This book is all about the cello! It is meant as a reference text, and will hopefully progress to be the world's first 'encyclopedia'! As this book is still new, a list of potential topics has been placed in the Table of Contents below, covering the obvious basics. However, there is so much to say that this simple preliminary plan could not possibly address everything.
So, even if you do not have the time to contribute article text, if you do think of a topic area that will be of interest to cellists at any level, please do add it to the table of contents! It will only take a minute! Just click 'edit this page' at the top - the code syntax is dead easy (almost plain text) and is obvious from what is already there.
Now, we all know that the idea of 'correct technique' is often a bitter feud between various schools of cellists. This means it will be very tempting to erase what is already in an article and replace it with something entirely different. As an editing guideline - please do NOT do this. Instead please conform to the Wikipedia convention of neutrality by providing your method as an alternative.
For example, state clearly that "There are three different approaches to this bowstroke", segregating each explanation to its own paragraph or bullet point. If something is obviously incorrect such as, "The bow is held at the tip" then of course, go ahead and edit. If you are unsure about something, you can always use the 'discuss' link under each page, or the Internet Cello Society Forums.
A further editing guideline in regard to the warning box below. Although this is perhaps against the Wiki convention, if you are a beginner cellist, even though your input is of course still absolutely welcome and valued, it may be better to stay away from editing pages concerning technique for the minute. Technique on stringed instruments is very complex, and it takes many years before you know exactly what you are doing and why.
Even when you think you know exactly where you are heading, it is often the case that it is only an intermediary step, or a 'substitute technique', a stand-in that will do for now while you are working on something else. For this reason, it is suggested that the editing of technical chapters is left to more experienced players, in order to prevent the spread of ideas which may lead to injury.
||Warning! This book is meant as reference material, and is certainly NOT to be used as a substitute for a teacher. Playing the cello may appear fundamentally simple, but it is in fact a very delicate skill which takes years to master. Everybody is different, and although technique can be generically described, no one explanation is a perfect fit for every cellist.
A little incorrect technique can quickly lead to bad habits which (a) restrict your ability to progress and (b) may take months to undo, or just as easily, chronic injury. Unlike other instruments such as the guitar or the piano, stringed instruments do not lend themselves to self learning, even at a basic level. Teaching yourself is not recommended, please don't try it.On the other hand, solid classical technique for guitar or piano is likewise near impossible to achieve by self-learning. The popular repertoire for cello is much less than for many instruments, e.g. guitar and piano. But, it does not have to be so. The cello can be an awesome instrument in its power and expression. It is greatly underused in the popular idiom. If your goal is not to become a Bach virtuoso, by all means pick up the instrument and try it, teacher or not. There's no point in being a snob about it.
Table of Contents
- Hardware and Maintenance
- Cello for Composers