Is it harder than piano?
The hard part about playing Cello music is not getting a good pitch (which is hard enough); it’s in finding the right key, which is also hard enough. There are lots of songs that make great piano. There are lots of great jazz players who play great Cello. The fact that it’s hard, and that everyone plays it differently, makes it special.
The difference is that when you play the Cello in jazz, it is not the same as when you do it in Cello. The Cello is not in tune with the piano. It’s not in tune with the saxophone. It’s not in tune with the harp. It’s in tune with the violin. But you are so used to these things, you don’t even realize it — yet you think that when you play one or two notes, Cello doesn’t make any difference.
But if you play one or two notes, Cello does change. You can do one step better; you can do two steps better. The thing about Cello is that you can play one key better and one key worse. You can play more or less; you can play more or much less. When you play Cello well, when there is harmony and when there is harmony and rhythm, Cello opens out, opens out. The Cello creates a lot more space and a lot more variety. It opens up the entire orchestra and gives it more power.
So the hard part about playing Cello, for the most part, is figuring out what keys to play and how to play each key at the same time. So when you try Cello from a traditional Cello concerto, what exactly are you hearing? Do you hear that the notes are all the same when the Cello is going in tune, or do you hear it the other way around? If you get up close to it, do you hear the notes going faster, or are you hearing a different, different sound?
And then it gets complicated because we move our piano up and down the neck a lot. You would think the key to Cello is always the same, like piano keys. But the key is the speed. The key is the key. The key is how fast you play a note.
But there’s also an interesting question: Who should be playing the Cello? Which player is going to be up there listening? It’s the same guitar that is going to sit there playing
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