How do you know where to put your fingers?

“The cello has no frets! How do you know where to put your fingers?”

Finger placement uses multiple senses. Primarily I use my ears to place my hands on the fingerboard. However there is a kinesthetic aspect to playing. I remember what a note feels like and what the distance between notes feels like. So I use touch to acclimate myself on different pitches. Additionally  as I move closer to the bridge, I will occasionally check in with my eyes to see if the finger is in the right place. However, trying to look at my hand when it is  closer to the scroll, is not helpful. It skews all the notes because the physical approach to the cello changes.

Using a combination of hearing, feeling, and seeing, and a memory reference  of the note, I can know where to put my fingers. It truly is easier to do than it is to describe!

About miriamtroxler

Miriam Troxler resides in Beaver, Pa, where she runs a private music studio. After graduation from Chatham University, she toured in Europe with the Continental Singers Orchestra as principal cellist. A long time member of Greenville Symphony Orchestra, she is also the founder and musical director of CelloBrationS. Miriam enjoys composing and arranging with several published pieces to date.
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