The left hand can so easily become
tight and even cramped while playing. The urge to grab
and to squeeze, especially when we are mentally tense, seems to
be built deeply into human beings. We can't play with good facility if
the left hand is tight. The solution? Use arm weight,
balance, and good finger articulation.
Segment 2: The "Level Palm,"
Pulling the Elbow Back, and Using the "Falling Forearm" Here I
discuss more fully the idea of a "level palm," also mentioned in the
original video, this time referencing Gerhard Mantel's book Cello
Technique, where I first learned the concept. Mantel's
suggestion to pull the elbow back is and play with the left fingers
more parallel to the string is explored, and I also describe how I use
what I call the "falling forearm" to get left-arm weight on the
Segment 3: The "Hanging" Arm and
the "Floating" Arm Many cellists and cello teachers
recommend "hanging" the left arm from the fingerboard. This works
well, and I explain a common pitfall I've observed in less-experienced
cellists trying to use this approach. I also discuss how and why
I sometimes "float" my left arm.