1: ESTABLISHING CELLO POSITION
Sit as close to the edge of your chair as possible. The feet should be shoulder width apart and flat on the floor. All of the toes should be making contact with the floor. Your back is straight, and your shoulders are relaxed. Now you are sitting with your weight equally distributed like a tripod. This is correct sitting.
Now, without extending the endpin, bring the cello to you. Make sure that the neck of the cello is over your LEFT shoulder. Cradle the instrument with your legs so that the bottoms of your feet, while not touching, are facing each other. This is basically where the instrument is positioned. At this point extend the endpin. The cello should be at about the same position as it was before the endpin was extended. Remember the correct sitting position for your feet.
Establish contact between your sternum and the cello. Do not squeeze your legs around the cello.
You are now holding the cello.
2: HOLDING THE BOW
The bow is held with the right hand at the frog. To establish the position, hold the wooden part with your fingers on the left hand with your arm extended in front of you. Extend your right arm in a parallel fashion. Bring the frog into your right hand. The first finger to come into contact with the frog must be the thumb. Please make sure that the thumb is ALWAYS BENT at the notch on the frog. Then bring the rest of the fingers up to the frog. Keep the fingers rounded. There should be no squeezing of the fingers, nor tension in the fingers or in the hand. Please do not flex the wrist.
- with your right arm extended in front of you, and while maintaining bow grip, bring wrist up, and then back down. Repeat.
- While maintaining bow grip, bring the palm up so that the bow arcs 180* and is upside down. Please keep your arm straight throughout.
- Crawl the length of the bow with your fingers. Start at the frog and go towards the tip. Keep the fingers in the position of the bow grip. Mimic a spider.
3: TUNING THE CELLO
Strings have different lengths and gages. The thickest gage, and lowest string is C (two octaves below middle C). Then ascending in fifths: G, D, and A.
Tune the A first, and then tune each one individually, but always judging and comparing the intonation against the A.
4: PULLING A SOUND
Sit with your cello in position. Hold the bow. While holding the bow in your right hand, extend your right arm straight in front of you. Extend your left arm, and hold the wooden part of the bow with the fingers of your left hand. Bring the bow down to the strings. Make sure that the hair and wood of the bow are making full contact with the 0 and G strings. Apply the weight of both arms on the bow. Draw the bow slowly across the D and G strings simultaneously. Do this beginning fi’om the middle of the bow, and alternating closer to the frog.