I wrote a wee little article about shifting over at Tom’s blog, and thought a mini exercise might be just the thing to accompany it. One of the points I was driving at is the sense that a shift is propelled by the arm. I frequently remind students not to let their “fingers tow their arm all over the cello”. Your arm puts you in position, and all the fingers should have to do is type, accurately.
When you work this little excerpt, feel the arm engage. The whole thing is done on 1, because if you know where that bad boy is, your shifts will be much more accurate. Also, since this exercise moves up in a simple chromatic pattern, your ear should be able to predict the pitches and guide your arm, no matter how oblique the intervals may seem academically.