Ever since I was little (well, young) I've known that one day my left third finger is going to give me trouble. The first joint is really small and weak, and since my grandmother had really bad arthritis, I'm pretty sure eventually I'll have problems with it. Like I mentioned in previous post, I took some time off over the break, and for some reason my left hand hasn't recovered from the break as fast as it usually does. Specifically, the third finger...ugh. We played Kodaly Duo and the Shosty Trio in one concert, and those are some hard playing pieces: lot's of fifths (hard on the joints), loud music (hard on the joints) and stuff. My left hand hurts! Double ugh. So, I'm recalling all the wisdom that I once knew in my REALLY hard playing days when 10 hours a day was the norm every day for 10 years: Tiger balm (luckily I found a stash of extra strength from a friend who went to China a while back). A regiment of muscular finger exercises. Stretches designed for string players hands. Duport 7 and Popper Etudes (Piatti Caprices when I'm ready...) for strengthening. Ibuprofein and ice for swelling.
No more time off. For the rest of my playing days. The muscle conditioning is ON!
I helped a friend try out bows on Monday night, which was really fun. Also reminded me of the days when hanging out with four cellists talking shop was the norm, not the exception. I found out that my favorite etude of all times (not just in the top 10, but no1!), Duport 7 is much admired/hated in the current UM cello population! I guess it is one of the favorites of one of the esteemed professors here. I'm a bit of a nut for scales and etudes, and get a little nerdy and neurotic, possibly even over-analytical about this stuff so it was fun to hear that this particular piece of music is in high demand. I think I'm going to try to pick some brains around here for more information. Which bowings are we talking about? The possibilities are so many...
One of the only musical pieces I've ever written, the Lullaby Prelude on Tuu Tuu Tupakkarulla, uses a lot of stuff that this etude taught me. I think it was subliminal, started out as a structured improvisation. It's a good one. So for any cellists out there, Duport 7. Do it.