Proper Posture and Tone Production on the Cello
I was reminded this past week of the connection between good posture and tone production on the cello.
I worked with several of my students this past week on balanced posture while playing. I had the students establish proper posture away from the cello with a balanced upper body and head with the feet planted on the ground. I then had them bring the cello to their bodies without disrupting the posture they just established - this can be tricky for those of us who are tall as the C peg can easily get in the way and cause us to push our necks forward. Once the students established proper posture the difference in tone production was pronounced. Not only was the sound bigger but it had a more “open” and less forced quality. And to top it all off, it was achieved with less effort.
You see, our power ultimately comes from our upper backs. When we slouch we put our back muscles in a position where they cannot work as effectively or efficiently. We must respect the natural curve of the spine and achieve a balanced position while playing. A body in balance works more efficiently because muscles can focus on the task of playing the cello instead of holding up a body that is out of balance.
So if you want to hear an immediate improvement in your tone and expend less energy, first look at your posture.