Young cellists ( and some older cellists >me!< ) often have trouble keeping their first and fourth fingers in tune. This is because the first finger has to reach much lower than one would think in order to stay in tune, and the relative shortness and weakness of the fourth finger (pinky) makes it hard to reach and press down hard enough in just the right spot.
This week I met a new student who only just began cello in school last September. He’s off to an excellent start on his technique, but he has developed the bad habit of squishing his fingers together completely as if he was playing the violin. T0 help him and other students correctly place these fingers by hearing the correct intonation, I wrote up this brief little ditty. The tune is a familiar one and is very simple. To extend the four measures of the tune I wrote a few basic rhythmic and metrical variations (except Variation 4, which is the theme written backwards, in homage to Bach’s “crab canons”!). I also included a second part for the teacher to play, preferably pizzicato. I’m looking forward to giving this a try with my student next week!