David Finckel on the variable and excellent vibrato of the renowned baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Watch Pedersen (the bassist), especially from about 3:24:
- ease and fluidity of motion
- effortless, smooth shifting
- multi-finger pizz technique
Cellists can learn a lot from bassists.
A good introduction to some Alexander Technique ideas from Lori Schiff, with whom I have had the privilege of studying AT.
A list of key concerns for practicing the cello, in order of priority:
- Ease: practicing playing in a relaxed and focused way (creating a productive context in which to learn and build specific playing habits)
- Rightness: ensuring that the habits formed are good ones; practicing playing well as opposed to practicing playing badly (good use of self and technique; good sound, intonation, and musicianship)
- Complexity: bringing together many simple, right elements in increasingly layered and coordinated ways (completeness, speed).
Notice that achieving the final product (the complete music, the full tempo, the end goal of our practice) is last on this list of priorities. By maintaining the first two priorities above the third, we arrive at our end goal most efficiently.
Video of Heifetz - some great playing footage - see especially 0:50 and 1:20 for slow-motion fingers (we should emulate this smoothness, coordination, and efficiency when practicing passages in slow-motion).
A list of key technical concerns for playing the cello, in order of priority:
- Shape (organization of the body in functional and natural alignments)
- Balance (orientation of body parts relative to gravity and support)
- Motion (creating movement through the activation or release of muscles, in the context of gravity)