FAQ

THESE QUESTIONS ARE THE MOST COMMON WHICH ARE SEND TO ME. I HAVE POSTED THIS COPY OF AN EMAIL TO CELLOJOE AS A REFERENCE FOR YOU.

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thank you most kindly for all of your advice. it will really give me something to focus on in my studies. i've never thought so analytically when practicing. now i see how to become a much better cellist through training the mind. from what i gather, a lot about playing very well has to do with concentration and really listening with a critical ear to the tone production.

Graciously yours,
joey chang


1) How long do I have to practice scales?

Our brain is learning - not our fingers. Our brain learns whatever you feed it with - wrong and correct tones or positions. If you have tried any shifting 90 times wrong and after this time it is getting better, lets say 10 times correct, means 100 times together = 100%, means 90% wrong in your brain. Only 10% is good. Your chance for your next try is randomly only 10%. You have to play nearly 1000 times correct to have a random chance of 90% to get it well. Understood how long and how you have to practice? You must avoid mistakes in the early state of your practicing

2) When do I make a break

you make a break whenever your concentration is getting less and your are endangered to make random mistakes. Only repeating things without control has no meaning. Sometimes I finish after some minutes.

3)Which hand is more important: left or right hand?

If you are right handed like me we have to focus on the left hand to compensate the disadvantage of the "bad" hand. But never forget that the music is coming mostly from the right hand. For my feeling I have less trouble with the right hand. But people always say that my left hand is so perfect because they find it unbelievable how to find all the tones. The other side they say I have a nice tone because they feel this more important. It becomes a question of what you feel necessary to focus on. In fact I found more students having trouble with their sound and I had to spent more energy on the bow. Actually it is a theoretical question. Whatever you feel wrong makes your practicing program. But when you cannot focus on (example) the pitch because you don' hear it well you will feel it less important.

4) When I will be as good as you?

This question is not easy to answer on. Are you talented? Have you had that luck like me to get a very good education in the very beginning?. Do you carry old "waste" with you which keeps you down? I am sure you can make much progress if your mental power is setup for making good analysis on your playing (that is the most difficult point) example: the pitch is a problem of our ears. The ears (the brain) learn very fast to accept wrong intonation. To be self critical enough and to develop our own level of acceptance makes the pitch better. Not practicing only.

Regards Reiner

 


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