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Darian Kaszas

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Learning Project

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star – Performed by What Sounds Like a Three Year Old.

So I suppose I am technically getting better. I just feel like I’m doing so awfully since I’m still just beginning. This week on the cello, I learned how to play ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’, but instead of using sheet music and finding the notes online, I decided to learn it by ear. So basically, I just went to YouTube and found an easy ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ that I thought I’d be able to play. I just listened to the first few notes and figured out where they were on my cello and which notes they were playing, and then I pretty much figured the rest out myself.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO AHEAD AND TELL ME, I already know that I don’t sound like the person in the video. BUT I am improving for sure, even though you may not think so. I do need to continue working on how to not hit two strings with the bow at once. My next goal is to stop doing that. As you can hear in my video of it, I usually do hit two strings at once.

Here is my interesting version of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.’

MORE BEAUTIFUL VERSION OF JINGLE BELLS (This is Definitely Clickbait)

This week I basically did the same thing. I played Jingle Bells again, although this time, I used that annoying bow that no one likes. I enjoy telling myself that I have gotten much better and I am now a professional, however, I am still decently bad. I used the same image of Jingle Bells as I used last week. This time I just used the bow instead of finger picking. I’m not sure if I am better at finger picking or using the bow, I just know that I most definitely need improvement. I am having a lot of trouble playing the cello because of the fact that there are no fretts. Basically you just need to guess where your fingers go and hope it sounds right. Obviously, in the video below, you can tell that I’m having some trouble with this as the notes sound off. On the bright side, I have made improvement using the bow and I am almost super good at the cello (except not really).

 

**WARNING** CHRISTMAS CAROLS IN THIS BLOG POST!!

So I have recently learned Jingle Bells at the beginning of June. Let’s just say my family isn’t too fond of me learning the cello anymore. My mom encourages me to try something else. BUT WHO DOESN’T LOVE CHRISTMAS MUSIC ALL YEAR AROUND? Well I don’t actually think anyone does, but I have to learn something, don’t I? Jingle bells was bit of a challenge for me, for sure. Usually when I learn other instruments, that’s the first and easiest song I go to. This one I needed a lot of practice for. I still cannot get used to using the bow. It’s so annoying to me. I’m also extremely annoyed with the fact that there are no frets on a cello. It’s tough having to estimate where your fingers should go and decide whether it’s the right note. With that, I have also been getting a lot of good practice just finger picking. The main reason I even wanted to learn the cello was because of Danny Kenyon from The Dead South (a local Regina band if you don’t know). He mainly finger picks in their songs, so I will too because apparently it’s okay. As long as Danny finger picks, I’ll finger pick. Basically, my goal when the semester is done is to finger pick a song by The Dead South, so really, I might as well just toss the bow now.

Anyways, these past few weeks I have used a few videos, but I also dug up an old beginner cello book in my music container. I know we’re supposed to learn online, but the book really helped me. I tried finding something similar to the book online since that’s what worked best for me. I’m sure you’re all as surprised as I am… I didn’t find anything like it that was free. I basically just then went from my book, figured out what beginner songs I should look to play. I then would just google that song and then find a PDF version of it. I would then also watch a YouTube video on it to see if I was sounding decent.

Overall, I have definitely made some progress. Here is my attempt at Jingle Bells (my apologies for the bad quality and greebly looking fingers)…

Beginning to Sound Less Like A Dying Animal…

Learning the cello this week has reminded me of a few things. I was reminded that having decent posture for long periods of time hurts my back. I also remembered when learning a string instrument, or playing one for the first time after a long period of time hurts the fingers. However, I am practicing enough that I should have calluses on my fingers in no time! This week I learned that I don’t like using a bow for playing the cello, as it makes my hand cramp up and it hurts. At the same time, I love using the bow as it sounds so nice and it makes me look professional.

This week I learned some basic songs using my bow, and also by finger picking. I have been practicing both. I learned amazing tunes like “Hot Cross Buns” and “Mary Had A Little Lamb”. I’ve just been practicing these basic songs, along with about ten others so that I can get over sounding like a dying goose. I am beginning to sound like more of a cello player as the practice goes on, but I’m really hoping to sound good by the end of the class.

I have been finding it extremely challenging to find pieces online as most of the music needs to be purchased. I have also been playing some piano music, as cello is in bass clef. I have been finding beginner piano music and just playing the bass clef line on the cello. Since last post, I have also learned how to play the previously learned notes a whole lot better. I am now able to play and move fingerings much faster. I have also learned how to play a G and a B.

I SLIGHTLY LEARNED HOW TO PLAY THE CELLO

Since this is the first learning project post, I have not yet mastered the cello. I have experience with reading music and playing other stringed instruments already, so I was able to just jump right to the playing. The first mistake I made once I got my cello, was not reading how to properly tune it and I snapped a string. Once I replaced the string, I was pretty scared to try and play the cello again. I was on YouTube trying to see how to tune my cello the CORRECT way and was good to go!

Since I am already pretty familiar with playing stringed instruments and reading music, I didn’t have to waste time on that. I looked up fingering charts on how to play the different notes. I began finger picking all of the strings and getting used to playing a huge instrument.

The next thing I did was YouTube how to use the bow and what that thing was even for. I play the guitar and ukulele, so I had no idea what to do with the long stick. I have now been able to play basic songs using just the open strings. Once I got the open strings figured out, I then learned how to play and E and an F# on the D string.

I have definitely made progress and I’ll see how much farther I get for next week!

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