpful videos and information.
Jay Wilson on November 29, 2014 @1:54 pm PST
Do you guys have a video on proper bowing technique and right hand technique in general? Elbow position, shoulder position and hand position...etc. I have returned to cello after 20+ years away from it and find my bow hand hurts and I am unsure of my right arm technique in general.

A piece with advice on improving intonation would be awesome too.
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on December 1, 2014 @9:51 am PST
Hi Jay. You might want to check out the following videos by Joseph:

Cello Bow Fundamentals

How to hold the bow on the cello

How to achieve the best tone on the cello

How to practice on the cello

I am sure the above videos will help you a big deal. Enjoy your cello playing!
Therese on September 8, 2014 @10:19 am PST
I have a Karl Hofner Cello (3/4 Bass?) Marked 1964 Germany. Can you tell me where I would have this appraised? It has no strings or bridge. It does not have cracks, but does have some chips on the neck.
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