You’ve definitely heard that “Practice makes perfect” mantra a lot of times than you should. And successful people coming from different fields would also say that their success came from a lot of practice and setbacks.
A cellist would totally say the same thing too. As cello is one of the most difficult yet rewarding instruments to perform in front of thousands of people, learning how to play it takes a lot of practice and patience.
If you think that you are stuck and felt like you will never be good at playing, here are some of the best practice tips that you can do to become a better cellist:
Tip #1: Practice strategically
Giving time to practice even just twice or thrice a week can further strengthen your skills in playing cello. Did you know that allotting a small time each day is equivalent to long hours of practicing?
To make an effective short practice every day, just make sure that you schedule a block time and avoid any distractions such as social media, television, other chores, or any other form of distraction.
Tip #2: Practice with a goal
What are you trying to work out on your practice? Is it having proper posture, technique, tone or intonation? Always set a goal every time you practice. It would also be ideal to keep a journal wherein you can monitor your weekly progress.
In a way, this will serve as your guide on the aspects that you will need to work on as a cellist and the things you have accomplished which can provide you a sense of fulfillment and motivation.
Tip #3: Practice in the perfect location
Now that you’ve set the ideal time and goal in practicing your cello, you’ll also need to have the appropriate location to practice. It’ll be best to practice in a quiet room with good lighting, minimal to no distractions, and a place that you’ll be motivated to practice every day.
Tip #4: Practice to solve problems
If you’re working on a composition that you can’t seem to get right, point out the passages and work on it in small portions instead of playing it as a whole. You may not get it right for any of the passages which could probably lead to frustration. Thus, identify the problem(s) you’re experiencing for each passage and play slowly until you feel confident to play it on a normal or required speed.
Tip #5: Practice and have fun
The most important tip in practicing cello is to have fun and do not be so hard on yourself. Yes, you may be aspiring a career in playing the cello, but along the journey, always stay in the moment and enjoy the achievements and failures you’ll experience.
Bonus Tip: Choose the correct size of cello
Did you know that the wrong preference of cello puts you at a higher risk of getting injured and less percentage of mastering the instrument as early as possible? There are different sizes of cellos that’s why it’s important to have an expert (i.e. instructor or the instrument shop) that will guide you on the cello that will suit your body.
It will also be ideal to have the skills to change your cello strings as this is a recurring situation every now and then. Learning how to change it yourself will save you time and effort instead of depending on someone (e.g. your instructor or a co-cellist) to do the work for you.