Cello Tips #1

How can I produce a more beautiful sound?

The bow is the heart, lungs, and soul of our beautiful instrument.  The bow makes the strings vibrate, which excites the air inside the instrument, making sound fly out into the concert hall.  We must always be mindful of the way in which the bow and the strings meet each other—the contact point. 

In my teaching, I describe five different contact points, numbered from one to five.  Number one is the point where the bow meets the string closest to the bridge: at this contact point the bow must be pulled slowly across the string to produce a very well focused sound quality.  At the other opposite end of the sounding point graph is number five: the bow meets the string right above the end of the fingerboard.  At this sounding point the cellist must move the bow much more quickly to produce a light but beautiful sound. 

If you keep in mind the five sounding points and the corresponding bow speeds, slow near the bridge, and fast near the fingerboard, your sound quality and sound colors will surely improve.

Published in: on April 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yes this is so true the bow is as important to a string player as air is to a singer. The quality of the bow really does matter. So does knowing the best way to utilize what you have.

  2. Hello Tristen,

    Thanks for checking out my new cello blog—please let everyone in the cello world know about it!


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