Cello – Using a Familiar Technique as a Bridge to a Brand New Technique (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Alexander Technique)

by ethankind on February 3, 2014

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Cello Technique, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create the accurate cello technique you want without sacrificing your body.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.

CAN A CELLIST CREATE A COMPLETELY NEW CELLO TECHNIQUE AND POSTURE WITHOUT HAVING TO STOP PERFORMING AND START OVER? YES!

But it has to be by evolving degrees of change to your technique over time. Let me explain. For the average cellist, technique is not something that continues to evolve over time. So, by the time a talented committed cello player has played for five years or so, the cellist’s technique is not changing.

And the odds are it won’t change unless the cellist either gets into physical trouble or becomes unwilling to accept his or her inability to play the most difficult cello music without pain, injury, or strain.

WHAT IF YOU SAT DOWN WITH THE CELLO AND LOOKED AT EVERYTHING YOU BELIEVE IS GREAT CELLO TECHNIQUE WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF AN ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE TEACHER WHO WAS VERY CLEAR ABOUT THE INSEPARABILITY OF POSTURE AND CELLO TECHNIQUE?

What would be the result?

You would find yourself creating a gently evolving cello technique that would only allow you to become a better and better cello player.

But this doesn’t answer the problem stated by the title of this article. Simply, the title of this article asks, “Is it possible not to do what you’ve done on the cello without disruption to your performing?”

BY DEFINITION IF YOUR CELLO TECHNIQUE IS IN AN EVOLVING GENTLE STATE OF CONSTANT CHANGE, AT SOME POINT YOU WILL HAVE NOTHING OF THE OLD TECHNIQUE LEFT.

A couple of points here: I want to address the issues of an evolving cello technique being an unstable cello technique and of eventually “having nothing of the old technique left”.

We have a saying in the Alexander Technique, “DO LESS!” What does this mean? It means that your posture and cello technique will be in a constant state of evolving into something better, if you use your warm up each day to let go of excess tension. In other words, every time you sit down to play you do a physical inventory of release, so that you use less and less muscle to play better and better.

Is this a radical approach to cello technique? NO, but it is a PRACTICAL approach for two reasons. First, if you don’t do this, it is very likely that your cello posture and technique will devolve into greater and greater slumping and tension. What I just said is the basis for why some days your cello playing is working, and other days why it isn’t.

If every time you sit down with the cello you guide yourself into postural and technique balance, then at the very least you are allowing more and more days to be good practice or performance days. Second, at the best you’re creating a very very subtly evolving cello technique and posture that will not interfere with how well you perform here and now. And in fact, this subtly evolving cello technique based on “doing less and less” will most certainly guarantee better and better performances, which means a growing faith in yourself to play well in front of others.

What does it mean to realize you aren’t doing anything you did the first five or twenty years on the cello?

IT MEANS THAT EVEN WITH IF YOUR EVOLVED CELLO TECHNIQUE DOESN’T LOOK ALL THAT DIFFERENT TO THOSE YOU’RE PLAYING FOR, YOU HAVE CHANGED SO MUCH HOW YOU INHABIT AND MOVE YOUR BODY (FINGERS, ETC.) TO PLAY, THAT YOU AREN’T THE SAME CELLIST.

You have brought your cello posture and cello technique into such amazing alignment, by using less and less muscle to allow this, that you don’t feel like yourself. THE BODY ALWAYS TELLS US WHO WE ARE. What do I mean?

All tension, all good or poor posture on the cello, all good or bad cello technique, is your own creation. None of this is done to you. It is all the result of all of what you believe about yourself, what you believe is necessary to play the cello, and what you believe about others, brought to the cello.

Inherent in the above is that you have ALL OF THE POWER to evolve your cello technique, not cling to a potentially stagnant technique, or watch your cello technique and posture devolve over time.

Here is a spiritual example: It is possible you know someone who is an enlightened being, but you don’t know that this is their level of awareness. Because on the outside, he or she looks like and acts like everyone else.

What is the experience of a brand new cello technique?

MOST OF THE TIME YOU EXPERIENCE A SENSE OF PHYSICAL WELLBEING ON THE CELLO, AND YOUR TECHNIQUE ALLOWS YOU TO DO WITH EASE ON THE STRINGS WHAT IS IN YOUR HEAD.

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