Just like a painter using the three primary colors to conjure any hue desired, we cellists can use three bowing variables in different amounts to create a rainbow of tone colors.
Three Primary Colors of Tone
How Do You Feel Today?
My teacher used to have a poster on her wall, the How-Do-You-Feel-Today poster, that she would point out to us when she felt we needed some inspiration for the sentiment in a piece we were playing.
“What mood are you going for here?” she would ask.
We would need at least one idea for each phrase—maybe more—and we would then have to decide how we would alter our placement, weight, and speed to create these different impressions.
I thought it was such fun to work out a way to convince the audience of the story as was telling without saying a word!
You can use this same technique in your own cello life!
Feel free to print and keep this poster (below) near your practice area to refer to when deciding on a mood. Or simply think of an adjective to describe the emotion in one section of the piece you are working on.
Then experiment with changing the different variables of placement, weight, and speed until you find something that seems to you to express that adjective most effectively!
You are an Artist!
This technique unearths a whole new layer of cello fun that facilitates the ultimate expression in music.