send me your problems!

Everyone has reacted to the changes brought about by covid-19 differently. Many of my musical colleagues have become prolifically creative; the sudden confinement and lack of performance outlets funneling their energies into new compositions and inventive self-accompanied recordings. I, on the other hand, have felt quiet and reflective: my Popper practice in particular has become […]

Does your bow grip work?

Originally published 5 Jan 2008. I really wish I had somehow been able to wrangle the bow in the picture into my life. While the current Sasano bow (I’ve had since my second year at CSUN) is wonderful, I can still remember the miraculous glide of this one. I nicknamed it “Excalibow”. A colleague had […]

Dear Emily: advice on buying a cello

I get several emails a week from students asking whether they should buy cello A or cello B, although cello C is lovely and has a single-piece back, here have a look at this picture, would a serial number help? Ethically, I can’t offer any real advice without being in the same room with the […]

high maintenance

It’s funny that Cello Muser, aka @risktical asked for a post on periodic cello maintenance because until recently, I hadn’t been doing too much of that. In fact, I had been on the ignorant side of many things cello, like what kind of wood is used for the various parts (in response to a 9 […]


I got a letter from your pinky the other day. I’m used to whole cellists writing to me asking for technical advice, but this was…a little awkward. What a conflict of interest! But I have decided to address the issues brought up in the letter, which I have included below. Click on it to enlarge. […]

Son of Bow Month

I got this fantastic email from our Far and Away friend in the Philippines, who wanted to talk some more bow. Twist my arm! (so long as it’s onto that right index finger, of course) “Ola, Ms.Wright 🙂 My student, Lyndon, complains of pain in his little finger (the photos might be a bit misleading; […]

A good problem to have

Bow Month lives! Thanks to Terry and his wife for taking the time to chronicle yet another bow grip. One thing I notice is that the kind of student who lives in the world of cello blogs AND is likely to be interested in the habits, adjustments, and solutions we talk about here probably has […]

photo unrelated to Bow Month

CelloGeek (but aren’t we all?) submitted this quandry: …”I struggle with 2 things with my bow hold (I’m sure there’s more but these seem to be the peskiest) 1 – my thumb starts nice and curved but gradually will get straight and I lose that nice flexible grip.2- the position of my other fingers starts […]

So you wanna go to music school?

This list, like the last one, is drawn directly from my experience. This is hopfully going to be the emphasis of my next book, tentatively entitled something like, “Ignore This Book if You Want to Go to Your 9th Choice Music School”. You get my drift. Some things to do when you are certain you […]

up there

Back in June, I wrote about extensions. I recently revisited the post and noticed that Terry had posed a question of upper position whole tone movement, and thought I would go over my approach to this potential nightmare of advanced playing. I think a lot of it depends on hand size, but more importantly, on […]

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