Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Here!

After watching my UPS tracking link like a hawk today, at a particular refresh, it said DELIVERED. Thank you to my UPS man for not ringing the doorbell or knocking on my door. They just put it on my stoop and left. Grrr... Anyhoo, I lugged the huge box in and then started to open. I wasn't quite sure how to open the box, so I just started with one edge and cut through the tape with a pen. Then I was able to get one long side of the box open. Contents? Hard case with cello inside. A soft case as well. A cello stand and a tuner. So far, so good, nothing visibly wrong yet.
With trepidation, only because my friend had told me how the one time she bought a cello off of ebay it showed up cracked, I opened the case. And behold, a plastic covered cello. And once the plastic came off, as luck would have it, no visible damage. Whoo hoo! Also inside was a bow, an extra set of strings, some rosin, and a case strap.
Sitting on the stand... I appreciate having this stand already. So the cello came without the bridge being installed. After removing the bridge from its temporary home and removing the styrofoam at the tailpiece, I attempted to install the bridge. I wasn't quite sure where to put it... but then I realized there were little notches at the soundholes where it should go. So up went the bridge.
And here it is, bridge and all. This was before I realized the bridge needed to be moved up a bit. With a brand new bow, I attempted to rosin it, but wasn't having too much luck. I even tried scratching the rosin up a bit with a coin, but it was still a bit on a smooth side to get much on it. After a feeble attempt at tuning (without use of a tuner) I squeaked out a few notes. I have no idea what I'm doing yet, absolutely none. But I was glad to get some horrible noises out of it. Next step? A proper tuning!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Impending Arrival

Harrisburg arrival sunday morning. So barring any disasters, delivery should be monday! Whoo!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Big Book

This book's got pages - well over 200 of them. And at a cursory glance, it seems quite comprehensive. In addition to music, there's tons of verbiage and old-school photos. It seems to proceed at a nice pace, and about page 100 starts to get a bit harder, introducing vibrato, more and more positions, and tenor and treble clefs. There's a section in the back strictly devoted to all the scales which I'm sure I'll be getting to know very well. There's also a nice section in the back listing cello repertoire and even some blank staff pages. I think I'm going to be using this one a lot. Having such heft and content, this book put me back about $15 including shipping.

Another Book

The next book to show up was 170 Foundation Studies for Violoncello Volume 2. This book is a hearty 100-plus pages and since it's vol 2, it ain't easy. Oye. In fact, it's scaring the bejeebus out of me. It's got tenor clef, treble clef, and it just looks hard. There isn't a whole note to be seen in the entire book, which makes sense though, since it's etudes. Don't think I'll be tackling this one for a long time. Something to look forward to... ha! This used book was $7 before shipping.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

First Delivery

Yey! So I've started to get my packages. First to arrive was Essential Elements for Strings Cello Book 2. At first glance, it doesn't look too hard. First off, everything is in standard bass clef. Which is good, because I totally forget tenor clef right now. And I still know bass clef really well from my bassoon days. Actually, I probably know it much better than treble clef.

I see backward and forward extensions, whatever that means. Something with the fingering I assume. The book seems to focus on rhythms and introducing some sharps and flats and some different bowing techniques. Nothing intimidating at all, and this is already Book 2. So Book 1 should be a piece of cake. Hopefully. Then towards the end, it introduces fourth position. Ah, positions. So not ready for that. This book was essentially free before shipping.
There are a couple of drawings in here to show some hand exercises and hand positioning. These drawings are hilarious. The girl has her eyes closed and looks asleep and the boy looks stoned. Am I wrong?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

En Route!

The cello (gosh, it needs a name, are instruments he's or she's?) just left Cerritos, CA in the wee hours of the morning. And ETA is Monday. Whoo! Good thing, because I have to go to friggin Oklahoma on Tuesday. It only weighs 33 lbs. Very surprising with all the crap that is included.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Buying A Cello

So I've wanted to play the cello forever. Seriously, it's been a long time. Even when I was a kid and playing violin and piano and whatever else I played, I always wanted to play the cello. I just never did. I half-heartedly started looking for one last summer, but it just never panned out, and I probably didn't try quite hard enough. A few weeks ago, I decided to buckle down and just do it. I tried to call upon friends and family and social networking, to essentially no avail. Even craigslist let me down, and heck, I even got my job from craigslist (no, it's not nude housecleaning). So I turned to the wonderful wild world of ebay. Yes, I got my cello from ebay. Well, it's being shipped right now. So I don't officially have it, but soon enough, it will be here.

I couldn't help myself. It turned out to be an awesome deal, and since I am a true beginner as far as the cello goes, I knew that I just wanted something not horrible, but not that great either. I did my research too, and it turns out that the model I would be getting, actually can sound great, once it gets a few tweaks from a luthier. So that's my next step, finding a local luthier who will be able to take my ebay cello and give it that warm rich sound I'm looking for. He/she will probably need to put new strings on it, adjust the sound post, adjust the neck, and perhaps shave the knot. We'll have to see.

The shop where I got the cello from also gave me access to online tutorials. And I went ahead and ordered a bunch of used cello instruction books online. Some of them were not even $1, not including the shipping costs. So soon enough, I will be fully armed, with instrument and books galore. Kimmel Center, watch out!