There is a difference between warming up your technical chops and just plain getting your body used to the crazy things we ask it to do while playing. This is true for most players, but especially essential for those of us who are recovering from or battling an ongoing injury. So warm up ugly. None of this big tone, full vibratoed artsy stuff. Gentle with both hands. Move slowly (a key, I find, in making a real recovery) and barely grip with either hand. Take long, whiffy bows, and slowly increase the pressure until you begin to get the real tone of the instrument. That’s where you start your scale. Another benefit of this ramp up is you become aware of the shadings between relaxation and tension. We’re looking for relaxed strength: something that is hard to come by when you grab your cello in a hurry and instantly begin playing with full volume, intensity, and perhaps more tension than you really need.
Do you really warm up?
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