Beyond the Octave Cello Method

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Beyond the Octave Cello Method

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by Ignacy Gaydamovich

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Beyond the Octave

The majority of published violoncello methods deal with beginning studies. Most etudes, exercises, and pedagogical pieces were written one or even two centuries ago. Though there are a few contemporary methods that bring new approaches to the technique of the left hand, still more needs to be done. Many of these methods are not comprehensive and do not help the cellist with the practical challenges in the standard repertoire, especially twentieth century works. Based on composers’ demands and the advancements in cello technique in the twentieth century, I am making an attempt to compile a relevant method for advanced cellists that will include new approaches to left hand technique. It will provide a more efficient way of practicing challenging passages in the standard repertoire, propose a new way of understanding the fingerboard and how to get around it on the cello using the technique of shifting between various positions. This approach is based, in part, on my study of several twentieth-century violin and cello methods. The starting point for the thumb position exercises is the method by Janos Starker. Dr. Terry King and his ideas have been invaluable assets while creating new chapters. The method would eventually be accessible to teachers and students worldwide, thus propelling the progress of cello playing forward. I argue that cello pedagogy, especially for more advanced players needs an update in a fashion that is similar to that of violin pedagogy in the twentieth century.

“I find your approach intelligent, useful and a logical extension of my method. I stated many times that the mechanical aspect of instrumental playing is an ever evolving process. You are proving it.” – Janos Starker

I would love to hear your comments! Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with questions and ideas. Thank you for considering this method for yourself or for your students.