When there was some free time last week for cello practice, it was mostly dedicated to the Bunting's dynamics exercises. This was supported with vibrato of various intensity and lengths; ie. wide and narrow, slow and fast.
It was during this exercise with Deryn last week that I learnt what the terms, colour and texture meant when applied to cello technique, where previously it seemed too abstract and without context.
I focused on getting a strong, solid and brave sound - "no fear" playing, close to the bridge. I was frankly tired of the timid, shrivelled scratchings coming out of the cello during the fast passages, especially when played on the higher registers.
This led Deryn to bring out Bunting's spiccato exercises.
I have attempted a few spiccatos previously but daren't go any further in case I develop bad habits without guidance. Deryn walked through Bunting's very thorough notes at approaching the method whilst we played through the exercises together.
Like most cello techiques, spiccatos feel very unnatural at first. We went through various vigorous repetitions, slow and then fast and then slow on open strings and then 2 octave scales starting on both up and down bows. Like all cello teniques, it took a few really good tries before my subconscious finally took over and my hand allowed it.
Learning the cello as an adult started as a dare but has now turned into an ongoing love affair; I hope to one day make her sing to her full potential. In the meantime, all spare time and moments are dedicated to this wonderful instrument as I am unable to think about anything else, much to the dismay of my other half :}
This is an attempt to remember the classes I have taken so that I don't forget.